Despite controversy, the NAIA accepts New College of Florida into a conference

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New College of Florida in Sarasota. By Seán Kinane/WMNF News (Apr. 2023).

New College of Florida’s newly created sports teams will compete in the Sun Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics starting next year, the conference announced Monday.

New College’s membership in the conference will take effect in July.

“This decision was unanimous by the presidents and athletic directors of the Sun after a thorough vetting process,” Interim Sun Conference Council of Presidents Chairman David Armstrong said in a statement.

New College, a small public college in Sarasota, has launched six athletic teams this academic year: men’s and women’s soccer and basketball teams, a baseball team and a softball team.

The teams were created amid wide-ranging changes spearheaded by Gov. Ron DeSantis and other state officials. The school also created a mascot for the teams, the Mighty Banyans.

The Sun Conference consists of nine schools other than New College, with most in Florida except for two schools in Georgia.

New College Interim President Richard Corcoran touted the school’s acceptance into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, commonly known as the NAIA, the sanctioning body for the Sun Conference.

“Huge news! (The NAIA) has officially accepted New College of Florida’s application for full membership,” Corcoran wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Meanwhile, the New College Board of Trustees on Tuesday is slated to select a president, with Corcoran among three candidates.

©2023 The News Service of Florida

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