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Metro Conference: Wikis


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The Metropolitan Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, popularly known as the Metro Conference, was an NCAA Division I athletics conference, so named because all of its charter members were in urban metropolitan areas in, or at least on the fringes of, the Southern United States. The conference never sponsored football, although most of its members throughout its history had Division I-A football programs (from 1983-91, all Metro schools had independent football programs). In 1995 it merged with the Great Midwest Conference to form Conference USA. The merger was driven mainly by football, as several Metro Conference members had been successfully lured to larger conferences that sponsored the sport.

The conference was popularly known as the "Metro 6" during its first season, then as the "Metro 7" during the rest of the 1970s and early 1980s. For most of its existence, it was considered a "major" conference.

In 1978, Georgia Tech left the Metro for the Atlantic Coast Conference. In 1991, Florida State joined the ACC, and then South Carolina joined the Southeastern Conference. However, South Carolina rejoined the Metro for 1993 and 1994 men's soccer seasons in that sport only, because the SEC does not offer the sport for men (four schools are required to sponsor a sport; the SEC had just three, now two). Charter members Cincinnati and Memphis State also left the conference in 1991 to become charter members of the Great Midwest. To replace them, three of the stronger non-football schools from the Sun Belt Conference shifted to the Metro.

In 1993, the Metro and Great Midwest conferences began reunification talks that led to the creation of C-USA. However, the Virginia schools filed a lawsuit in order to prevent the merger from happening, which ultimately failed. VCU joined the Colonial Athletic Association where it continues to be a member with in-state rivals George Mason University, James Madison University, Old Dominion University and The College of William and Mary. Virginia Tech (who were banking on an invitation to join the Big East Conference) were left out of Conference USA, and joined the Atlantic 10 Conference (they are now in the Atlantic Coast Conference). They were joined by Great Midwest member Dayton, who was intrigued by the prospect of playing against Xavier. South Carolina was not permitted to participate in the Conference USA for men's soccer, although they were admitted ten years later, also bringing along Kentucky, the only other soccer school in the SEC.



Charter Members

  • Cincinnati (1975-91)**
  • Georgia Tech (1975-78)
  • Louisville (1975-95)**
  • Memphis (1975-91)*
    • Was known as Memphis State University at the time. The name change did not take effect during this period.
  • Saint Louis (1975-82)**
  • Tulane (1975-95)*
    • From 1984 through 1989, Tulane dropped its men's basketball program after a point shaving scandal but remained a member of the conference in all other sports.

Later Joined

  • Florida State (1976-91)
  • Virginia Tech (1979-95)
  • Southern Miss (1982-95)*
  • South Carolina (1983-91, 1993-94 men's soccer only) *MS
    • The Southeastern Conference does not sanction men's soccer as only two schools offer the sport (four are required to sponsor a sport). When the Gamecock men's soccer program rejoined C-USA in 2005 after ten seasons as an independent, fellow SEC conference member Kentucky, the other school, left the Mid-American Conference to follow their SEC brethren.

Joined after Conference Split

* School remains in the reunified Conference USA. ** School was charter member of Conference USA, but has since left for another conference.


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