Rumors seem to be turning into fruition when it comes to the Southern Conference, as it has been announced by multiple outlets that Mercer has been invited and accepted an invitation to the SoCon.
Mercer University will announce today its joining the Southern Conference starting in 2014 including scholarship football.— Pete Roussel (@coachingsearch) May 30, 2013
Mercer joins VMI to help replace departing members Davidson, Charleston, Georgia Southern, Elon, and Appalachian State. Word from the conference meetings in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina is that the conference has also issued an invite to former member East Tennessee State.
Losing both Mercer and ETSU would bring the Atlantic Sun conference down to just eight members and only seven schools eligible for the conference basketball tournament.
Mercer is a charter member and the longest tenured member that has remained in the Atlantic Sun. The Bears membership spans back to 1978 when the ASun was known as the Trans America Athletic Conference. To add insult to injury, the conference offices are also located in the same town as Mercer (Macon, GA).
The Bears are coming off two tremendous seasons that have culminated in 51 wins, a regular season Atlantic Sun title, a CIT Tournament title (2012), and a NIT birth (2013). Mercer finished with a KenPom rating of 113 this past season, which ranked ahead of every Southern Conference school except Davidson (60).