Spartanburg, S.C. -- The University of South Carolina Upstate becomes an official member of the Big South Conference on Sunday, July 1, 2018. USC Upstate makes its move to the Big South Conference from the ASUN Conference, which it joined in fall of 2007 when its athletic teams moved from Division II status and began competing as a Division I institution.
"I could not be more pleased and excited that the University of South Carolina Upstate is now a member of the Big South Conference," said Chancellor Brendan B. Kelly. "This is a tremendous opportunity for the Upstate Spartans. Our athletic teams will be more competitively matched with colleges in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia."
The USC Upstate Spartans become the Big South's 11th full member institution with its teams being immediately eligible for conference championships. The Spartans field 17 varsity sports: basketball, soccer, tennis, golf, cross country, and track and field for both women and men; baseball for men; and softball and volleyball for women.
"On behalf of our student-athletes, coaches and staff, I can't express strongly enough how excited we are to officially join the Big South Conference," said Daniel Feig, USC Upstate's new athletics director. "This is a watershed moment for USC Upstate Athletics, and we look forward to a long and prosperous partnership with the Big South. This move allows us to rekindle rivalries with many schools from our past, while also creating new rivalries with schools from our region that have significant familiarity with our fan base."
Transitioning to the Big South will create a new experience for the 250 USC Upstate student-athletes who will be given opportunities to thrive both on and off the field.
"The teams we will compete against are located within 300 miles of each other," said Kelly. "Just the reduction in team travel time means 1,200 fewer classes will be missed by the student-athletes, allowing them to succeed academically, athletically, and socially."
With the addition of USC Upstate, the Big South Conference will have four members based in South Carolina (Charleston Southern, Presbyterian, USC Upstate, Winthrop), as well as four based in North Carolina (Campbell, Gardner-Webb, High Point, UNC Asheville) and three in Virginia (Hampton, Longwood, Radford).
"The Big South is thrilled to add USC Upstate as a new member," said Big South Commissioner Kyle Kallander in an initial announcement last fall. "From its commitment to the success of its student-athletes, to athletics excellence, to its geographic proximity in the heart of the Big South, the Spartans are a wonderful fit. We thank Chancellor Kelly and the USC Upstate leadership for their interest and confidence in the Big South. This is a partnership that will make us all better."
About USC Upstate
The University of South Carolina Upstate is a regional comprehensive university offering more than 40 undergraduate and graduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, business administration, nursing, and education. Located along the I-85 corridor in Spartanburg between Greenville and Charlotte, USC Upstate is ranked by U.S. News & World Report at #2 among Top Public Schools. It serves as a major talent producer for the region, with more than 6,000 students, approximately 1,300 new graduates a year, and nearly 30,000 alumni, many of whom live and work in the state. The USC Upstate Spartans compete in 17 NCAA Division 1 sports as a member of the Big South Conference. For more information, visit www.uscupstate.edu.
About the Big South Conference
Founded in 1983, the Big South Conference is an exemplary leader in college athletics, dedicated to developing student-athletes through the pursuit of excellence in the classroom, community and field of play. The league's growing presence as an NCAA Division I athletic conference is made evident by its multitude of athletic accomplishments, innovative marketing and media partnerships, increased television packages and most importantly, its commitment to fostering the academic, personal, social, athletic and leadership development of its student-athletes. Currently comprised of 10 member institutions sharing a common geographic region and similar academic values and purposes, the Big South's history of achievement is characterized by the league's 19 championship sports and the profound academic and life successes of its nearly 3,500 student-athletes.
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