BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Bethune-Cookman University could also be switching athletic conferences.
It was announced last week that the school’s Board of Trustees were meeting to discuss the school’s athletic future.
The university is yet to release an official statement.
The speculation is that the university could also leave the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) for the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) following instate Florida A&M University.
B-CU’s Vice Presidential for Collegiate Athletics Lynn Thompson issued a statement to hbcugameday.com’s Vaughn Wilson saying:
“Bethune-Cookman University has enjoyed a great partnership with the MEAC for forty years. However, like many institutions across the nation, we are presently engaged in analysis to assess all options available for our athletic affiliation.
“Towards the end of this we will continue to follow the directive of our board and institutional leadership to ensure our alignment with an athletic conference which best meets the longterm needs of Bethune-Cookman University.”
FAMU’s Board of Trustees voted to make the move on June 4. They cited less travel and possible revenue streams and old rivalries with the SWAC.
“While we have had a long-standing relationship competing in the MEAC, Florida A&M’s impending move to the SWAC is one that is in the best interest of the university. The positive impacts on student athletes, cost savings, reestablishment of long-term rivalries and opportunities to generate revenue are among the key factors in this decision,” said Dr. Larry Robinson, FAMU’s president.
Schools leaving MEAC
The SWAC member schools voted 10-0 on the measure.
The FAMU Rattlers will join the SWAC on July 1, 2021 for all sports beginning the 2020-2021 academic year.
The MEAC and the SWAC are the two conferences that feature historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that compete at the Division I level.
The MEAC has been losing schools in recent years. Hampton left to join the Southern Conference in 2018. Savannah State left to join Division II, Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) in 2019. North Carolina A&T is joining the Southern Conference in 2021 as well.
Another possible location for the Wildcats to relocate to could be the Atlantic Sun Conference. The A-Sun doesn’t currently have football but is rumored to be in talks of
starting one. B-CU has been in the MEAC since 1979.