Austin Peay To Leave OVC For ASUN Conference

Austin Peay University has officially announced that it’s athletic programs will be leaving the Ohio Valley Conference for the Atlantic Sun Conference starting June 30, 2022. The university’s board voted unanimously on the decision on Friday, Sept. 17.

The Governors have been a member of the Brentwood located conference for 59 years.

“We have received notification from Austin Peay that they will be leaving the OVC effective June 30, 2022. We appreciate their many contributions to the conference over the years and are committed to providing their student-athletes with an exemplary Championships experience this year,” says OVC Commissioner Beth DeBauche in a statement. “We are clearly in a time of change for intercollegiate athletics, and the Ohio Valley Conference embraces this moment, committed to the institutions and student-athletes whom we serve and confident in our future.”

She continues: “That future is rooted in membership growth, and  we are currently in discussions with other institutions that share our philosophy and want to prosper in today’s intercollegiate athletic environment by being part of the OVC.”

Austin Peay is the third OVC school to leave the conference for the ASUN within the past year with EKU and Jacksonville State leaving in the summer of 2020. Football was cited as the reason for joining the ASUN, according to a press release from Austin Peay’s athletic department

“I am excited to take this next step for the university and our athletics department,” says Austin Peay President Dr. Michael Licari. “The ASUN Conference will help us showcase all of the great things we’re doing athletically and academically. The ASUN will put us in new markets that will boost our recruiting ability and allow us to better engage our passionate alumni base. This is a move to position our University well both now and in the future.”

The OVC will be looking to add teams who “are seeking this type of conference experience, for the betterment of their institutions,” according to the statement from commissioner DeBauche. By July of 2022, the OVC will be down to only nine members, six of which have football programs.

Steven Boero