May 19, 2005
Americus - Georgia Southwestern rolled out the red carpet Thursday for a delegation from the Peach Belt Conference.
Georgia Southwestern is hoping to become the newest member of the Peach Belt Conference and the conference's fact finding visit is a pivotal part of the application process in the Hurricanes bid to leave the NAIA for the NCAA Division II level.
The Peach Belt Conference is looking to replace Kennesaw State and North Florida who are both moving to division one in the fall.
North Georgia accepted an invitation to join the Peach Belt last summer and Georgia Southwestern is hoping they will asked to join the league this year.
The delegation toured the Georgia Southwestern campus this morning including the school's new 22 million dollar student success center that is set to open this summer.
Commissioner Marvin Vanover says the conference will also look to see how Georgia Southwestern's athletic program would fit with the Peach Belt Conference.
Vanover said "We look at the institutions in the terms of the quality athletic programs that they have. The number of sports that they offer for both men and women and how compatible those sports are with what we have already declared in our conference. In other words what they can bring to the table for us and at the same time we explain to them about our conference and our pluses and so forth and see if it would be a good marriage. And they have to decide on their part and we have got to decide over here."
Georgia Southwestern president Michael Hanes will make a formal presentation to the conference during their annual meeting in June.
After that presentation, the presidents of the member schools will vote on Georgia Southwestern's application for membership.