((HT: Mercer University their own selves))
It's time for Level Two of Galactic Realignment to rear its ugly head...
After the loss of the College of Charleston to the Colonial and Davidson to the Atlantic 10, SoCon commissioner John Iamarino is not sitting idly by to figure out what to do.
He's bringing in Mercer, East Tennessee State, and VMI starting on July 1, 2014. ETSU and Mercer are leaving the Atlantic Sun Conference who has already lost Belmont. VMI is in the Big South Conference and will be SoCon full-time now in all sports. VMI is expected to formally ratify joining the league Friday when its Board of Visitors meets.
Mercer is in the Pioneer League in their first year of football, so in essence they get a mulligan year to figure things out before the SoCon and ETSU will be hitting the ground running with Phillip Fulmer as their fearless leader in 2016.
"The past several years have been a tumultuous time in intercollegiate athletics. Conference realignment has affected traditional rivalries and disrupted the geographic integrity of conferences across the country. Mercer's affiliation with the Southern Conference will, however, restore historic rivalries and reduce travel burdens on our student-athletes," Mercer President William D. Underwood said in one of those prepared statements. "We look forward to continued competition with our colleagues in the Atlantic Sun Conference in 2013-14. We have enjoyed close relationships with a number of outstanding academic institutions within the A-Sun that we anticipate will continue beyond our change in conference affiliation."
"We're honored to have Mercer become a member of the Southern Conference," said Southern Conference Commissioner John Iamarino "The combination of outstanding facilities, successful athletic programs and undeniable academic excellence makes Mercer a great fit for us. We're delighted they've accepted our invitation."
Here was Mercer's first-ever spring scrimmage as they get ready for season one...