Source: NKU to announce Division I status

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, KY (FOX19) - NKU will neither confirm or deny that it has accepted a bid to join the Atlantic Sun Conference.

FOX19's Joe Danneman reports that a source inside the athletic offices at the Bank of Kentucky Center says it's a done deal.

NKU will be the tenth team in the conference with the other schools located in Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina. They are: Belmont, Mercer, Jacksonville, East Tennessee State, Florida Gulf Coast, Kennesaw, Lipscomb, Stetson, USC Upstate, and North Florida.

"They're going to be schools that people are less familiar with and that's just a feeling out process," said Chris Cole, NKU Director of Marketing and Communications. "Its a getting to know you process. Some of the cities in whatever conference we end up in aren't going to be familiar with Northern Kentucky either."

NKU will be the third largest member of the Atlantic Sun Conference with arguably the best facility in the Bank of Kentucky Center.

"I'm really excited for us to go D1, I kinda think its going to be a big deal for NKU as far as like getting a growing student population," said Hillary Gaffin, a NKU sophomore.

NKU freshman Matthew Crooker said he looks forward to "higher student ratio for highland heights and the northern Kentucky area and maybe lower tuition. I think it will be a big draw to this area."

The Norse will play a full Atlantic Sun Conference schedule beginning next fall but under NCAA regulations won't be eligible for post-season team tournaments until 2016.

NKU basically outgrew Division II, dominating in most sports and winning national championships in men's soccer and women's basketball.

The official word is expected to come Thursday when the Board of Regents meets at 1 p.m. A public announcement is scheduled to be made at the university Thursday at 2 p.m.

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