North Carolina Central University Joins MEAC
A press conference is set for noon today at the McLendon-McDougald Gymnasium on the campus of NCCU in Durham, N.C.
"I am elated to have such an outstanding academic institution as North Carolina Central to return to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference," said MEAC Commissioner Dennis E. Thomas. "I would like to commend Chancellor Nelms, Dr. Wicker-McCree, and the entire NCCU family for all their continued hard work as they make the transition from Division II to Division I."
Commissioner Thomas added, "The addition of NCCU keeps us in compliance with our long range strategic plan of adding up to 14 members. NCCU is a perfect fit for the MEAC."
North Carolina Central is in the third year of its reclassification from NCAA Division II to Division I.
NCCU is one of seven founding member institutions of the MEAC. The Eagles withdrew from the conference in 1979, opting to remain a Division II member when the conference reclassified to Division I. From 1979-2007, NCCU competed in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA).
"This is a significant milestone in North Carolina Central University's transition to Division I," said NCCU Chancellor Charlie Nelms. "Membership in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference is a win-win proposition for our student-athletes, alumni and fans -- indeed, all our university constituents."
"This is wonderful news for North Carolina Central University, but most importantly for our student-athletes, coaches and fans," said NCCU Director of Athletics, Dr. Ingrid Wicker-McCree. "The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference is a fantastic conference with highly competitive academic and athletic institutions. For NCCU to return to the MEAC and be part of its rich history is a tremendous step for our athletics program. We now have a place to call home."
The addition of NCCU marks the second expansion for the MEAC since 2007, when Winston-Salem State became the 12th member of the conference. Prior to Winston-Salem State, the MEAC expanded in the 90's with the inclusion of Norfolk State in 1997 and Hampton in 1995. NCCU becomes the third MEAC institution
located in the state of North Carolina and the fourth in the Carolinas, joining WSSU, North Carolina A&T State (Greensboro), and South Carolina State (Orangeburg).
About the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC)
The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, a NCAA Division I Conference, is in its 40th year of operation heading into the 2009-10 academic school year. The MEAC is made up of 12 outstanding, historically black institutions across the Atlantic coastline: Bethune-Cookman University, Coppin State University, Delaware State University, Florida A&M University, Hampton University, Howard University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Morgan State University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University, South Carolina State University, and Winston-Salem State University.
About North Carolina Central University
North Carolina Central University is the first publicly supported liberal arts college for African-Americans and this year, U.S. News & World Report ranked NCCU among the top ten HBCUs in the country. As NCCU celebrates its Centennial Year, a diverse student body of more than 8,500 students is enrolled in programs such as law, business, library science, nursing, education, and biotechnology.
For more information on the MEAC and its sponsored sports, log on to www. MEACsports.com.