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Big South announces changes to 2016 championships

The 2016 Big South Conference basketball, baseball and outdoor track and field championships will be moving from Myrtle Beach/Coastal Carolina University, it was announced Monday by Big South Commissioner Kyle B. Kallander.

Conference bylaws stipulate that members leaving with less than two years notice are not eligible to host championships. On Aug. 31, Coastal Carolina announced it would be joining the Sun Belt Conference as of July 1, 2016.

The 2016 Big South Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships will now be split into two separate events, with the men’s championship being held Thursday-Sunday, March 3-6, followed by the women’s basketball championship the next week on Thursday-Sunday, March 10-13. Both events will be bid out to parties interested in hosting, with an expected decision by early November.

Meanwhile, the 2015-16 Big South women’s basketball schedule has been adjusted to reflect the additional week to the regular season, which will now end on Saturday, March 5. Liberty University will now host the 2016 outdoor track and field championships May 10-12.

Since Coastal Carolina’s announcement, the Big South Conference has been working through basketball championship contractual details with the institution and the Myrtle Beach Chamber. All parties agreed to move the predetermined championships, but in the interest of fairness to Coastal Carolina’s student-athletes, the institution would be allowed to host championships with “earned seed” formats. Those championships include the first round of men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s lacrosse.