A Southern Conference source tells 7 On Your Side that the league will officially invite East Tennessee State, Mercer, and VMI to join the league at the annual conference meetings next Thursday at Hilton Head Island, barring an unforseen occurrence.
The three additions will offset the loss of five schools by the conference within the past six months.
The latest depature came Thursday when Elon made the expected announcement that it was joining the College of Charleston in making the jump to the Colonial Athletic Association for the 2014-15 school year.
About the time that announcement was taking place, SoCon officials were visiting ETSU having also recently made visits to the campuses of Mercer and VMI.
The addition of the three will bring the league's overall number up to 1, with nine football playing schools.
Mercer and ETSU are in the process of reinstituting football programs.
The league is not expected to add any additional schools following next week's announcement, according to the source.
Appalachian State and Georgia Southern announced in March their intentions to make the jump to the FBS level in football, thus prompting a move for all of their sports to the Sun Belt Conference.
Davidson is the fifth league school on the move as it will join the Atlantic 10.