- Associated Press - Monday, April 21, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Horizon League will welcome the Belmont men’s soccer program as an affiliate member starting next season.

Belmont’s athletic department is part of the Ohio Valley Conference, which doesn’t sponsor men’s soccer. The Belmont men’s soccer program had operated as an NCAA Division I independent the last two seasons.

The Horizon League’s board of directors, headquartered in Indianapolis, announced Monday it had approved Belmont’s application. As an affiliate member starting in 2014, Belmont will immediately be eligible for conference championships and NCAA tournament bids.

Belmont also reached an agreement with the Horizon League on a non-conference scheduling partnership. Under the agreement, Belmont will compete against Horizon League members in men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball and women’s soccer.