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Metro Conference

This article is about the NCAA Division I athletics conference that existed from 1975 to 1995. For other uses, see [[Metropolitan Conference (disambiguation)#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.Metropolitan Conference]].
Metro Conference
Metro Conference logo
Established 1975
Dissolved 1995
Association NCAA
Division Division I
Members 7 (final), 13 (total)
Metro Conference locations

The Metropolitan Collegiate Athletic Conference, popularly known as the Metro Conference, was an NCAA Division I athletics conference, so named because its six charter members were all in urban metropolitan areas, though its later members did not follow that pattern. The conference was centered in the Upper South with some strength in the Deep South. The conference never sponsored football, although most of its members throughout its history had Division I-A football programs (from 1983–91, all Metro schools had independent football programs). In 1995 it merged with the Great Midwest Conference to form Conference USA. The merger was driven mainly by football, as several Metro Conference members had been successfully lured to larger conferences that sponsored the sport.

The conference was popularly known as the "Metro 6" during its first season, then as the "Metro 7" during the rest of the 1970s and early 1980s. For most of its existence, it was considered a "major" conference.


The Metro Conference was founded in 1975 with institutions that were located in urban metropolitan areas in. The charter members were the University of Cincinnati, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Louisville, Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis), Saint Louis University and Tulane University. Florida State University joined in 1976.

In 1978, Georgia Tech left the Metro for the Atlantic Coast Conference, effectively on July 1, 1979; and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University replaced its spot in 1979. In 1982, Saint Louis left to join the Midwestern Collegiate Conference, now known as the Horizon League; while the University of Southern Mississippi replaced its spot in that same year. The University of South Carolina later joined in 1983.

In 1991, Florida State joined the ACC, and then South Carolina joined the Southeastern Conference. However, South Carolina re-joined the Metro for 1993 and 1994 men's soccer seasons in that sport only, because the SEC did not (and still does not) offer the sport for men (four schools were required to sponsor a sport; the SEC had just three, now two). Charter members Cincinnati and Memphis State also left the Metro in 1991 to become charter members of the Great Midwest. To replace them, three of the stronger non-football schools from the Sun Belt Conference (the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the University of South Florida and Virginia Commonwealth University) shifted to the Metro.

In 1993, the Metro and Great Midwest conferences began reunification talks that led to the creation of C-USA. However, the Virginia schools filed a lawsuit in order to prevent the merger from happening, which ultimately failed. VCU joined the Colonial Athletic Association. Virginia Tech (who was banking on an invitation to join the Big East Conference) was left out of Conference USA, and joined the Atlantic 10 Conference (it later joined the Big East in 2000 and is now in the Atlantic Coast Conference since 2004). It was joined by Great Midwest member Dayton, who was intrigued by the prospect of playing against regional rival Xavier.

Initially, South Carolina was not permitted to participate in Conference USA for men's soccer, although it was admitted ten years later, also bringing along Kentucky, the only other men's soccer school in the SEC (coincidentally, Tulane was a longtime SEC member from 1932 until 1966).

Proposed super conference

The Metro Conference also had studies into a new "Super conference" in 1990. The study was conducted by Raycom Sports. The conference would have included members of the Metro, Atlantic 10, and Big East conferences, but it was not clear if the conference would become a football-sponsoring conference as many of its members did in fact sponsor football but were either independents or belonged to other conferences. The original study plan also included Penn State.[1]

North Division South Division
Boston College East Carolina
Cincinnati Florida State
Pittsburgh Louisville
Rutgers Memphis State
Syracuse Miami
Temple South Carolina
Virginia Tech Southern Mississippi
West Virginia Tulane


Charter members

Institution Nickname Location Founded Type Enrollment Joined Left
University of Cincinnati** Bearcats Cincinnati, Ohio 1819 Public 41,357 1975 1991
Georgia Institute of Technology Yellow Jackets Atlanta, Georgia 1885 Public 21,557 1975 1978
University of Louisville** Cardinals Louisville, Kentucky 1798 Public 22,249 1975 2005
University of Memphis**, 1 Tigers Memphis, Tennessee 1912 Public 22,365 1975 1991
Saint Louis University** Billikens Saint Louis, Missouri 1818 Private (Roman Catholic) 13,785 1975 1982
Tulane University*, 2 Green Wave New Orleans, Louisiana 1834 Private (Non-Sectarian) 13,359 1975,

Later Joined

Institution Nickname Location Founded Type Enrollment Joined Left
Florida State University Seminoles Tallahassee, Florida 1851 Public 41,710 1976 1991
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Hokies Blacksburg, Virginia 1872 Public 31,087 1978 1995
University of Southern Mississippi* Golden Eagles Hattiesburg, Mississippi 1910 Public 17,968 1982 1995
University of South Carolina (MS : 2005) 3 Gamecocks Columbia, South Carolina 1801 Public 30,967 1983
1993 (MS)
1994 (MS)
Institution Nickname Location Founded Type Enrollment Joined Left
University of North Carolina at Charlotte***, (NF: 2013; F: 2015) 49ers Charlotte, North Carolina 1961 Public 25,277 1991 2005
University of South Florida**, (NF: 1996, F: 2003) Bulls Tampa, Florida 1956 Public 47,122 1991 2005
Virginia Commonwealth University Rams Richmond, Virginia 1818 Public 31,899 1991 1995

NF - Non-football school at the time but has since added football, first year of play listed.
* - Southern Mississippi remains in the reunified Conference USA for all sports.
** - School was charter member of Conference USA, but has since left for another conference. South Florida and Memphis are now members of the American Athletic Conference. *** - School left Conference USA, but has since returned. Charlotte was one of C-USA's charter members but left in 2005 to join Saint Louis in the Atlantic 10 Conference. After announcing football to begin play in 2013, Charlotte rejoined C-USA in all sports except football, which will undergo a two-year transitional membership. The school will begin football play in 2015 but is only conditionally eligible for postseason play that year.

1 - Prior to adopting its current name in 1994, the University of Memphis was previously known as Memphis State University.
2 - From 1985 through 1989, Tulane dropped its men's basketball program after a point shaving scandal and was expelled from the conference. It was re-admitted in 1989 when it re-instated men's basketball.
3 - After leaving the Metro Conference in 1991, South Carolina played two seasons as an independent in men's soccer, as the Southeastern Conference does not sponsor men's soccer. They rejoined the Metro for the sport only in 1993, but was not invited as part of reunification. When the program rejoined C-USA in 2005, Kentucky, the other remaining SEC school with men's soccer, left the Mid-American Conference to follow their SEC brethren.

Membership timeline

<timeline> DateFormat = yyyy ImageSize = width:1000 height:auto barincrement:20 Period = from:1975 till:2015 TimeAxis = orientation:horizontal PlotArea = right:20 left:0 bottom:50 top:5 #> to display a count on left side of graph, use "left:20" to suppress the count, use "left:20"<# Colors = id:barcolor value:rgb(0.99,0.7,0.7)

         id:line value:black
         id:bg value:white
         id:Full value:rgb(0.742,0.727,0.852) # Use this color to denote a team that is a member in all sports
         id:FullxF value:rgb(0.551,0.824,0.777) # Use this color to denote a team that is a member in all sports except for football plus merger
         id:AssocF value:rgb(0.98,0.5,0.445) # Use this color to denote a team that is a member for football only
         id:AssocOS value:rgb(0.5,0.691,0.824) # Use this color to denote a team that is a member in some sports, but not all (consider identifying in legend or a footnote)
         id:OtherC1 value:rgb(0.996,0.996,0.699) # Use this color to denote a team that has moved to another conference
         id:OtherC2 value:rgb(0.988,0.703,0.383) # Use this color to denote a team that has moved to another conference where OtherC1 has already been used, to distinguish the two


 width:15 textcolor:black shift:(5,-5) anchor:from fontsize:s
 bar:1 color:FullxF  from:1975 till:1979 text:Georgia Tech (1975–1979)
 bar:1 shift:(60) color:OtherC1  from:1979 till:end text:ACC 

 bar:2 color:FullxF  from:1975 till:1982 text:Saint Louis  (1975-1982)
 bar:2 color:OtherC1  from:1982 till:1991 text:MCC
 bar:2 color:OtherC2  from:1991 till:1995 text:Great Midwest
 bar:2 color:FullxF  from:1995 till:2005 text:C-USA
 bar:2 color:OtherC2  from:2005 till:end text:A-10
 bar:3 color:FullxF  from:1975 till:1991 text:Cincinnati (1975–1991)
 bar:3 color:OtherC1  from:1991 till:1995 text:Great Midwest
 bar:3 color:Full  from:1995 till:2005 text:C-USA
 bar:3 color:OtherC1  from:2005 till:end text:AAC
 bar:4 color:FullxF  from:1975 till:1991 text:Memphis (State) (1975-1991)
 bar:4 color:OtherC1  from:1991 till:1995 text:Great Midwest
 bar:4 color:Full  from:1995 till:2013 text:C-USA
 bar:4 color:OtherC1  from:2013 till:end text:AAC
 bar:5 color:FullxF  from:1975 till:1995 text:Louisville (1975–1995)
 bar:5 color:Full  from:1995 till:2005 text:C-USA
 bar:5 color:OtherC1  from:2005 till:2013 text:Big East
 bar:5 color:OtherC1  from:2013 till:2014 text:AAC
 bar:5 color:OtherC2  from:2014 till:end text:ACC
 bar:6 color:FullxF  from:1975 till:1985 text:Tulane (1975–1985)
 bar:6 color:OtherC1  from:1985 till:1989 text:Program suspended
 bar:6 color:FullxF  from:1989 till:1995 text:(1989-1995)
 bar:6 color:Full    from:1995 till:2014 text:C-USA
 bar:6 color:OtherC2  from:2014 till:end text:AAC
 bar:7 color:FullxF  from:1976 till:1991 text:Florida State (1976–1991)
 bar:7 color:OtherC1  from:1991 till:end text:ACC
 bar:8 color:FullxF  from:1979 till:1995 text:Virginia Tech (1979–1995)
 bar:8 color:OtherC1  from:1995 till:2000 text:A-10
 bar:8 color:OtherC2  from:2000 till:2004 text:Big East
 bar:8 color:OtherC1  from:2004 till:end text:ACC
 bar:9 color:FullxF  from:1982 till:1995 text:Southern Miss (1982–1995)
 bar:9 color:Full  from:1995 till:end text:C-USA
 bar:10 color:FullxF  from:1983 till:1991 text:South Carolina (1983–1991)  
 bar:10 color:OtherC1  from:1991 till:1993 text:SEC (Ind. MS 1991-92, Metro 1993-94, Ind. 1995-2004)
 bar:10 color:AssocOS  from:1993 till:1994 text: 
 bar:10 color:OtherC1  from:1994 till:2005 text: 
 bar:10 color:AssocOS  from:2005 till:end text:SEC/C-USA (MS 2005-)
 bar:11 shift:(-50) color:FullxF  from:1991 till:1995 text:Charlotte (1991–1995)
 bar:11 color:FullxF  from:1995 till:2005 text:C-USA
 bar:11 color:OtherC2  from:2005 till:2013 text:A-10
 bar:11 color:FullxF  from:2013 till:end text:C-USA
 bar:12 shift:(-50) color:FullxF  from:1991 till:1995 text:South Florida (1991–1995)
 bar:12 color:FullxF  from:1995 till:2003 text:C-USA (football added in 2003)
 bar:12 color:Full  from:2003 till:2005
 bar:12 color:OtherC1  from:2005 till:2013 text: Big East
 bar:12 color:OtherC1  from:2013 till:end text: AAC
 bar:13 shift:(-50) color:FullxF  from:1991 till:1995 text:VCU (1991–1995)
 bar:13 color:OtherC1  from:1995 till:2012 text:CAA
 bar:13 color:OtherC2  from:2012 till:end text:A-10

ScaleMajor = gridcolor:line unit:year increment:2 start:1975

TextData = fontsize:L

          pos:(175,30) # tabs:(0-center)
          text:"Metro Conference Membership History"



1. Because the Southeastern Conference does not sponsor men's soccer, South Carolina was an independent from 1991-92, rejoined the Metro for the 1993 and 1994 men's soccer seasons, played as an independent after reunification (1995-2004), and rejoined the reunified C-USA in 2005 for the sport only.
2. The American Athletic Conference was known as the Big East until the 2013 breakup. Schools in the Big East at the end of the 2012-13 season remained in The American Athletic Conference did not change conferences.
3. Full and Associate memberships reflect teams that stayed or rejoined in post-reunification Conference USA. Of the Metro schools, Southern Mississippi (full), Charlotte (full with football added in 2015), and South Carolina (associate for men's soccer) remain in the reunified conference as of July 1, 2014. Football was added after reunification.