The Southland Conference, in its relentless quest to add new members to its shrinking league, has managed to find three new affiliate members.
One of them happens to be HBCU Delaware State.
On Thursday, the league office announced that Delaware State, Augusta (Ga.) University and Francis Marion (S.C) University have become affiliate members in golf effective for the 2021-22 academic year.
“We are very pleased to welcome our new affiliate golf members to the Southland,” league Commissioner Tom Burnett said. “We look forward to a beneficial partnership with these institutions, providing outstanding championship experiences and NCAA access for the student-athletes of these programs.”
Delaware State’s women’s golf team had been independent since the program began in 2014 before signing the multi-year agreement with the SLC.
“Delaware State is excited and honored to have its women’s golf team join the highly-respected Southland Conference as an affiliate member,” said Alecia Shields-Gadson, DSU Interim Director of Athletics. “The Southland Conference has a tremendous academics and athletics tradition, and features outstanding Division I women’s golf. After competing as an independent since our program began in 2014, it’s great that our surging women’s golf team will now have the opportunity to swing for conference championships and honors, along with national tournament bids.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to have our team join the outstanding Southland Conference as an affiliate member,” said Delaware State Head Women’s Golf Coach Rick McCall. “The benefits of conference affiliation are numerous, including the opportunity to compete for league and national championships, along with individual and team awards. It will also aid our program in the areas of recruiting and scheduling. I’m grateful to Delaware State’s administration and the Southland Conference for this exciting move.”
The SLC’s new affiliate membership agreement with the three schools comes on the heels of a report that surfaced earlier this month that the conference targeted Prairie View, Texas Southern, Grambling and Southern to join as potential new members. Sources, however, have informed HBCU Sports that such a move involving those SWAC institutions is unlikely to happen.