(WHNT) — The ASUN Conference and Western Athletic Conference (WAC) football partnership is now officially known as the United Athletic Conference, which is the conference the UNA Lions will play in now.

Entering its third year as a formal football partnership but first as a single entity, the United Athletic Conference now fully operates like a single-sport conference with an independent budget, policies and governing documents. The group will recognize its own league champion and at-large FCS playoffs automatic qualifier under a singular conference banner beginning with the 2023 football season.

The newly christened United Athletic Conference currently has nine participating institutions:

  • Abilene Christian University
  • Austin Peay State University
  • University of Central Arkansas
  • Eastern Kentucky University
  • University of North Alabama
  • Southern Utah University
  • Stephen F. Austin State University
  • Tarleton State University
  • Utah Tech University

The conference will officially add the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) in the fall of 2025 when it begins sponsorship of football.

The 2023 United Athletic Conference schedule will be limited to six conference games among its nine members. The 2024 schedule will feature a full eight-game single round robin. The team with the best conference record (and who owns any applicable tiebreakers in the case of matching league records) will be declared the United Athletic Conference champion and FCS playoffs AQ.

A full conference rollout including official marks, an official website and more information will be released in the coming months.