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Queens University athletics will move to Division 1

The Royals have accepted an invitation to join the ASUN

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Queens University is making the jump to Division 1 athletics.

The school announced on Friday that it has accepted an invitation to join the ASUN Conference, with a four-year transition period beginning on July 1.

The school's Board of Trustees voted unanimously to make the move after "months of exploration and significant input from the university community."

It is unclear which sports will make the move first, but the school and the ASUN will speak to the media on Tuesday.

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"This move to Division 1 will allow our student athletes to compete and showcase their talents at the highest level," chairman of the Board of Trustees Jeff Brown said.

Queens fields 30 men's and women's athletics teams but does not have football.

The ASUN, headquartered in Atlanta and formerly named Atlantic Sun, has 14 member institutions and the Royals will be the league's only athletics program in North Carolina. 

On May 10, league leaders joined the Royals on campus to formally welcome the program into ASUN. Daniel G. Lugo, president of Queens University, said this was a major move forward for everyone involved.

"This is a defining moment for Queens," he said. "One that positions us to be a nationally-recognized university synonymous with the city of Charlotte, one that highlights our commitment to excellence in all that we do, one we have worked really hard for over a number of years, and one that we are prepared to take full advantage of. It's our time."

Sherie Swarthout, director of athletics for the university, said the news should be energizing to the campus community and to supporters and alumni.

"We are thrilled to join the ASUN Conference as we begin to make the transition to NCAA Division I," she said. "The vision of our president and Board of Trustees for the future of Queens, along with our propensity for winning championships, makes our athletic programs a great fit for the ASUN Conference. We are excited to provide our student-athletes this next level of championship opportunities."

ASUN commissioner Ted Gumbart was part of the leadership team on hand at Queens on Tuesday. He said the addition of the Royals is good for the whole conference and for the Charlotte area.

"We will have a record-setting 14 members entering 2022-23," he said. "That membership strength allows us to be extremely selective in any expansion considerations. Queens University adds value to the ASUN. What an awesome place Charlotte is to add to our portfolio. Queens University will become a national brand that's attached to Charlotte and we want to be a part of that."

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