Sun Belt Presidents Agree to Add GSU *UPDATE*

CBSSports.com is reporting that the first official step in the process of Georgia State joining the Sun Belt conference took place Monday night when the Sun Belt conference's presidents voted to add Georgia State.

While Doug Roberson of AJC.com says that no official invitation has yet been extended, CBSSports.com is reporting that the invitation, and its acceptance are expected as early as Thursday, when Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson is expected to visit the school.

A move to the Sun Belt for Georgia State has long been rumored, as Georgia State’s facilities, budget, enrollment, and market size are more in line with lower-tier FBS schools that FCS school, and Georgia State was a founding member of the Sun Belt when the conference was formed in 1976.  The rumors gained more traction when it was reported that GSU had commissied a feasibility study to examine its FBS options. That report concluded that "GSU is well-positioned to make a transition to FBS” and “that the Sun Belt would be the best fit.” Then, last week, CBSSports.com reported that Georgia State was a “leading candidate” to join the Sun Belt.

During Georgia State’s Spring Scrimmage at the GSU football practice complex last Saturday, Panthersville.com had the opportunity to speak with Athletics Director Cheryl Levick at length about various aspects of the program, including the impending move up to FBS.  Regarding the move-up decision, she acknowledged that “FCS isn’t a long-term option” for Georgia State and that President Mark Becker had given her full authority to pursue options for a move to FBS.  She said that the process had been filling her days in recent weeks, but that she was enjoying it, pointing out that “it has been nice to be courted”.

UPDATE: Doug Roberson of AJC.com is reporting that Sun Belt Commissioner Benson is saying that his conference has not yet decided to invite Georgia State, and that the conference and the school "have had a continued dialogue."

UPDATE 2: in an interview on 790 the Zone in Atlanta, Brett McMurphy of CBSSports.com said that he spoke with Commissioner Benson after his story was posted, and that while Benson confirmed that no invitation has been issued, he would not comment when asked if the conference had agreed to add Georgia State. McMurphy stands by his story that the addition of Georgia State has been agreed to and will be made official at a press conference once the paperwork is signed.

We will continue to monitor this story as it develops – stay tuned to Panthersville.com for the latest news.

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