Bethune-Cookman is reportedly considering leaving the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, potentially reuniting with in-state rival Florida A&M. The school’s board of trustees held an emergency meeting last week to discuss the possibility, according to a report. The Wildcats’ potential landing spots include the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
FAMU’s board of trustees previously voted unanimously to leave the MEAC, which it had been a member for all but two seasons since 1979, and join the SWAC. The Rattlers will join the SWAC at the start of the 2021-22 academic year. FAMU expands the SWAC’s membership to 11.
“We firmly believe in this move,” FAMU athletics director Kortne Gosha told the Tallahassee Democrat after the vote earlier this month. “Taking FAMU athletics to new heights is personal to me. I made a commitment on Nov. 25, 2019, that we would do that. In the short six months, we’ve been here, we’ve done that.”
FAMU cited a reduction in travel expenses and increased brand awareness among the reasons for switching conferences. The SWAC’s headquarters are based in Alabama and most of its schools are within driving distance of Tallahassee. The MEAC, which is headquartered in Virginia, has schools located in the Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic regions, with FAMU and B-CU the only schools in the state of Florida.
Another possible destination for B-CU, which has been a member of the MEAC since 1979, is the Atlantic Sun Conference, according to the report. The Atlantic Sun currently doesn’t support football, but there have been talks about starting a football league. North Carolina A&T and Hampton also are set to leave the MEAC in 2021, while Savannah State moved back to the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 2019. Read the original posting of the Orlando Sentinel article.
Bethune–Cookman University is a private historically black university in Daytona Beach, Florida. The primary administration building, White Hall, and the Mary McLeod Bethune Home are in the National Register of Historic Places.