Mississippi College is pleased to announce the NCAA's decision to approve our application to begin the NCAA Division II membership process and rejoin the Gulf South Conference.
Comprised of former longtime rivals like Delta State University, the University of West Alabama, the University of North Alabama, and 2012 national football Division II champion Valdosta State University, the Gulf South Conference will be a terrific home for the Mississippi College Choctaws. In addition, we will create new rivalries with incoming GSC members such as sister Baptist-affiliated institutions Union University in Jackson, Tennessee and Shorter University in Rome, Georgia. Christian Brothers University in Memphis is another one of the GSC member schools, a nice mixture of public and private institutions.
Being in the Gulf South Conference will also strengthen media exposure levels for Mississippi College around the South and the nation. Every fall, CSS broadcasts GSC football games of the week that reach thousands of viewers throughout the region. It may take a couple of years, but we would welcome a televised CSS broadcast on the Clinton campus when the Choctaws renew their gridiron series with Delta State before a packed house at Robinson-Hale Stadium.
Switching back to the Gulf South Conference will save a tremendous amount of time for our student-athletes. It will shorten the lengthy road trips that have taken MC players to distant points around Texas, some as far away as 16 hours, and result in a considerable cost-savings. Traveling to GSC campuses for road contests in such cities as Cleveland, Mississippi, Memphis, Tennessee, Pensacola, Florida, Livingston, Alabama and Florence, Alabama would give our student-athletes much more time in our classrooms in Clinton.
Mississippi College would be able to once again offer scholarships to our student-athletes. It would open doors for young men and women across the USA to receive a first-rate education as they compete in the 15 NCAA sports on the Clinton campus. It's another way to spread the message about the merits of our fine Baptist-affiliated institution, and we see it as a boost for the university's enrollment.
The transition to NCAA Division II is a three-year process which begins in the 2013-2014 academic year and ends with Mississippi College as an active member of NCAA Division II in the fall of 2016.
Throughout the 2013-2014 academic year Mississippi College will be part of the candidacy year one class and will continue to compete against NCAA Division III American Southwest Conference members.
During the second year candidacy period, Mississippi College's athletic schedules will begin to include Gulf South Conference members such as Delta State University, University of Alabama at Huntsville, University of North Alabama, Christian Brothers University, Valdosta State University and the University of West Florida, but will not yet be eligible to compete in Division II playoffs.
During the 2015-2016 academic year, Mississippi College will be granted provisional membership into NCAA Division II and will continue to play Gulf South Conference teams but will not yet be eligible to compete in NCAA Division II playoffs.
In the fall of 2016, Mississippi College will complete the Division II membership process and be eligible to compete in NCAA Division II playoffs.
To learn more about how you can support Mississippi College, contact our Development Office at 601.925.3256.