Belhaven University is one of nine member institutions of the USA South Athletic Conference (USAS) that will be breaking away to form a new NCAA Division III athletic conference.
The Collegiate Conference of the South (CCS) will include Agnes Scott College, Belhaven, Berea College, Covenant College, Huntingdon College, LaGrange College, Maryville College, Piedmont University, and Wesleyan College.
“The creation of the Collegiate Conference of the South provides an ideal grouping of schools who all share our similar characteristics—private institutions, commitment to prioritizing academics, and balanced quality athletic programs,” Belhaven University President Dr. Roger Parrott said. “I’ve especially been impressed with the outlook of this wonderful group of member presidents who have a deep commitment to assuring a high quality athletic and academic experience for our student athletes.”
The move comes after years of internal discussions within the USAS about the creation of a two-conference separation strategy. The USAS is currently the nation’s largest Division III conference with nineteen members.
“We are grateful to our USA South colleagues for the productive and collegial manner in which this separation has been approached, and we are immensely excited about the possibilities which lay ahead for the new Collegiate Conference of the South,” CCS Chair Dr. Bryan F. Coker said. “In addition, we are thrilled that the NCAA has supported our application for membership as we move toward full competition in the fall of 2022.”
The championship sports for men are baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, and track and field, and for women are basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. The sports of football, women’s golf, and men’s and women’s lacrosse will continue to compete in the USA South as associate members.
Belhaven is one of three Division III institutions in Mississippi.