In 2017 the MEAC’s total membership count consisted of 13 schools, two of which (Coppin State and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore) do not have football programs.
Since that time, three institutions have left the conference either for financial reasons or to join other leagues.
Savannah State announced in April 2017 its plans to reclassify its athletic program to move down from NCAA Division I to NCAA Division II to remain financially solvent.
Hampton abruptly announced plans to leave the MEAC for the Big South Conference in November of the same year.
In February 2020, North Carolina A&T followed suit when the school informed the MEAC of its plans to become a member of the Big South Conference in 2021.
And if that isn’t enough, Florida A&M appears to be seeking greener pastures as well. FAMU’s Board of Trustees is expected to vote this week on a plan that could set the course for the Rattlers to become the newest members of the SWAC as soon as next year.
If FAMU’s move to the SWAC is successful, and assuming no other teams will bolt the conference, the MEAC will become a seven-team football league consisting of Bethune-Cookman, Delaware State, Howard, Morgan State, Norfolk State, North Carolina Central, and South Carolina State.
With North Carolina A&T and Florida A&M removed, can the MEAC survive as a conference with the remaining seven football teams? Provide your input in the poll below.
Absolutely. The aforementioned teams can be replaced, not easily, but the show must go on. Look to regional HBCUs – Bowie St., West Virginia St., Lincoln (Pa.), UDC for new members. Travel is a challenge for HBCUs, especially now, so that factor must be given more weight/consideration than ever before.
Yes, but I don’t see Bethune-Cookman staying in the mix if they are the only school south of the Carolina’s.
It may be best for the MEAC too approach one of the schools from the CIAA our SIAC but I would also consider a PWI who is in the region to also fill the void left by losing a FAMU and NCAT is huge.
Will Augusta commit to other sports?
Or do you invite a West Florida our Valdosta State to fill the gaps.
A regional conference with six or seven teams could work very well but it will be tough.
I don’t see how it can survive, NSU has been looking around since Hampton jumped ship. SC State and BC have had serious financial problems recently. It would make more financial since for several of the MEAC schools to move down to D2 CIAA and SAIC.