As we referenced earlier today East Tennessee State was expected to join the Southern Conference and now it seems as if the move is official. In a joint move the Buccaneers will join with VMI of the Big South Conference and fellow Atlantic Sun member Mercer.
SoCon commissioner John Iamarino commented on the additions to the conference:
"The addition of these three institutions will solidify the Southern Conference and ensure our position as a vibrant league with a bright future," Iamarino said. "We are delighted to invite three quality institutions, two of which are returning to a home they previously enjoyed for many years.
"Our membership is excited about rekindling old rivalries and establishing new ones. Most importantly, we’ve been able to grow while not extending our geographic footprint to an extreme extent." via Brian Foley
Like VMI, ETSU will be returning to the Southern Conference from a nearly decade long absence. The Johnson City based school was a member of the SoCon from 1978 to 2005. ETSU is the second Tennessee based school joining Chattanooga.
The Bucs are coming of a 10-22 season, which was their first losing season ever in their Atlantic Sun history. They are expected to make their SoCon transition in unison with the other schools for the 2014-15 season.