In 2013, Liberty University claimed all use of the abbreviation LU, banning Lipscomb from using it as an official logo.
In 2018, Liberty and Lipscomb will face off again, though this time it will be out on the court and the field.
Liberty University has officially joined Lipscomb in the Atlantic Sun conference to become it’s 8th member. The school, which was formerly a part of the Big South conference, has made the swap over to the ASUN conference for the 2018-2019 season.
Lipscomb, who won the ASUN Men’s Basketball tournament to advance to the NCAA playoffs, has a potential rival in Liberty University. Both are Christian schools located in the South, and both appeal to the same demographics.
They’re similar enough that there was quite the debacle involving the use of “LU” to represent Lipscomb in 2013.
“On behalf of our coaches, staff, and student-athletes, we are excited and honored to join the ASUN as our all-sports conference,” said Liberty University’s Director of Athletics, Ian McCaw. “Moreover, we are deeply appreciative to Commissioner Ted Gumbart, the ASUN leadership and member institutions, for this opportunity.
“The ASUN footprint will allow Liberty to further extend our brand into New Jersey, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Florida. These states are fertile for recruiting students and student-athletes alike who fit Liberty’s mission.”
All of Liberty’s athletics programs now in ASUN will be able to compete for any trophy awarded by ASUN for the 2018-2019 season. 17 of its 20 sports programs will join ASUN. Liberty’s football team will become independent this fall, the field hockey program will stay in the Big East conference and the women’s swimming and diving program will stay in the CCSA.
Lipscomb president Randy Lowry said noted that the induction of Liberty University brings another Christian school with a similar mission as Lipscomb into the ASUN.
“They impressed me as serious in their work to create an excellent academic and athletic environment but also, like Lipscomb, a vibrant Christian community,” Lowry said. “Liberty and Lipscomb are unique in the conference as we are both intentionally Christian universities, which is a strong benefit to our institution.”
In addition to Liberty University joining ASUN, the University of North Alabama, located in Florence Alabama, joined the ASUN conference back in February and will be competing in the 2018-2019 season as well.
Liberty University is also the first school from Virginia to join the ASUN conference, which is now located in eight states. This will be the first time any Lipscomb teams play in Virginia. The added competition is welcomed by many athletic programs in the ASUN conference, including Lipscomb men’s basketball coach Casey Alexander.
“Liberty will be a great addition to our league,” Alexander said. “They have a strong program that is well coached, and they’ll expect to play for championships from the very beginning. They will make the ASUN stronger for all sports across the board.”