N.C. Central and Savannah State Become Full Members
"We are elated to have North Carolina Central and Savannah State to become full members of the MEAC family," said Commissioner Dennis Thomas. "I am pleased to announce that both institutions have done a great job at meeting detailed criteria to be confirmed for full membership."
Thomas added, "Their additions sustain our long range and strategic plan of adding up to 14 members. Adding these outstanding academic institutions completes the geographical footprint that bridges our South Carolina and Florida institutions. "
As a full member, North Carolina Central and Savannah State are immediately eligible to participate in all conference championships and earn the conference's automatic berth to NCAA postseason competition in all sponsored sports.
The additions give the MEAC a total of 13 conference members with 11 football playing institutions. The conference is in its 42nd year of operation heading into the 2011-12 academic school year. The MEAC sponsors 15 Division I (FCS) sports with automatic qualifying bids for NCAA postseason competition in baseball, bowling, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, football, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track and field, softball, and volleyball.
Today's announcement reaffirms the provisional membership status North Carolina Central received in 2009 and Savannah State received in 2010.
North Carolina Central recently received approval from the NCAA to reclassify from Division II to active Division I status. NCCU is one of seven founding member institutions of the MEAC.
Savannah State, which previously competed as a Division I independent, is the only institution in the MEAC from the state of Georgia.
Located in Norfolk, Va., the MEAC is made up of 13 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, North Carolina Central University, Savannah State University and South Carolina State University.