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The Keydets moved to the Big South in 2003, hoping to be more competitive.
The Roanoke Times | File 2012
VMI football players and coaches pose for a team picture taken by John R. Bell (off camera) during media day at Foster Stadium.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
VMI is among three schools being strongly considered for membership in the Southern Conference beginning in 2014, a source told The Roanoke Times on Thursday night.
The other two schools posturing for a bid to the Charlotte, N.C., based league are East Tennessee State and Mercer, current members of the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Officials from all three schools met with Southern Conference brass Thursday in Charlotte.
The Southern Conference will be losing longtime football powers Appalachian State and Georgia Southern after this season. The two schools that have combined for 22 league football titles have committed to joining the Sun Belt Conference in the fall of 2014.
VMI, which has competed in the Big South since the 2003-04 season, enjoyed a lot of success in the Southern Conference from 1924 before exiting the league. The Keydets captured SC football titles in 1951, 1957, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1974 and 1977. The school's other major sport, basketball, won three SC hoops titles. That included the 1976 and '77 teams that made the NCAA Tournament.
The three additions would give the SC 10 football-playing members with the loss of Appalachian State and Georgia Southern. Those members include Wofford, Chattanooga, Samford, The Citadel, Furman, Elon and Western Carolina.
The SC has 12 basketball-playing schools and could lose longtime league power Davidson, which reportedly has had a dalliance with the Atlantic 10.
The source said SC officials will tour the grounds and facilities of all three prospective additions in the next week. The final decision on the new members will voted on by SC athletic directors in the league meetings May 28-31 in Hilton Head, S.C.
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