The Deep South Rugby Conference is seeing a huge shift in their conference for the upcoming fall season but some confusion still lingers on what exactly is going on.
The change up in the conference began last semester during the annual conference. Here, Spring Hill College announced that they would be leaving the conference to move up as a D1AA independent.
Since the meeting, no one is entirely sure what the fate of the conference would be.
When speaking with conference commissioner Marqiece Cunningham he stated, “Previously, we maintained two divisions within the DSRC–D2 and NSCRO–which could only play teams from their respective division. USAR has allowed for hybrid conferences in which cross-divisional matches can count towards matrix. The D1AA do have a few more requirements to meet for matrix competition though.”
To put this more simply, the conference no longer hosts DII teams but rather will split with half of the conference going NSCRO (South AL, Troy & Southern Miss) and the other half moving up to D1AA (LA Tech, Tulane & ULL) with Spring Hill College leaving the conference entirely.
Some confusion still sits in the air as some teams are unsure if they are even in the conference anymore. When speaking with South Alabama player, Jordan Johnson, he explained they moved to NSCRO because, “The increased competition and being able to have players from schools without a rugby team.” Following that, when asked if they were still in the Deep South he replied, “I don’t think so.”
Other teams believe some teams are leaving while adding new ones. When asked if they will remain in the conference, La Tech’s 8-man Will Crawford stated, “Yeah we are its just that the teams are different. I think La Tech, ULL and Tulane are the only ones still in. LSU-A, Loyola, and some of them have joined I think.”
Finally one conference member believes the whole conference has gone D1AA. ULL center, Rod Blouin Jr. explains, “We were not giving the option of leaving. However, I don’t believe Deep South is still D2, I think they changed it to D1AA.”
With no one sure what direction the conference is going and it will prove interesting how the 2016 season turns out. More questions still arise such as what who will take the Deep South’s playoff spot at nationals? Can there be a conference champion with teams playing in two different divisions? What is the playoff system like for teams in their respective divisions?
Now we simply wait and see.