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Posted by Chris Wells - Thu, Mar. 29, 2012 - [ Football ] - Viewed 2312 times

WALESKA, Ga. -- Reinhardt University has recently been accepted as a football-playing member of the Mid-South Conference. Reinhardt begins intercollegiate competition in football during the 2013 season and becomes an official associate member of the MSC on July 1, 2013.

"I am so excited for us to be a part of a solid football league like the Mid-South as it provides us with a great home and opportunity to compete with some of the best teams in the NAIA," Reinhardt athletic director Bill Popp said. "The Mid-South Conference was obviously our first choice as a home for our new football program because of the fine colleges and universities associated with the league. We know this is the right place for us to grow our program and hopefully to be able to be competitive in one of the top conferences in all of the NAIA."

The MSC office is located in Louisville, Ky., with Steve Baker serving as commissioner. Affiliated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, the football-playing conference members represent institutions located regionally in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Virginia. The projected divisional setup for football in 2013 includes Reinhardt in the West Division with Belhaven University (Jackson, Miss.), Bethel University (McKenzie, Tenn.), Campbellsville (Ky.) University, Cumberland University (Lebanon, Tenn.), Faulkner University (Montgomery, Ala.) and Lindsey Wilson College (Columbia, Ky.). Making up the East Division are Bluefield (Va.) College, the University of the Cumberlands (Williamsburg, Ky.), Georgetown (Ky.) College, Kentucky Christian University (Grayson, Ky.), the University of Pikeville (Ky.), Union College (Barbourville, Ky.) and the University of Virginia's College at Wise.

"We are excited to be in the Mid-South Conference," Eagles head football coach Danny Cronic said. "It will be a true challenge to compete in that conference."

Reinhardt became a member of the Appalachian Athletic Conference in the 2009-10 academic year. The AAC, however, does not sponsor football as a championship sport, so the university was forced to look elsewhere for a conference affiliation. The majority of Reinhardt's athletic teams will continue competing as members of the AAC.

"Reinhardt is an excellent addition to the Mid-South Conference as an associate member and we look forward to them joining one of the top football conferences in the NAIA," Baker said. "I'm confident in their commitment to their student-athletes and to character-based athletics. I'm also confident in their commitment to our conference. Our presidents voted unanimously in support of Reinhardt and we look forward to them beginning membership in 2013."
 
Story provided by Steve Ruthsatz, Reinhardt University