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News Nuggets, 05.05.05
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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

CAA raids A-10 to launch 12-team football league


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East Carolina's former conference home for all sports except football has decided to take the gridiron sport very seriously.

The Colonial Athletic Association will begin sponsoring football in 2007 when all 12 members of the I-AA Atlantic 10 football conference switch leagues, CAA officials said Wednesday.

The change will leave the Philadelphia-based A-10 without football for the first time since 1996. Five A-10 football schools already compete in the CAA in other sports.

East Carolina, which during most of its CAA membership played football as a I-A independent — and then as a football-only member of Conference USA starting in 1997 — bid a final adieu to the CAA in 2001-02 to join C-USA as an all-sports member.

``Every institution desires to have all its sports competing under the same conference banner, and there's no difference in this scenario,'' CAA Commissioner Thomas E. Yeager said at a news conference.

CAA officials always had an interest in adding football and sensed an opportunity after Hofstra, Delaware and Towson joined James Madison and William & Mary as football-playing members of the league earlier this decade, Yeager said.

Northeastern, an A-10 member in football competing in the America East conference in other sports, joined the CAA in June. That gave the CAA the six members needed to form a football conference.

Invitations were extended to the other six A-10 football schools, which accepted, keeping one of the nation's toughest Division I-AA leagues intact but with a new conference affiliation.

The teams will fulfill their contractual obligation to compete in the A-10 for two more seasons.

New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Northeastern, Hofstra, Maine and Rhode Island will compete in the North Division; William & Mary, Delaware, James Madison, Villanova, Richmond and Towson in the South Division.

``We didn't roll over and die,'' A-10 assistant commissioner Ray Cella said. ``We tried to explain to the presidents the benefits of staying with the Atlantic 10 name — primarily branding. The Atlantic 10 name is pretty well known.''

The A-10 produced the last two national champions — Delaware in 2003 and James Madison last season.

Black Bears football program to join Colonial

ORONO, ME — Maine will join the Colonial Athletic Association football conference when it forms for the 2007 season, the school said Wednesday.

The Black Bears are the 12th team to join the new Division I-AA conference. All teams are now members of the Atlantic-10 football conference and will continue that affiliation through 2006.

Delaware, Hofstra, James Madison, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Northeastern, Rhode Island, Richmond, Towson, Villanova and the College of William & Mary are also in the conference.

Maine will stay in the America East conference and Hockey East conference for all other sports.

News Nuggets are compiled periodically based on material supplied by staff members; data published by ECU, Conference USA and its member schools; and reports from Associated Press and other sources. Copyright 2005 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Page Updated: 02/23/2007 12:23 PM


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