Monday January 9, 2012
AUGUSTA, GA – The Peach Belt Conference Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Young Harris College has been invited to become the league’s 14th member, effective July 1, 2012. The board unanimously voted to extend the invitation during a conference call on Monday.
“We took an in depth look at Young Harris through the application process and came away impressed by the dedication of President Cox and her staff to making Young Harris a premier NCAA Division II athletics program,” said PBC Board Chair Dr. Kendall Blanchard of Georgia Southwestern State University. “The vision they have and the groundwork that has been laid are outstanding. It is with pleasure that we invite Young Harris to the Peach Belt family.”
Young Harris College is transitioning into NCAA Division II and is a candidacy year one member. When they become league members in July, the Mountain Lions will be immediately eligible for all regular-season championships without automatic bids, and all other PBC awards, including All-Conference and All-Academic honors for its student-athletes. YHC will not be eligible for participation in any PBC Championships which award automatic bids to NCAA Tournaments until they become a full-fledged member of Division II.
“Young Harris is a perfect fit for our conference,” said PBC Commissioner David R. Brunk. “The commitment they have made to provide a quality academic and athletic experience for their student-athletes will enable them to be competitive in our league immediately. The foundation they have established in a short time will allow them to continue to grow and be successful for years to come, and we are excited to be able to share in that growth and success. President Cathy Cox and Athletic Director Randy Dunn have made a commitment to both Division II and the Peach Belt Conference, and we welcome them with open arms.”
The addition of Young Harris brings the Peach Belt to 14 member institutions, the most the conference has had in its 21-year history. Located about two hours north of Atlanta, in the town of Young Harris, Ga., the college will play basketball in the PBC west division, giving both the east and west the same number of teams for the first time in three years. YHC becomes the first new member of the Peach Belt since Flagler College and the University of Montevallo joined in 2009. North Georgia College & State University and Georgia Southwestern State University both joined the PBC in 2006 while making the transition from the NAIA. Young Harris joins Flagler as the only private institutions in the Peach Belt.
“We are very excited that the Peach Belt wants Young Harris College to be a part of this prestigious Division II conference,” said YHC President Cathy Cox. “I would like to thank Commissioner Brunk and all of the member-institution presidents for their support. The Mountain Lions look forward to competing against some of the best student-athletes in Division II athletics.”