Conference Move Will Renew Old Rivalries

Athletics // August 23, 2019

During a joint press conference at the Jackson Chamber Boardroom in Jackson, Tennessee, the presidents of Bethel University, Freed-Hardeman University and Martin Methodist College announced their schools’ transfers to the Mid-South Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Teams will first compete in their new conference in the 2020-21 academic year.

Bethel and Martin Methodist will join the MSC after six years with the Southern States Conference, and FHU will be moving after six years in the American Midwest Conference. This move puts four former TranSouth Conference rivals (these three and Cumberland University who moved to the MSC in 2012) back in the same conference. The MSC has discussed plans to create northern and southern divisions; FHU, Bethel, Cumberland and Martin Methodist would be in the Southern Division.

FHU President David Shannon said, “We are thrilled to partner with Bethel and Martin Methodist to make this announcement. By joining Cumberland and the other universities, we will play more conference games in areas where we have large numbers of prospective students, alumni and friends.”

The Mid-South Conference began in 1995 with eight charter members. Nine full members and 25 affiliate members now call the Mid-South Conference home. The full members include Campbellsville University, Cumberland University, University of the Cumberlands, Georgetown College, Life University, Lindsey Wilson College, University of Pikeville, Shawnee State University and Thomas More University. Its home office is in Bowling Green, Kentucky.