Sun Belt Conference Reference Guide Released
On Monday the Sun Belt Conference released a University Reference Guide in order to help avoid confusion concerning its member institutions in the future.
The primary example are the two members in Louisiana, the University of Louisiana At Monroe and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, are the two primary examples.
The Sun Belt announced that it will refer to ULM as UL-Monroe on the first reference and ULM subsequently as an abbreviation. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette will be UL-Lafayette on first reference then subsequent references will be UL-L as an abbreviation.
UL-Lafayette preferred to be called Louisiana and encouraged sports announcers to drop Lafayette and just refer to them as University of Louisiana or simply Louisiana. A state senator said that they would not introduce legislation to tighten state law governing how public universities can refer to themselves, but added that ULL “just needs to do what’s right” and use their full name in all official references.
In legislation passed in 1999 that allowed the school to change it’s name also included a provision that forced them to refer their “municipal locations” for all “academic, public relations, atheltic, as well as other purposes not specified.”
Even the universities website, www.louisiana.edu simply refers to “Louisiana” and under their proper use of the University’s name, it states that ULL in an inaccurate reference. They also say that Lafayette and U of L are both inaccurate and denote other institutions. They say their athletics nickname is Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns. The formal and official name of the university is University of Louisiana At Lafayette and that UL Lafayette may be used as an abbreviation.
This clarification by the conference comes ahead of the addition of four new teams next season with two of them also causing further confusion when it comes to abberviations.
Arkansas State is regularly known as ASU however Appalachian State was regularly known as ASU in their conference and thus cannot be the same in this league. Similarly for Georgia State and Georgia Southern. Sun Belt Conference commissioner Karl Benson said that the schools were very compliant with what they would like to be called and each Sun Belt President or Chancellor approved the references.
But these changes will not require changes to logos or uniforms. The refernece guide will help keep consistency between public announcers at games as well as school’s media relations departments and teh respective media for each school.
“The conference office works for our member universities, and they are the ones that tell us how we want to be referenced,” Commissioner Benson stated. “That is what has led this process is that our member universities should be referenced as they want to be referenced regardless of history or tradition or state guidelines.”
“The universities have accepted the document and what they do internally is not subject to conference regulation,” Benson said. “We’ve sent out a document to our member universities encouraging them to adhere to the reference guide even though it may not be what they normally or historically or traditionally have referenced, but we are encouraging them to, again, take the broader pieces that let’s from a conference standpoint, a collegiate standpoint, a conference member standpoint reference our conference members as they want to be referenced.”