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Three schools to join in 2020 --

JACKSON -- The Mid-South Conference announced the addition of Bethel University, Freed-Hardeman University, and Martin Methodist College during a joint press conference held Thursday afternoon in the boardroom of the Jackson Chamber of Commerce..

The schools will join the NAIA affiliated MSC in the 2020-21 season as the 10th, 11th, and 12th full members of the conference.

“This is a great day for the Mid-South Conference," said Cumberland Director of Athletics Ron Pavan.

"Our President Dr. Paul Stumb, was instrumental in helping with this process along with MSC Commissioner Eric Ward and Assistant Commissioner Chris Wells.”

Bethel, Freed-Hardeman and Martin Methodist joining the conference reignites old TranSouth Conference rivalries for Cumberland.

The move also raises the number of MSC teams in Tennessee to four.

“It is great to get these three Tennessee institutions back with Cumberland University and the Mid-South Conference,” Pavan said.

Cumberland President, Dr. Paul Stumb agreed saying, "We are so excited to welcome three in-state, local schools into the Mid-South Conference."

"This will foster healthy competition between natural rivals because of their close geographic proximity."

Bethel and Martin Methodist affiliates with the Mid-South after spending the last six years in the Southern States Conference, while Freed-Hardeman comes in after spending the same time frame with the American Midwest Conference.

With the MSC expanding to 12 full time members, the conference is currently discussing the possibility of reorganizing into Northern and Southern divisions for all sports except football -- having Cumberland, Bethel, Freed-Hardeman and Martin Methodist designated for the Southern Division.

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