UMBC to withdraw from Big South in '96

September 03, 1994

UMBC has informed the Big South Conference that it will withdraw from the league effective Aug. 31, 1996, athletic director Charles Brown said yesterday.

UMBC joins Towson State in defecting from the Big South, which has lost its automatic bid to the 1995 men's NCAA basketball tournament. The NCAA revoked the automatic bid after Campbell University left last spring, leaving the Big South short of six teams with at least five years of continuous league membership.

The Big South will regain its automatic bid to the tournament in 1996.

"Our decision is rooted in our desire to look at all our options in regard to conference affiliation," Brown said in a statement. "We continue to enjoy our association with the Big South. However, our location is incompatible with other league members and our late spring examination period has caused numerous scheduling conflicts."

Brown did not mention any conferences UMBC might be considering. Towson State will join the North Atlantic Conference on July 1, 1995, and UMBC has been mentioned as a possible candidate if the NAC decides to expand again.

UMBC has been in the Big South since 1992, after a two-year affiliation with the East Coast Conference.

"With Towson State's move . . . we understand the geographical difficulty that UMBC would have," said Big South commissioner Buddy Sasser.

UMBC's departure will leave the Big South with seven members: Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, Liberty, UNC-Asheville, UNC-Greensboro, Radford and Winthrop.

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