MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The 2016 Big South Conference basketball, baseball, and outdoor track and field championships will be moving from Myrtle Beach/Coastal Carolina University, Commissioner Kyle B Kallander announced Wednesday.
Coastal Carolina announced August 31 they would be joining the Sun Belt Conference as of July 1, 2016; conference laws note that members leaving with less than two years notice are not eligible to host championships.
The 2016 Big South Men's and Women's Basketball Championships will be split into two seperate events.
- The men's championship will be held Thursday-Sunday, March 3-6,
- The women's basketball championship will follow the week after Thursday-Sunday, March 10-13.
Both events will be bid out to parties interested in hosting, with an expected decision by early November.
The 2015-16 Big South women's basketball schedule has been adjusted to reflect the additional week to the regular season, which is now ending on Saturday, March 5, according to Big South Sports.
According to Big South Sports, Liberty University will now host the 2016 outdoor track and field championships May 10-12. The site of the 2016 baseball championship will be announced later this fall.
The Big South Conference has been working through basketball championship contract details with the institution and the Myrtle Beach Chamber since Coastal Carolina's announcement.
A news release said, all parties agreed to move the predetermined championships, but in the interest of fairness to CCU's student-athletes, the institution would be allowed to host championships with "earned seed" formats. Those championships include the first round of men's and women's soccer, and women's lacrosse.
CCU Athletic Director Matt Hogue said," While we are disappointed about the restructuring of the championships for the upcoming year including that of the basketball tournaments, It was imperative that we reach an agreement that would protect our student-athletes' ability to compete for league championships, postseason privileges and the right to host those championship contests determined by seeding. We have accomplished those goals and our programs will remain focused on continuing the tremendous record of excellence throughout this season and beyond."
Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce President Brad Dean said," We are disappointed the Big South Championships won't be returning to our community next year, but we respect the decision made by the Conference and appreciate the 3-year partnership. We've enjoyed a positive impact from the tournament and look forward to a future partnership with the Sun Belt Conference once CCU joins their ranks."
For previous coverage on the CCU Sun Belt announcement, visit the link here.
Note: In the video, reporter Conor McCue states that soccer is one of the sports included in the Big South Conference - it is not. WMBF News apologizes for this error.