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The Southern Athletic Association (SAA) is a conference that competes in NCAA Division III. It was founded in 2011 by seven former members of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) plus former D-III independent Berry College, and began play in 2012. All of the founding members, located in Southern states, remain in the SAA today, and no new schools have become full members.

The formation of the SAA was largely driven by the desire of certain SCAC members for a more geographically compact league. At the dawn of the 2010s, the SCAC had an unusually large geographic footprint for a D-III league, with members ranging from Indiana in the north to Texas in the south, plus an east-west span from Kentucky to Colorado.

A harbinger of the split came in 2010 when DePauw announced its departure for the North Coast Athletic Conference effective in 2011.[1] At that time, DePauw's place was taken by the University of Dallas, which became the SCAC's fourth Texas member.[2]

Shortly before DePauw's formal departure, the school's student newspaper reported that four SCAC members—Centre, Hendrix, Rhodes, and Sewanee—had notified the league that they planned to leave after the 2011–12 school year.[3] In June 2011, the four named schools, plus three other SCAC members (Birmingham–Southern, Millsaps, and Oglethorpe) and D-III independent Berry, announced they would form a new D-III conference that eventually became the SAA.[4]

Current members

Institution Location Type Nickname Joined
Berry College Mount Berry, Georgia Private (nondenominational) Vikings 2012
Birmingham–Southern College Birmingham, Alabama Private (United Methodist) Panthers 2012
Centre College Danville, Kentucky Private (Presbyterian) Colonels 2012
Hendrix College Conway, Arkansas Private (United Methodist) Warriors 2012
Millsaps College Jackson, Mississippi Private (United Methodist) Majors 2012
Oglethorpe University Brookhaven, Georgia Private (nonsectarian) Stormy Petrels 2012
Rhodes College Memphis, Tennessee Private (Presbyterian) Lynx 2012
Sewanee: The University of the South Sewanee, Tennessee Private (Episcopal) Tigers 2012


External links

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