On Tuesday, the Big South Conference announced that the school’s football conference would merge with the Ohio Valley Conference beginning with the 2023 season.
Over the past month, there has been movement in the Big South conference as Hampton, Kennesaw State, Monmouth, North Alabama and, most recently, North Carolina A&T all jump ship to different conferences for the 2022 football season. .
This left only Charleston Southern, Campbell, Gardner-Webb and Robert Morris as members of the school’s football conference, which forced the Deep South to look elsewhere for other options to compete.
Without merging with another conference, the Deep South would not be able to send its conference champion to the FCS playoffs with an automatic offer due to the low number of participating schools.
“The Big South and Ohio Valley Conference merger is exciting for college football,” RMU coach Bernard Clark said. “It gives our program more opportunities to face high quality teams and start new rivalries. It’s also another step forward as we continue to build this program.
The four remaining Big South schools will join UT Martin, Southeastern Missouri, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech and Eastern Illinois as part of the merger.spoke about the conference merger in a statement to the Deep South on Tuesday,
“The world of intercollegiate athletics is changing, and all members of the OVC look forward to working with Dr. Creed and the rest of the Presidents of the Deep South to establish a new paradigm for FCS football in our region. “said OVC Board Chairman Dr. David Glassman. “Furthermore, we welcome the participation of other leagues interested in working together for the betterment of intercollegiate athletics.”
The association will have an initial term of four seasons while the administration will work on the 2023 programming schedule in the coming months.