HBCU Gameday – Breaking: Bethune-Cookman University leaving MEAC for SWAC

Three weeks after its rival jumped, Bethune-Cookman University is now ready to sail west and join SWAC.

The Bethune-Cookman University Board of Trustees voted Thursday to leave the MEAC and join the SWAC, the University announced:

BCU would leave the MEAC on June 30, 2021, the same day that North Carolina A&T and FAMU will withdraw, and join the SWAC the following day.

“The move from Bethune-Cookman to the Southwestern Athletic Conference is clearly the best thing for the University, particularly during this major shift in higher education and intercollegiate athletics,” said President Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite. “We believe this is a logical next step in the evolution of our university. Furthermore, it reflects our commitment to strengthen the competitiveness and long-term viability of the University, while providing the best possible experience for our student athletes.

SWAC goes at twelve

This move will give SWAC 12 teams, giving them an opportunity to maintain divisional play in all sports.

“We are very excited to welcome Bethune-Cookman University to the Southwestern Athletic Conference,” said SWAC Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland. “Wildcats undoubtedly align with our basic principles and strategic plan; and they also align with our overall vision and progress within our strategic plan. The addition also brings to our league an academically skilled institution, a world-renowned music band, along with an enthusiastic base of alumni, fans, and supporters.

Meanwhile, the MEAC will be scaled down to just six soccer schools, provided no other MEAC school decides to announce a move before July 1. Delaware State University, the northernmost member of the conference, has been discussing the change of conferences for several months, according to notes from the Governing Council made available by the school.