A recommendation has been made that Middle Georgia State College seek to join the NAIA for purposes of competing in intercollegiate athletics.
Charles Mullis and James Hagler, the two men currently overseeing recreation and athletics programs at Middle Georgia College and Macon State College, respectively, spoke to a group of administrators from the two colleges on Thursday. Both men have been involved in discussions with various consultants about how MGSC should proceed with regard to college athletics.
Currently, Macon State offers club sports programs, including football and baseball, while Middle Georgia is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and fields six athletic teams — men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, baseball and softball. Discussions have been taking place about what level of athletics should be fielded at some point in the future after the colleges merge, which is expected to occur in January.
Mullis said there are two primary options — to join the Southern States Athletic Conference, which belongs to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), or to seek membership in the Gulf South Conference, whose teams are members of Division 2 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
He said the NAIA option has been recommended to Interim President John Black.
Black is not expected to act on the recommendation anytime soon. He indicated he wants a committee to study what athletic programs should be offered, costs, how the athletic programs would be funded, facilities, locations for events, etc. Furthermore, a decision isn’t required right away, because applications to join athletic associations don’t need to be filed for several months.
Mullis said that if MGSC wanted to join NAIA, the next available application deadline is Oct. 1, 2013, and if the application were approved the college could not start competing at that level until the Fall of 2014.
So, for the time being, MGSC plans to maintain its membership in NJCAA and compete against other colleges at that level.