Conference Carolinas Unveils Addition of Shorter University and Return of Football in 2025 - Conference Carolinas Skip To Main Content

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Conference Carolinas Unveils Addition of Shorter University and Return of Football in 2025

Conference Carolinas Unveils Addition of Shorter University and Return of Football in 2025

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GREENVILLE, S.C. – The Conference Carolinas Board of Directors have voted unanimously in favor of the addition of Shorter University as the 15th member of the NCAA Division II conference.  

“We are extremely excited about this historic announcement for Conference Carolinas,” Commissioner Chris Colvin said. “The addition of Shorter University allows us the opportunity to add another institution that aligns tremendously with our conference beliefs and values, while also being a first-class institution with a commitment to a strong athletics program. They also accomplish our overall goal of continuing to make our conference stronger, particularly with our recent announcement of our commitment to a three-division model in certain sports. We know they will help us continue to lead the way in the classroom, in the community and at the highest levels of competition as we continue to strive daily to work with our member institutions to help develop champions in body, mind and soul.”

Shorter has accepted its invitation and will officially begin competition in Conference Carolinas in the 2024-25 academic year. 
The addition of Shorter will also allow Conference Carolinas to sponsor football as a conference sport for the first time since 1974-75. The conference will officially start sponsoring football in the 2025-26 academic year. Conference Carolinas football will feature Barton, Chowan, Erskine, UNC Pembroke, North Greenville and Shorter in the 2025 season.
“This is a huge announcement for Conference Carolinas,” Colvin said. “It has been a priority for us to find a way to bring football back to Conference Carolinas, and the addition of Shorter allows us to align with our member institutions to sponsor the sport. We have a great deal of work ahead of the 2025 season, but all of us in Conference Carolinas could not be any more excited. We look forward to working with all of our member institutions as Conference Carolinas football grows and thrives in the years to come.”

Conference Carolinas Board of Directors President/King University President Alexander Whitaker is thrilled to welcome Shorter to the league as the institution aligns tremendously with the mission and values of Conference Carolinas.  
“I know I speak for all Conference Carolinas Presidents when I say how excited we are to have Shorter University join our exceptional group of schools,” Whitaker said. “Shorter’s mission certainly aligns with our focus on developing student-athletes in all aspects of their lives - body, mind and soul. And, speaking personally, as a native of Rome, Georgia, it will be good to see those from my hometown competing and watching conference sports on all of our campuses. It is a good day, indeed, for our student-athletes, coaches and institutions.”

The Shorter department of intercollegiate athletics, an integral part of Shorter University’s mission of Transforming Lives Through Christ, is a comprehensive and nationally-recognized NCAA athletics program which positively reflects the interests and values of the institution's students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends who support its many endeavors. The athletics department fosters an environment that encourages degree completion, good citizenship, character and personal growth, while developing student-athletes who are positive role models and productive members of society.
“Shorter University is excited about joining Conference Carolinas, which holds a similar mission to Shorter in producing athletic champions in body, mind and soul,” Shorter President Dr. Donald Dowless said. “The institutions represented in Conference Carolinas closely resemble Shorter in strategic vision, enrollment, academic success and spiritual growth. As an institution rooted in and committed to Biblical truth, we strive for excellence because our Lord Jesus Christ has called us to exemplify Him through the gifts he has given each individual. Shorter University’s athletic program continues to gain momentum through committed coaches, faculty, staff, dedicated athletes and wonderful community support.”
Shorter sponsors 19 NCAA Division II varsity intercollegiate athletic programs. Shorter also sponsors two competitive cheerleading squads that compete nationally each year.
The Shorter University staff, students and coaches are all thrilled to be joining Conference Carolinas,” Shorter Director of Athletics Richard Hendricks said. “Conference Carolinas has a rich history in high-achieving student-athletes while staying competitive. North Greenville University recently winning the Division II baseball national Championship is a great example of the competition Conference Carolinas encompasses, and reflects what Shorter University strives for in our athletic vision. Our main goal is to help our students find Jesus Christ in body, mind and soul. Conference Carolinas will be a great fit for us and will serve our academic, athletic and spiritual mission well.” 

Conference Carolinas announced with the addition of Young Harris College in November of 2022 a move to a three-division model in the sports of men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, softball and women’s volleyball.

“Adding our 14th member in Young Harris and now our 15th member in Shorter allows us to be even more strategic with our scheduling models starting in the 2024-25 academic year,” Colvin said. “We are presently working hard behind-the-scenes with our Board of Directors and Directors of Athletics to make the three-division model successful starting in the upcoming academic year.”

Conference Carolinas has a rich tradition in roots that dates back to its inception on Dec. 6, 1930. The NCAA Division II athletics conference presently has member schools located in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Member institutions for the 2022-23 academic year are Barton, Belmont Abbey, Chowan, Converse, Emmanuel, Erskine, Francis Marion, King, Lees-McRae, Mount Olive, UNC Pembroke, North Greenville and Southern Wesleyan. Young Harris will officially join Conference Carolinas with the start of the 2023-24 academic year.

Conference Carolinas believes in the development and formation of the whole person in body, mind and soul. Our students are nationally recognized for their extraordinary success in the classroom, in the community and at the highest levels of NCAA competition. Conference Carolinas is built upon the idea of offering challenging NCAA competition in an environment that fosters both the academic and athletic achievements of its student-athletes. Conference members offer exemplary educations and scholarships for performance in the classroom and on the field. Conference Carolinas and its members are committed to challenging adversity and building tomorrow's leaders. 

Conference Carolinas is a sole sponsor of 23 sports and collaborates with two other conferences to offer opportunities in four additional sports for a total of 27. The conference will be the sole sponsor of 24 sports (28 total including collaborations with other conferences) beginning in 2023-24. That number will advance to 25 sports (29 total including collaborations with other conferences) with the addition of football in the 2025-26 academic year.

The ability to provide its membership sports sponsorship in 29 sports is the most in all of NCAA Division II. In addition, Conference Carolinas also provides championship opportunities for its member institutions in esports and spirit (cheerleading and dance).

This is all in addition to holding Developmental Championships for its member institutions. A Developmental Championship will be held in men’s and women’s soccer, men’s basketball and baseball in the 2022-23 academic year.

Conference Carolinas is believed to be the first NCAA conference to offer sub-varsity championships to its members. 

Please visit to learn more about Conference Carolinas.  

Current Conference Carolinas Membership
*Atlantic Christian/Barton: 1930-31--present
Belmont Abbey: 1989-90--present
Chowan: 2019-20--present
Converse: 2008-09--present
Emmanuel: 2018-19--present
Erskine: 1995-96--present
Francis Marion: 2021--present
King: 2011-12--present
Lees-McRae: 1993-94--present
Mount Olive: 1988-89--present
UNC Pembroke: 1976-92; 2021-22--present
North Greenville: 2011-12—present
Shorter: 2024-25
Southern Wesleyan: 2016-17--present
Young Harris: 2023-24
*Charter Member
Twitter: @ConfCarolinas
Instagram: @ConfCarolinas