Southern Conference Mission Statement
It is the purpose of the Conference to:
- Facilitate intercollegiate athletics competition for both men and women;
- Promote a proper balance between academics and athletics;
- Foster integrity and excellence in both athletics and academics;
- Foster competitive amateur opportunities of a high quality for student-athletes in a broad spectrum of sports and championships;
- Promote an atmosphere of respect and sensitivity for the dignity of every person;
- Refrain from discrimination with respect to governance policies, educational programs, activities, and employment policies;
- Expect fair play and sportsmanship from all member institutions and their representatives to maximize the benefits received from athletics;
- Sustain intercollegiate athletics in the proper perspective while respecting the autonomy and character of each member institution;
- Anticipate and plan for the future needs of intercollegiate athletics in a spirit of cooperation and mutual benefit of the member institutions;
- Enhance the Conference enterprise and the visibility of the Conference and member institutions; and
- Comply with principles of responsible fiscal management of athletics by, of and for the Conference and the member institutions.
Characteristics of the Southern Conference
During its meetings in the spring of 2013, the Southern Conference membership held discussions aimed at identifying basic characteristics integral to the future of the Conference as it looks ahead to its new institutional lineup beginning in July of 2014.
Among the eight primary characteristics identified and shared by the new membership are the following:
- A commitment to superior academic performance by student-athletes;
- An understanding of the importance of being community-based programs;
- Striving to be strong competitively and achieving success;
- Embracing and celebrating the diversity of the member institutions that form the Conference;
- Believing in the geographic integrity of the Conference’s footprint;
- Celebrating and honoring the great history and tradition of a Conference in its 93rd year of competition;
- Placing a heavy emphasis on creating a positive student-athlete experience.
The Southern Conference
Preparing Student-Athletes for Life’s Challenges Since 1921
- The SoCon has consistently ranked in the NCAA’s top 10 in the Academic Progress Rate (APR), the NCAA’s best indicator of graduation rates.
- Nearly 50% of all SoCon student-athletes earn all-academic honors (3.0 GPA or better).
- Our student-athletes have a presence in the community and participate in many local charities, youth and educational initiatives.
- SAAC members have conducted a Keeping Tabs on Kids initiative the past eight years to benefit the Ronald McDonald House which serves families of children undergoing lengthy hospital treatments away from home.
- SoCon teams are highly competitive regionally and nationally.
- In the past five years football, baseball, men’s soccer, men’s and women’s golf have all sent multiple teams to NCAA postseason tournaments.
- SoCon teams have won more FCS football titles (8) than any other conference.
- This is a conference that takes great pride in the diversity of our institutions.
- Beginning in 2014, the SoCon will consist of 10 members in six states, including four private institutions and six state institutions, two of which are military colleges.
- SoCon believes in the value of a geographic footprint that minimizes missed class time and maximizes fan travel to away contests.
- Beginning in 2014, the league will extend across six contiguous states but still have a footprint that permits bus trips from one end of the conference to the other.
History & Tradition
- The SoCon is the 5th oldest Division I conference in America.
- Great coaches and athletes from different eras have competed in the Southern Conference from Bear Bryant to Lou Holtz, from Sam Huff to Terrell Owens, from Jerry West to Stephen Curry.
- For more than 30 years, the SoCon has presented an annual award to the program that displays the finest level of sportsmanship in the Conference as voted upon by its peers.
- The SoCon has one of the strictest policies regarding game ejections in all of college athletics. This is by design and emphasizes the priority of good sportsmanship articulated by presidents, chancellors and administrators.
- SoCon championships are conducted in a way to provide a memorable and positive experience for all participants.
- Scheduling decisions and tournament bracket formats determined by administrators and coaches consistently factor in the effect on the individual student-athlete and avoidance of missed class time.