Liberty to join Atlantic Sun starting in 2018-19

Liberty is moving 17 of its athletic programs from the Big South to the Atlantic Sun Conference.

The school made the announcement Thursday. It said the only three sports not joining the new conference are football, field hockey and women's swimming and diving.

Football will compete as an FBS independent for the first time this season. Field hockey competes in the Big East, and women's swimming and diving is in the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association.

Liberty will become an Atlantic Sun member on July 1. The conference also has members in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and New Jersey.

In 27 years in the Big South, Liberty won 13 Sasser Cup trophies as the conference's top athletic program.