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Northern Kentucky to leave Atlantic Sun, will join Horizon League

According to multiple reports, the Atlantic Sun just received a devastating blow to its conference, with Northern Kentucky announcing they will be leaving to join the Horizon League, pending board approval.

Photo by Linwood Ferguson

Update: Northern Kentucky has officially joined the Horizon League.

The Atlantic Sun Conference is in an arduous predicament, to say the least. It's most recent member, Northern Kentucky, announced today that they will leave the Atlantic Sun and join the Horizon League, according to multiple reports.

This is devastating news for the Atlantic Sun, as the Norse have been one of the better teams in the conference, especially in women's basketball. The Norse finished third in the standings this past season, and after upsetting No. 2 seed Stetson in the A-Sun Tournament, they made it to the A-Sun Championship game, where the Norse ultimately fell to No. 20 FGCU, 60-43.

99.3 ESPN's radio host, David Moulton of Miller and Moulton, who also handles play-by-play games for FGCU on ESPN3, had some strong words regarding Northern Kentucky's impending departure: "If this takes effect immediately, this is a scheduling nightmare. Seven schools now have to find 18-19 non-conference games.

"That's a staggering number and will lead to a bunch of non-DI games -- and terrible RPI's in many sports. NKU should have had the decency to do what Belmont, Mercer and ETSU did, which was announce your departure effective in a year."

Moulton, known for his tendentious and intellectual words, opined even more on this subject.

"Besides, the A-Sun took them three years ago when no other Division I conference wanted them in 2012. That courtesy, and the fact the A-Sun made all NKU teams eligible for the conference tournaments this year -- when they did not have to, should have earned the A-Sun, and their seven other schools a one-year reprieve.

"NKU leaving should not have been a surprise -- leaving in a month is bush-league."

The corollaries of this decision by Northern Kentucky, could have lingering effects on an up-and-coming conference -- one of the better small conferences in the country. It's up to the Atlantic Sun Commisioner, Ted Gumbart, to remedy this morass as soon as possible.