JACKSON, Tenn. - The Mid-South Conference announced the addition of Bethel University, Freed-Hardeman University and Martin Methodist College Thursday afternoon in Jackson, Tennessee. The schools will join the MSC in the 2020-21 season as the 10th, 11th, and 12th full members of the conference.
“This is a great day for the Mid-South Conference. President, Dr. Paul Stumb was very instrumental in helping with this process with Commissioner, Eric Ward and Assistant Commissioner, Chris Wells.” Cumberland Director of Athletics Ron Pavan stated.
Bethel, Freed-Hardeman, and Martin Methodist joining the conference reignites old TranSouth Conference rivalries for Cumberland. The move also raises the number of MSC teams in Tennessee to four. “It is great to get these three Tennessee institutions back with Cumberland University and the Mid-South Conference.” said Pavan.
Cumberland President, Dr. Paul Stumb agreed saying, "We are so excited to welcome three in-state, local schools into the Mid-South Conference. This will foster healthy competition between natural rivals because of their close geographic proximity."
Bethel and Martin Methodist affiliates with the Mid-South after spending the last six years in the Southern States Conference, while Freed-Hardeman comes in after spending the same period with the American Midwest Conference.
With the MSC expanding to 12 full time members, the conference is currently discussing the possibility of reorganizing the divisions into a northern and southern one, having Cumberland, Bethel, Freed-Hardeman and Martin Methodist in the Southern Division.