Hampton Leaving MEAC for Big South

November 17, 2017

Hampton University, one of the nation's most prestigious historically black institutions, will leave the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and join the Big South Conference next season.

MEAC’s membership is composed of historically black colleges and universities, and Hampton’s departure means the conference will lose a university with some of the best athletic facilities and finances in the league, The Virginian-Pilot reported.

Hampton President William Harvey said in a statement that the move will benefit the institution in terms of geography. Big South members are located in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

MEAC’s membership also centers around Maryland, Washington and Virginia, but a couple of member universities are located in Florida. Hampton is in Virginia.

"This means our student athletes will spend less time traveling and more time in classes on campus," Harvey said in a statement. "This keeps the proper focus on academics, which is our chief reason for being. The smaller geographic footprint will also reduce travel expenses."

Hampton has been discussing joining the Big South for more than three years, the Pilot reported.

Likely, the university will not play football in its inaugural season with the Big South.

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