MEAC tells Hampton, not so fast…

by Donal Ware

The Mid Eastern Athletics Conference has officially and finally responded to Hampton leaving the MEAC for the Big South Conference. In a press release issued by the league, the MEAC wanted to ” to set the record straight regarding the University’s pending departure from the conference.

In essence the MEAC broke proper protocal and ignore the MEAC’s Constitution and Bylaws – which the MEAC said Hampton is well aware of – in regards to officially leaving the conference. The MEAC says that Hampton should have informed it that HU was leaving the conference by July 1, 2017; Hampton announced its plans on November 16, 2017, more than four months after the deadline.

You can read below in its entirety the press release that the MEAC issued Wednesday. A league spokesperson said MEAC Commissioner Dennis Thomas would not comment at this time.

We will catch up with him on BOXTOROW once he is made available. I will talk more about this on BOXTOROW this weekend on a radio station near you.


NORFOLK, Va. – In response to the recent press release from Hampton University, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference offers the following facts to set the record straight regarding the University¡¦s pending departure from the conference.


The MEAC is a proud conference comprising 13 outstanding institutions of higher learning.  While we are disappointed that Hampton University wishes to join another conference, the MEAC respects its right to do so and wishes Hampton well in its transition.


We respect Hampton¡¦s right to act on what it perceives as its own best interest, but we also expect Hampton to honor its obligations to MEAC and member institutions under MEAC¡¦s legally binding Constitution and Bylaws ¡V which Hampton has failed to do.


The thread that binds our member institutions is the Constitution and Bylaws, and every school agrees to follow these dictates when they join the MEAC. As a MEAC member for 22 years, Hampton is fully aware of our Constitution and Bylaws, and the authority spelled out within those documents.


There is and can be no dispute Hampton is aware of the proper way to make the withdrawal.   There is and can be no dispute that other schools have withdrawn from the MEAC¡Xin accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws of the conference¡Xwith no dispute or friction because they followed the rules.


Hampton, however, has admitted it missed the July 1, 2017 deadline for any institution to withdraw from the conference as of June 30, 2018, as Hampton has indicated it plans to do. Hampton announced this decision on Nov. 16, 2017 ¡V more than four months after the deadline.


Hampton¡¦s failure to meet the deadline and plan to withdraw in June has resulted in consequences as prescribed in our Bylaws. Among the consequences:

  • Hampton must play a full 2018 football schedule against MEAC teams as a non-conference institution. (As of July 1, 2018, Hampton has declared itself a Big South Conference institution);

  • As a non-conference institution, Hampton would not be eligible for Conference championships, MEAC postseason games and accolades;
  • Hampton must play a full MEAC football schedule for the 2019, 2020 and 2021 seasons unless their scheduled MEAC opponents agree not to play;
  • Hampton is not eligible for any MEAC revenue distribution after their departure from the conference on June 30, 2018;
  • Hampton must pay a penalty, which our Bylaws give the Conference the authority to assess when member institutions fail to follow MEAC policies.


Hampton¡¦s decision to ignore the Bylaws and its subsequent actions have created confusion for member institutions and others, and forced MEAC institutions to begin revising their 2018 sports schedules. 


We want everyone to know the MEAC has no animosity toward Hampton University, our long-time conference member institution, and that we wish them the best. However, the MEAC has an obligation to enforce the conference rules that have been designed to protect the best interests of our member institutions, students-athletes, coaches and staff who attend and support our institutions.

About the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) begins its 48th year of intercollegiate competition heading into the 2017-18 academic school year. Located in Norfolk, Va., the MEAC is made up of 13 outstanding historically black institutions across the Atlantic coastline: Bethune-Cookman University, Coppin State University, Delaware State University, Florida A&M University, Hampton University, Howard University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Morgan State University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, Savannah State University and South Carolina State University.

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