Mississippi College Choctaws
|Mississippi College Choctaws|
|Conference||Transitioning to Gulf South Conference|
|NCAA||Division II-2nd Year of Transition|
|Athletic director||Mike Jones|
|Football stadium||Robinson-Hale Stadium|
|Basketball arena||A. E. Wood Coliseum|
Blue and Gold|
The Mississippi College Choctaws are the athletic teams of Mississippi College. On July 11, 2014 the NCAA approved entering their second year of NCAA Division II candidacy. The Choctaws are in the process of becoming full members of the Gulf South Conference. The college sponsors teams in football, basketball (men's and women's), baseball, softball, tennis (men's & women's), golf (men's & women's), soccer (women's), volleyball, track and field (men's outdoor & women's indoor & outdoor), cross country running (men's & women's), equestrian (women's), and table tennis (men's & women's). In the second year of transition, the Choctaws compete against members of the Gulf South Conference. They will become full members of NCAA Division II and a full Gulf South Conference member in 2016-17.
The philosophy of intercollegiate athletics at Mississippi College is much the same as the vision statement of Mississippi College. The vision statement reads: "Mississippi College seeks to be a university recognized for academic excellence and commitment to the cause of Christ.”
For years Mississippi College was a dominant force in NCAA Division II athletics. MC won the Division II National Championship in 1989, however, Mississippi College's football tournament participation, along with its NCAA Division II national football championship, were vacated by the NCAA Committee on Infractions for recruiting violations.
The Board of Trustees of Mississippi College voted in March 1995 for the university to become a member of Division III of the National Collegiate Athletic Association in the fall of 1997.
Mississippi College currently sponsors 16 sports. Since their transition to Division III in 1997, the Choctaws have won 25 American Southwest Conference championships. In 2007, the College won conference championships in women's cross country and men's basketball.
Mississippi College's biggest rivalry is with Millsaps College in nearby Jackson. After a more than 40-year hiatus, the two teams began meeting on the football field again in 2000. The rivalry is dubbed the Backyard Brawl.
In the summer of 2005 Mississippi College opened new athletic practice fields which support soccer and football. Plans include expansion in the near future which will add an extra practice field as well as two new intramural fields for student flag football, soccer, and general student use.
In a letter dated February 17, 2006, Mississippi College received word that the NCAA has removed its policy restrictions in the use of the name Choctaw for MC athletics. The school did stop using the former mascot, Chief Choc.
Lee Royce, president of the college said, "We are pleased with the ruling from the NCAA giving their approval of our request to remove Mississippi College from the list of institutions subject to the policy’s restrictions. We are very appreciative of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians’ support of our use of the Choctaw name, and look forward to continuing our mutual relationship of respect and cooperation."
- "Colors & Fonts - Identity Manual". Retrieved May 19, 2016.
- "Mississippi College makes move back to Division II official; will play DII in 2015". NCAA.com. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- "Division II Admits its 300th Member". NCAA. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- "It's Time to Be II". Mississippi College. Archived from the original on 21 October 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- "American Southwest Conference Chart of Champions 1996-97 through current" (PDF). 27 May 2008. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
- "MLB Amateur Draft Picks who came from "Mississippi College (Clinton, MS)"". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2013-10-14.
- "Statement by NCAA Senior Vice-President for Governance and Membership Bernard Franklin on Mississippi College". NCAA. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
- "Mississippi College keeps Choctaws nickname". ESPN.com. Retrieved 20 October 2014.