SoCon Concludes Spring Meetings
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 06/03/2010
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The Southern Conference
Courtesy: Southern Conference

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. - The Southern Conference announced Thursday (June 3) that Asheville, N.C., has been awarded the league's men's and women's basketball tournament for 2012, 2013 and 2014.  The tournament site was selected by the league's athletic directors as part of the conference's annual Spring Meetings held this week (June 1-3).  The 2012 tournament will mark a return to Asheville, site of the men's basketball tournament from 1984-95.

The conference entertained proposals from six different cities Wednesday afternoon: Charleston, S.C., Charlotte, N.C., Chattanooga, Tenn., Greenville, S.C., and Winston-Salem, N.C. 

"We're thrilled to be returning to Asheville, a site where the Southern Conference enjoyed some of its most exciting basketball championships," said Southern Conference Commissioner John Iamarino.  "The City of Asheville clearly demonstrated its enthusiasm and commitment to hosting the tournament in its presentation to the membership.  We had six outstanding choices available, which illustrates the growing prestige of this event."

The 2012 men's tournament will be played in Asheville's Civic Center while the women's tournament will begin at UNC Asheville's Kimmel Arena.  The women's tournament semifinals and championship game will be played at the Civic Center.  As part of the city's bid, the local organizing committee has pledged $3.2 million in capital improvements to the 6,300-seat arena which will be completed prior to the 2012 tournament.

The conference also formally announced that all championships will be restored to full participation levels from the 2008-09 academic year.  The league's women's soccer, men's soccer and volleyball tournaments will all include eight teams.  The men's and women's tennis championships will include 11 teams and the 2011 Southern Conference softball championship will include all nine league teams.  The league announced future sites for each of those championships over the next three years.

Tuesday night's annual Southern Conference Honors Dinner recognized the league's award-winners from the 2009-10 season.  Among those recognized were Appalachian State's Armanti Edwards (Bob Waters Male Athlete of the Year) and Chattanooga's Shanara Hollinquest (Female Athlete of the Year).  Appalachian State was recognized for winning the Commissioner's Cup, presented to the top overall men's athletics program.  Samford University captured the Germann Cup, awarded to the conference's top women's athletics program.  In addition, the conference inducted its second Hall of Fame Class as part of the annual Honors Dinner.

Conference Championship - Future Sites

Chattanooga, Tenn. - 2011
Asheville, N.C. - 2012, 2013, 2014

Women's Soccer
Cullowhee, N.C. - 2010
Greensboro, N.C. - 2011
Birmingham, Ala. - 2012

Men's Soccer
Charleston, S.C. - 2010
Boone, N.C. - 2011
Greenville, S.C. - 2012

Charleston, S.C. - 2010
Birmingham, Ala. - 2011
Davidson, N.C. - 2012

Men's and Women's Tennis
Chattanooga, Tenn. - 2011
Charleston, S.C. - 2012
Elon, N.C. - 2013

Statesboro, Ga. - 2011
Boone, N.C. - 2012
Greensboro, N.C. - 2013

The Southern Conference, in its 89th season of intercollegiate competition, is a national leader in emphasizing the development of the student-athlete and helping build lifelong leaders and role models.  The 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), tackling the issues of freshman eligibility (1922), developing women's championships (1984) to becoming the first conference to install the three-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. 

The conference currently consists of 12 members in five states throughout the southeast and sponsors 19 varsity sports and championships that produce participants for NCAA Division I Championships.

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