FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - In the 571 days since the University of North Alabama Board of Trustees voted to accept an invitation from the ASUN Conference and begin the transition of UNA to an NCAA Division I institution, the University, and its athletic department have made major strides to position itself for success.
July 1, 2018, marks UNA's first official day as an NCAA Division I institution and athletic director Mark Linder says the last year and a half has been productive but passed quickly.
"We are tremendously excited as we embark into the ranks of Division I," Linder said. "Our staff has been preparing over the last 18 months. We take pride in the athletic tradition of UNA and are working hard to represent our alumni and fan base well. The ASUN is a fantastic Division I conference which will challenge us. However, we believe with the foundation built by those who came before us, along with our fantastic fan base, corporate partners, and donors, that we will be successful in our transition."
UNA will have a four-year transition into Division I and will not be eligible for NCAA post-season competition until the fall of 2022. The Lions will, however, be eligible to compete for conference championships immediately in all 13 of its sports in the ASUN. The UNA football team will be a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) independent in 2018 before becoming a member of the Big South Conference in 2019.
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