DURHAM – North Carolina Central University announced today that the athletic programs will join the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. “We now have a home,” N.C. Central athletics director Dr. Ingrid Wicker-Mcree said this afternoon.
N.C. Central officials, including university chancellor Charlie Nelms, announced the details of the decision at a news conference inside McLendon-McDougald Gymnasium on the school’s campus.
MEAC commissioner Dennis E. Thomas addressed the crowd, saying “welcome back” to a school which had been an original member of the conference.
The move to the MEAC comes in N.C. Central’s third year of its reclassification from NCAA Division II to Division I.
Wicker-Mcree said the athletic program must now complete its NCAA Division I certification process, which will take an estimated two years to complete.
Meanwhile, the Eagles will start their conference schedule in all sports in 2011.
N.C. Central becomes the third state university to join the MEAC along with Winston-Salem State and N.C. A&T State.
N.C. Central athletes and coaches welcomed the conference news with a sigh of relief.
“It’s big in all aspect of the program,” N.C. Central men's basketball coach LeVelle Moton said. “Just to have an opportunity to be on that even stage, it gives them an opportunity. Now they know they can be a part of the one shining moment: March Madness.”
The current schools in the MEAC are: Bethune-Cookman, Coppin State, Delaware State, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, Hampton, Howard, Maryland Eastern Shore, Morgan State, Norfolk, N.C. A&T State, South Carolina and Winston-Salem State."
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