The term “chanticleer” means rooster, and it comes from Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales.”
Coastal Carolina University uses the animal as the mascot for its athletics teams, so one could also define it as the newest member of the Sun Belt Conference.
In a press conference dubbed “a historical announcement,” CCU president David DeCenzo accepted the conference’s invitation to join the conference as well as Division I Football Bowl Subdivision.
“This is a historic moment for all Chanticleers,” said CCU Chairman of the Board Wyatt Henderson. “The Sun Belt’s invitation is perfect timing and matches very well with the trajectory of our University. CCU will join a distinct group of peer institutions experiencing similar growth and success both on and off the field.”
According to a press release from the SBC, released during the conference, CCU will play 16 sports at the FBS level starting July 1, 2016. In 2017, the football program will join the division but will not be eligible for any bowl games.
“On behalf of all of us at Coastal Carolina University, I’m honored to accept the invitation to join the Sun Belt Conference,” DeCenzo said. “I am grateful to Sun Belt Commissioner, Mr. Karl Benson, for his steadfast support of CCU, and to the Sun Belt presidents and chancellors, who honored CCU by selecting their 12th member school.”
This addition brings the number of full-time Sun Belt teams to 12, opening up the possibility of a conference championship in all sports. Idaho and New Mexico, football-only members, replace UT-Arlington and Little Rock, formerly known as Arkansas-Little Rock.
“This is a great day for the Sun Belt Conference as we are very proud to have Coastal Carolina University join our membership,” said Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Karl Benson. “The Sun Belt is a growing conference with a bright future and Coastal Carolina makes a perfect fit.”