Wesleyan College Athletics Department has announced that it will move its intercollegiate programs to the newly-formed Collegiate Conference of the South, beginning in the 2022-23 academic year. Nine member institutions of the USA South Athletic Conference have officially formed and approved by the NCAA as a new Division III athletic conference, following a planned separation of the USA South. This new conference, the "Collegiate Conference of the South" (CCS), will include Agnes Scott College, Belhaven University, Berea College, Covenant College, Huntingdon College, LaGrange College, Maryville College, Piedmont University, and Wesleyan College.
According to William Sperow, head basketball coach and athletic director at Wesleyan, "The presidents and athletic directors from the nine-member schools of the newly formed Collegiate Conference of the South have worked diligently to make this historic change. We will continue to work to make the CCS a great NCAA DIII conference for our student-athletes. The new conference will increase our ability to have our member schools achieve NCAA tournament play in the future."
The USA South is currently the nation’s largest NCAA Division III conference, with nineteen member institutions. After years of internal discussions, a two-conference separation strategy emerged, and more recently, the USAS Presidents Council formally committed to the establishment of two viable conferences. The NCAA Division III Membership Committee officially incorporated the new CCS in the State of Georgia on January 12, 2022 and application materials for conference membership were officially approved on Thursday, February 17.
Dr. Vivia Fowler, Wesleyan College president, said, “This is a positive step for Wesleyan and for our student athletes as we reduce their time on the road and away from classes. Wesleyan looks forward to continuing to play schools in Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Alabama--and on occasion, non-conference games with some of our former USA South colleagues.”
In addition to sharing the member institutions’ geographic identity, the name, “Collegiate Conference of the South,” is indicative of their shared commitment to academic excellence, which is commensurate with the NCAA Division III philosophy. The CCS plans to officially begin full-time operations in summer 2022 and compete in 14 championship sports beginning in fall 2022. The championship sports for women are basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball, and for men are baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, and track and field. The sports of football, women’s golf, and men’s and women’s lacrosse will continue to compete in the USA South as associate members.
Contact: Dr. Kurt Patberg, 404-434-5146 or firstname.lastname@example.org