The Southern Conference, which begins its 93rd season of intercollegiate competition in 2013, is a national leader in emphasizing the development of the student-athlete and in helping to build lifelong leaders and role models.
The Southern Conference has been on the forefront of innovation and originality in developing creative solutions to address issues facing intercollegiate athletics. From establishing the first conference basketball tournament (1921), to tackling the issue of freshman eligibility (1922), to developing women’s championships (1984), to becoming the first conference to install the 3-point goal in basketball (1980), the Southern Conference has been a pioneer.
The Southern Conference is the nation’s fifth-oldest NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association. Only the Big Ten (1896), the Missouri Valley (1907), the Pac-12 (1915) and the Southwestern Athletic (1920) conferences are older in terms of origination.
Academic excellence has been a major part of the Southern Conference’s tradition. Hundreds of Southern Conference student-athletes have been recognized on Capital One Academic All-America and all-district teams. A total of 20 Rhodes Scholarship winners have been selected from conference institutions, including Wofford volleyball player Rachel Woodlee, who earned the honor last year.
The Conference currently consists of 11 members in five states throughout the Southeast and sponsors 19 varsity sports and championships that produce participants for NCAA Division I Championships.
The Southern Conference offices are located in the historic Beaumont Mill in Spartanburg, S.C. A textile mill that was in operation from 1880 until 1999, Beaumont Mill was renovated in 2004 and today offers the league first-class meeting areas and offices as well as a spacious library for storage of the conference’s historical documents.
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