Elon Joins Southern Conference

Thursday, May 30, 2002

The Southern Conference Executive Committee Thursday voted to accept the recommendation of the league's Expansion Committee and extend an invitation to Elon University to join the Southern Conference.

The addition of Elon will keep the SoCon's membership at 12. VMI announced last fall that it will leave the SoCon for the Big South Conference. Elon is currently a member of the Big South.

A news conference will be held on Friday, May 31 at Elon University where University President Dr. Leo Lambert and Director of Athletics Dr. Alan White along with Southern Conference Commissioner Dr. Danny Morrison will make a formal announcement.

"We are delighted to have Elon join the Southern Conference," said Dr. Bruce Grube, the president of Georgia Southern University and the chair of the league's Council of Presidents.

"The institution fits all of the criteria we were seeking in a new member: it is within our regional footprint, it has a competitive football program and it has quality academic programs."

Elon University sponsors 16 intercollegiate sports: seven for men and nine for women. The men's sports include football, cross country, soccer, basketball, baseball, golf, and tennis. Women's sports include volleyball, cross country, track and indoor track, soccer, basketball, softball, golf, and tennis.

"Elon's football program has been able to crack the national rankings in
recent years," said Georgia Southern Director of Athletics Sam Baker.
"While many consider the Southern Conference to have the best brand of
football in I-AA, I would expect Elon should provide strong competition
during the league schedule."

The Southern Conference's expansion committee visited the Elon campus on April 8-9 and was impressed by both the academic and athletic programs.

"A number of our members who had not been on the Elon campus in over a decade, were both amazed and impressed with the beauty of the campus and the quality of the facilities," said Dr. Ted Monroe, the faculty athletics representative from Wofford College and the president of the Southern Conference.

"Furthermore, while one could easily recognize the tremendous improvement in the physical plant, as a faculty member, it was also great to see that same kind of improvement in the academic program," said Monroe. "Just as importantly, we were very impressed with their leadership."

"This is a strong, positive step forward for the Southern Conference," said Dr. David Knight, the faculty athletics representative at UNC Greensboro. "Elon's stature, on both the regional and national levels, is growing annually."

Elon became an NCAA Division I member in 1997. In just a short period since moving up from the Division II level, the Phoenix have experienced some memorable and high profile success. The football team defeated Furman in 1999, a year in which the Paladins would tie for the SoCon crown and earn a berth in the NCAA Playoffs. The Phoenix baseball team defeated national power the University of Miami in two of three games this season and also beat the Hurricanes in 1999, a year in which UM won the national championship.

Founded in 1889, Elon has experienced rapid growth in recent years. With an undergraduate enrollment of 4,160, Elon is North Carolina's second largest private university, trailing only Duke and having a larger undergraduate student body than Wake Forest.

We believe Elon will be a strong member of the Southern Conference, said Morrison. Elon has been a very competitive member of every conference in which they have belonged. Over the last 23 years, Elon has won 53 conference championships and had over 500 student-athletes named to all-conference teams.

The Southern Conference is an NCAA Division I athletics conference
consisting of 12 member institutions in the states of Georgia, North
Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia with headquarters in
Asheville, N.C.

Members include Appalachian State, College of Charleston, The Citadel, Davidson, East Tennessee State, Furman, Georgia Southern, UNC Greensboro, Chattanooga, Virginia Military Institute, Western Carolina and Wofford College.


Lookouts - Barons Thursday Double Header Postponed

For the second consecutive day, the Lookouts have been unable to play the Birmingham Barons at AT&T Field due to inclement weather. Thursday night's scheduled games were cancelled following the same on Wednesday night. Game one will be made up  tomorrow  ( July 3rd ) as part of a doubleheader at  5:15 p.m .  Both games will be seven innings ... (click for more)

Tickets Sell Out In 1 Day For U.S. Women’s National Team Soccer Match At Finley Stadium

Tickets sold out in one day for the U.S. Women’s National Team’s match against Costa Rica at Finley Stadium.  There will be over 20,000 fans in attendance on Wednesday, Aug. 19, at 6:30 p.m. The match will be on ESPN2. Officials said it is just the fourth sellout in the history of the 18-year-old stadium. It sold out faster than the prior three sellouts. ... (click for more)

Healy Says Bass Pro Shop At East Ridge To Get Underway Next Month, New Hotel, Restaurants Planned Nearby; Sewers Are An Issue

Commercial realtor John Healy said Thursday that construction is set to start next month on the Bass Pro Shop at Exit 1 in East Ridge. He said it is due to open next May. Mr. Healy also said Wolftever Development that is carrying out the project has also bought additional land near the Bass Pro Shop site at the entrance to Camp Jordan Park. He said one purchase is America's Best ... (click for more)

Work Set To Start In October On $28 Million Retail, Office, Apartment Development At The 700 Block of Market Street

An Atlanta developer said work will start in October on a $28 million retail, office and apartment complex in the long-vacant middle of the 700 block of Market Street. Boyd Simpson of the Simpson Company said the project was made possible because his firm also owns the adjacent SunTrust Tower and can use some of its excess parking for occupants of the new building. He said ... (click for more)

Police Need To Stop The Road Cowboys - And Response (2)

Where is our highway patrol?  If they were known to regularly patrol our interstate highways through our city I don't think it would take long before the "truckers" were aware of it.  There are places in our country where this is the case.   When I have traveled Interstates 24 and 75 I may see the occasional car pulled over but rarely if ever is it an 18-wheeler. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Pre-Fourth Observations

I hate to do this, right on the heels of my monthly ‘Walk in the Garden,’ but I have more things on my desk that I dare not leave unnoticed before tomorrow’s Star-Spangled celebration. Foremost is the plea to anyone who shoots off firecrackers to please wear eye protection and ask watchers to stand back. Our eye doctors say firecracker-related injuries have doubled in the last three ... (click for more)