Hampton University accused the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference on Tuesday of levying "vindictive sanctions" and requesting "unreasonable demands" ahead of the university's transition from the MEAC to the Big South Conference next season.
The university said in a lengthy news release that the MEAC's treatment toward Hampton -- refusing to sit down and talk to the university about its upcoming transition to the Big South, among other complaints -- is no more than a punishment of its student-athletes.
"I am appalled that, after a 22-year rewarding and productive relationship and numerous conference championships, the MEAC wants to hang Hampton University student-athletes out to dry," Hampton University Senior Vice President Paul C. Harris said in a statement. "These are the same talented young people whose NCAA appearances have resulted in millions of dollars being poured into MEAC coffers.
The press release from the university comes just one day after a Virginian-Pilot report indicated Hampton would not play a MEAC football schedule in 2018 as it had originally requested, and instead is hustling to put a schedule together.
Here's what the university said in clarifying that matter.
Reports from athletic officials at some MEAC schools that Hampton University has opted out of playing Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) football opponents in the 2018 season are inaccurate and misleading. The truth is that Hampton University has offered to play a full schedule of MEAC football games in 2018, but the MEAC refuses to sit down and talk to Hampton University about any transition to the Big South Conference. Instead, they have issued a set of unreasonable demands which Hampton University finds totally unacceptable.
The Hampton Pirates men's basketball team has made multiple NCAA Tournament appearances as the MEAC's representiative, most recently in 2016. Their most notable showing came in 2001 when, as a 15 seed, they stunned No. 2 Iowa State to advance to the Round of 32 before falling to Georgetown.