BY ANDREAS BUTLER
After a week of speculation, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) is moving to the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).
On Thursday, the university announced that its Board of Trustees voted unanimously to accept an invitation to join the SWAC.
B-CU says the move is in the best interest of its institution.
“Bethune-Cookman’s move to the Southwestern Athletic Conference is one that is clearly in the best interest of the university, particularly during this major shift in higher education and intercollegiate athletics. We believe this is a logical next step in the evolution of our university. Moreover, it reflects our commitment to strengthening the university’s long-term competitiveness and viability, while providing the best possible experience for our student-athletes,” said B-CU president, Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite.
The move will be effective July 1, 2021. The SWAC approved the measure on June 23 and an invitation was quickly extended to B-CU thereafter.
“We’re extremely excited to welcome Bethune-Cookman University to the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The Wildcats undoubtedly align with our core principles and strategic plan; and they also align with our overall vision and forward movement within our strategic plan. The addition also brings to our league an institution with academic prowess, a world-renowned marching band, along with an enthusiastic base of alumni, fans and supporters,” stated SWAC commissioner, Dr. Charles McClelland.
The Wildcats have been a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) since 1979. They have won 64 MEAC championships during that span.
B-CU is the third school leaving the MEAC following Florida A&M University (FAMU). The Rattlers recently announced that it is joining the SWAC. North Carolina A&T State University also is joining the conference; both are effective July 1, 2021.
“Obviously, it is a disappointment to lose a long-standing member. However, institutions do what is in the best interest of their institutions. I wish President Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite, Lynn Thompson and their institution the absolute best,” said MEAC commissioner, Dr. Dennis E. Thomas.