Following the emergency board of trustees meeting last week at Bethune-Cookman, as first reported by HBCU Gameday, there is a statement about the possibility of switching conference affiliation. Athletic Director Lynn W. Thompson issued the following statement to our Vaughn Wilson.
“Bethune-Cookman University has enjoyed a great partnership with the MEAC for forty years. However, like many other institutions across the nation, we are presently engaged in an analysis to assess all options available to us regarding athletic conference affiliation. Toward this end, we will continue to follow the directive of our Board and institutional leadership to ensure our alignment with an athletic conference that best meets the long-term needs of Bethune-Cookman University.”
Last week’s meeting comes on the heels of Florida A&M’s decision to leave the MEAC for the SWAC. We reported that BCU is not only considering the SWAC but potentially the ASUN Conference as well.
Bethune-Cookman between conferences heading in different directions
FAMU was working under the pressure of making a decision before July 1. That is the annual deadline of having to inform the MEAC of a decision to leave. One could only imagine that BCU is working on a decision with that same deadline in mind.
It is also feasible to consider that FAMU’s decision to leave the conference has influenced BCU. Another potential mitigating factor would be the bevy of recent departures, notably North Carolina A&T and Hampton. The SWAC is trending with growth while the MEAC is rapidly taking on water. Whether or not it is fixable or terminal remains to be unseen.
The departure of FAMU also leaves Bethune-Cookman as the lone member of the MEAC in the sunshine state. With Savannah State now gone, the closest MEAC opponent is South Carolina State, which is five hours away. Trips to schools like Morgan State, Coppin State, and Delaware State are all north of 800 miles.