Men's Lacrosse Joins the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference
The Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference has formally announced the addition of five men's lacrosse-playing institutions from the USA South Athletic Conference. The five – Ferrum College, Greensboro College, Huntingdon College, Methodist University and Piedmont College – will begin play as affiliate members effective the 2013-14 academic year.
The SCAC Board of Directors, by a unanimous vote, extended the invitation to the five. "The additions of Ferrum College, Greensboro College, Huntingdon College, Methodist University and Piedmont College will strengthen the sport of men's lacrosse within our conference and reestablish our commitment to providing national championship access to our student-athletes," said SCAC commissioner Dwayne Hanberry.
"I would like to thank USA South Athletic Conference commissioner Rita Wiggs for her assistance in putting this alliance together," said Hanberry. "Our member institutions share and embrace similar values and standards; this is a win-win situation for student-athletes on both sides of the equation."
The SCAC currently has four core members who sponsor men's lacrosse: Centenary College of Louisiana, Colorado College, the University of Dallas and Southwestern University. Once Centenary College has cleared provisional Division III status (the Gents are on schedule to be a full Division III member in 2014-15), coupled with the additions of the five USA South institutions in 2013-14, the SCAC will have nine institutions sponsoring men's lacrosse and will be eligible for NCAA automatic qualification status in the sport in 2016-17.
Once regular season play begins in 2013-14, the conference will divide into two divisions – with the USA South institutions in the East and the current SCAC institutions in the West. The top two teams from each division – based on regular season conference records – will meet for the SCAC championship. The location of the conference tournament will rotate among the campuses of the East and West schools with the first combined SCAC championship tentatively scheduled for an East division site in 2014.
"This is huge for the programs involved in the USA South," said Greensboro College head coach Dan Cetrone. "Joining the SCAC gives us the opportunity to compete in league play, for a conference championship and for our players to earn conference recognition and honors. This is an exciting opportunity for all of the team's involved and for the growth of lacrosse in the USA South."