Jacksonville State ushers in new era of athletics

Jacksonville State University formally accepts invitation into Conference USA Friday November,...
Jacksonville State University formally accepts invitation into Conference USA Friday November, 5 2021. The Gamecocks will join July 1, 2023 and begin competition during the 2023-2024 academic school year.(JSU Athletics)
Published: Jul. 7, 2023 at 4:04 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 7, 2023 at 4:15 PM CDT
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JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (WBRC) - A new era of Jacksonville State Gamecock athletics has begun.

Jacksonville State has officially joined Conference USA, the same conference that UAB just departed from. Conference USA welcomed in four new schools, including the Gamecocks, into the new-look conference on July 1.

The Gamecocks spent the last two years in the Atlantic Sun Conference, and spent the previous 18 years before in the Ohio Valley Conference.

The jump is especially big for the Gamecocks because they will now be playing in Division 1-FBS for football (the same division as Alabama, Auburn, etc.). They previously played in Division 1-FCS, formerly known as Division 1 AA, which is the lower level of Division 1 football.

Success is no stranger when it comes to JSU athletics. Since officially becoming a Division 1 program in 1995, the Gamecocks have won more than 80 total conference titles with 10 of those coming in football, including the 2022 ASUN Conference Championship under first year HC Rich Rodriguez.

It’s a big year for Conference USA. Along with the announcement of four new schools, the conference also signed a new multimedia rights deal with CBS Sports and ESPN. This means that the Gamecocks football program will play at least six games on national television, with the possibility of up to four more games that could be picked up for a national broadcast throughout the season.

The official new-look conference is posted below:

  • Florida International University Panthers
  • Jacksonville State University Gamecocks (2023 new member)
  • Liberty University Flames (2023 new member)
  • Louisiana Tech University Bulldogs
  • Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders
  • New Mexico State University Aggies (2023 new member)
  • Sam Houston State University Bearkats (2023 new member)
  • University of Texas El Paso Miners
  • Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

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