The MEAC has been planning to rebuild its conference membership with new members after experiencing an exodus of former members that bolted for other conferences over the past few years.
Two of those new members could be NCAA Division II Kentucky State of the SIAC and Virginia State of the CIAA. Both schools are mulling the possibility of moving up to the Division I level to become new members of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
“There have been conversations. No decision has been made. The University is weighing the opportunity,” KSU President Dr. M. Christopher Brown II told HBCU Sports. “There are strengths to remaining in the SIAC and exciting opportunities in shifting to the MEAC.”
A source with knowledge of the situation at Virginia State also confirmed there have been talks with the MEAC and said the school is currently conducting a feasibility study to weigh the pros and cons of leaping to Division I.
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Kentucky State, a member of the SIAC since 1997, registered upset wins in football against Division I teams Robert Morris and Jackson State during the 2019 season. Virginia State has been a member of the CIAA since 1920 and currently sponsors 16 men’s and women’s athletic programs.
If either school decides to make the move to Division I, the process could take as long as three to four years.
The MEAC is down five schools since 2017
The rebuilding process for the MEAC will not happen overnight, considering that five schools have left the league since 2017.
After moving from Division II to Division I to become a member of the MEAC in 1998, Savannah State left the conference in 2017 to move back down to the Division II level.
Hampton left the MEAC in 2018 to join the Big South Conference, with North Carolina A&T later announcing in February 2020 to officially join the Big South on July 1.
Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman were the latest schools to leave the MEAC to become members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference effective the 2021-22 academic year.
“As with many challenges intercollegiate athletics faces, it also provides opportunities for new conference expansion,” said the MEAC conference in a June 2020 statement. “The MEAC has been a transformative and dynamic conference in its nearly 50 years, and we look forward to an even brighter future.”