The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announced that Savannah State University has been extended provisional membership to the MEAC beginning July 1, 2010, as voted on by the conference’s Council of Chief Executive Officers (CCEO’s).
A press conference is set for 5 p.m. on Friday, March 12, in the post game interview room of the Joel Coliseum. An additional press conference will take place on Wednesday, March 24 in Savannah, Georgia.
“We are pleased to extend membership and welcome Savannah State University to the MEAC family,” said MEAC Commissioner Dennis E. Thomas. “The addition of SSU keeps us in compliance with our long range and strategic plan of adding up to 14 members. Adding SSU to the membership completes the geographical footprint that bridges our South Carolina and Florida institutions.”
Commissioner Thomas added, “I would like to commend Dr. Yarbrough, President, Dr. Flythe, and the entire SSU family for all their hard work as we welcome this outstanding academic institution into the conference.”
As a provisional member, SSU must be in compliance with three (3) stipulations by September 1, 2011 before full membership status into the MEAC is granted. The stipulations include (1) student-athlete scholarships, (2) athletic budget, and (3) staffing.
“We are very proud to be admitted to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The MEAC affiliation will enhance our status in terms of athletic competitions while building valuable relationships that will go well beyond the playing fields and courts,” said Earl G. Yarbrough Sr., Ph.D., president of Savannah State. “On behalf of the students, faculty, staff, alumni and boosters, we extend appreciation to MEAC Commissioner Dennis Thomas, MEAC presidents/chancellors and others for this vote of confidence.”
“MEAC membership means a lot for our student-athletes because they’ll spend less time on the road and more time in class,” said Claud Flythe, vice president for Administration, which includes athletics. “This gives our students the opportunity to interact with their peers from other HBCUs, and for the first time in a long time, they can look forward to post-season play.
Savannah State originally applied for membership into the MEAC in 2006 but faced an NCAA probationary period soon after. The membership application was deferred until the completion of the probation in May 2009. Savannah State resubmitted the application again in 2009. The Tigers will become the only MEAC institution to compete from the state of Georgia.
The addition of SSU marks the second expansion for the MEAC this academic year. North Carolina Central University was announced as a new conference member to the conference in September, 2009. Prior to NCCU, Winston-Salem State became the 12th member but will return to Division II following the 2009-10 academic/athletic season. The MEAC expanded in the 90’s with the inclusion of Norfolk State in 1997 and Hampton in 1995.