Plans are currently in motion to move Piedmont College to the USA South Athletic Conference, the school announced Monday in a joint press conference with the commissioner of the conference, Rita Wiggs.
The SAC is an NCAA Division-III conference that currently includes teams in North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Tennessee.
"We are delighted to accept the invitation for membership offered to Piedmont College by the USA South Athletic Conference," Piedmont athletic director John Dzik said. "Our coaches and student athletes look forward to forging new relationships, and we believe Piedmont will provide the USA South growth, stability and quality athletic competition."
The move to the SAC comes a little more than a decade after Piedmont became a charter member of the Great South Athletic Conference, and means that all Piedmont student-athletes will now have the opportunity for postseason competition beyond conference tournament play. The GSAC's season ends at the conclusion of its conference tournament.
Though Piedmont has spent the last decade competing in the GSAC, college president Ray Cleere noted that the school has faced USA South teams in recent years across a variety of sports.
"We are vigorously accepting this invitation to join the USA South," Cleere said. "We believe we can be highly competitive in the leagues, and we look forward to our new athletic associations."
Commissioner Wiggs said Piedmont shared a similar academic and athletic profile with existing USA South teams.
"The conference has conducted extensive reviews," Wiggs said, "and the time is now right for USA South and Piedmont College to become partners for the future."
Dzik said Piedmont will continue to compete in GSAC play during the upcoming 2011-12 school year, before making the switch to USA South competition in the 2012-13 school year. The college will enter as a full member of the conference, and will be immediately eligible for automatic bids to compete in postseason NCAA tournaments in all sports.