Chris Wells, Sports Information Director
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Bethel University, Freed-Hardeman University, and Martin Methodist College officially join the Mid-South Conference as full-member institutions today, to start the 2020-21 academic year, MSC Commissioner Eric Ward announced this morning.
The three west Tennessee schools — located in McKenzie (Bethel), Henderson (Freed-Hardeman), and Pulaski (Martin Methodist) — announced on July 25, 2019, their intent to join the MSC for the 2020-21 academic year. The three schools bring the total full members to 12 in the MSC.
“It was incredibly exciting a little more than 11 months ago to announce that Bethel, Freed-Hardeman, and Martin Methodist were coming to the Mid-South Conference for the 2020-21 season,” Ward said. “Today, it is equally exciting to make it official. I would like to welcome the student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and alumni of these three outstanding institutions to the Mid-South Conference. We look forward to great competition while working together to make the Mid-South the best conference in the NAIA.”
Bethel and Martin Methodist come to the Mid-South from the Southern States Athletic Conference while Freed-Hardeman comes from the American Midwest Conference. All three institutions were originally part of the TranSouth Athletic Conference — which disbanded at the close of the 2012-13 academic year.
Cumberland University and Life University were also members of the TranSouth before moving to the Mid-South.
Before moving to full-time status for the upcoming season, Bethel and Martin Methodist were affiliate members of the Mid-South. Bethel competed in archery, bowling, football, and swimming while Martin Methodist competed in bowling.
All three new members are scheduled to compete in baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. Bethel and Martin Methodist will also compete in bowling and swimming while Bethel continues in archery and football.
The 12 full members are the most in the Mid-South South’s history. In addition to the 12 full-time members, the Mid-South boasts 25 affiliate members in nine sports. The full members include Bethel, Campbellsville University, Cumberland, University of the Cumberlands, Freed-Hardeman, Georgetown College, Life University, Lindsey Wilson College, Martin Methodist, University of Pikeville, Shawnee State University, and Thomas More University.
The Mid-South Conference was formed in 1995 to serve as the competitive base for the institutions’ athletic programs. The conference’s broad-based athletic competition for men and women offers championships in 29 sports.