Several HBCU Baseball Programs Making Conference Changes

The Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) has approved Talladega College as a full-time baseball conference member, as announced by the SSAC. The Tornadoes officially became a member July 1, 2021, and will begin active league participation in the 2021-2022 academic year.

The move will bolster the conference’s membership in baseball, as the SSAC adds its second HBCU baseball program along with Stillman College which joined the SSAC in 2018.  

Talladega baseball has had recent success at the national level, with baseball national tournament bids in four NAIA National Opening Round tournaments (2014, 2017, 2018, and 2019) and four Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) championships. 

The Tornadoes continue to schedule the nation’s top ranked baseball teams in the NAIA Top 25 Coaches Poll scheduling 25 to 35 games each season. The SSAC boasts of typically having around five teams ranked yearly, such as Loyola University, Middle Georgia State University of Moble, Faulkner University, and William Carey University that Talladega schedules each season.  

Talladega College is no longer a member of the conference formerly known as the Association of Independent Institutions.

Instead the A.I.I. has formed the new Continental Athletic Conference (CAC) which will offer the largest collection of National Association of Intercollegiate Athletic baseball institutions from across the nation, Canada and a U.S. territory, to compete starting in the 2021-2022 athletic season.

HBCUs Morris College and Voorhees College will compete against Bacone College (Oklahoma), Cottey College (Missouri), Crowley’s Ridge College (Arkansas), Fisher College (Massachusetts), Fisk University (Tennessee), Florida College, Florida National University, Georgia Gwinnett College, Haskell Indian Nations University (Kansas), Iowa Wesleyan University, Lincoln Christian University (Illinois), Northern New Mexico College, Penn State Schuylkill, University of Virgin Islands, University of Victoria (British Columbia), Washington Adventist University (Maryland) and Wilberforce University (Ohio). 

Neither Wilberforce University or Fisk University have baseball programs, but are HBCU institutions.

With the departure of Talladega to the Southern States Athletic Conference and both Morris and Voorhees to the Continental Athletic Conference, it is not clear if Tougaloo College and Rust College will become members of the newly aligned CAC. Neither has applied for membership or if their membership status with the GCAC/A.I.I. will allow for a transition.

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