Big South Conference to move 2016 championships from CCU

The Big South Conference announced Tuesday plans to move the 2016 Big South Conference basketball, baseball and outdoor track and field championships out of Myrtle Beach and Coastal Carolina University.

Conference members leaving with less than two years notice are not eligible to host championships, according to Big South Conference bylaws.

Officials said Tuesday the 2016 Big South Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships will split into two separate events. The men’s championship will happen March 3-6, followed by the women’s basketball championships March 10-13.

“Both events will be bid out to parties interested in hosting, with an expected decision by early November,” a press release stated.

The conference announced Liberty University will host the 2016 Outdoor Track and Field Championships from May 10-12. No site has been determined for the 2016 Baseball Championship.

In August, Coastal Carolina University announced plans to join the Sun Belt Conference as of July 1, 2016.

“Since Coastal Carolina’s announcement, the Big South Conference has been working through basketball championship contractual details with the institution and the Myrtle Beach Chamber,” officials further stated in a press release. “All parties agreed to move the predetermined championships, but in the interest of fairness to Coastal Carolina’s student-athletes, the institution would be allowed to host championships with “earned seed” formats.  Those championships include the first round of men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s lacrosse.”

Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Brad Dean released the following statement to News13:

““While we are disappointed the championships will not be returning for 2016, we understand the circumstances and appreciate our partnership over the past few years.  The Big South Basketball Championships have provided the Myrtle Beach area with a sizeable amount of national publicity and economic impact.  Big South players, coaches and fans have been loyal Myrtle Beach visitors, and we wish all of these student athletes the best.  While we are grateful for our past athletic partnership with the Big South Conference, we also look forward to welcoming Sun Belt Conference players, coaches, and fans to the Grand Strand.”

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