HBCU Realignment
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Potential HBCU Conference Realignment Proposals: CIAA/SIAC superconferences, new conference

Re-alignment is a reality in college sports. HBCUs are not immune. Here are four scenarios you could see in the near future.

Scenario A: 18/14 FB team CIAA, some MEAC schools move to D1 PWI leagues

  • Bethune-Cookman (Atlantic Sun), South Carolina State (Big South), North Carolina Central (Big South), and Howard (Patriot) find new Division 1 homes in respective PWI conferences.
  • BCU would join the Atlantic Sun Conference due to its Florida heavy membership. SCSU and NCCU join the Big South because of the Big South’s Carolina heavy membership and longtime rivalries with former MEAC members, NC A&T and Hampton. Howard would likely join the Patriot League due to the group’s all Northeastern private institution makeup and limited to non-scholarship sports format. It also helps that fellow DC neighbor, Georgetown University plays FCS football in the Patriot League.
  • The remaining 5 MEAC members (Delaware State, Coppin State, UMES, Morgan State, and Norfolk State) drop back down to NCAA Division II and rejoin the CIAA.
  • Five of the six remaining MEAC exports are in the northern Mid-Atlantic region where two CIAA members also reside (Lincoln (PA), Bowie State). Old rivalries would be rekindled as all 4 Maryland HBCUs battle for bragging rights and Norfolk State encounters in-state rivals in Virginia Union and Virginia State.
  • In order to even the CIAA’s numbers in basketball and Olympic sports at 18 teams, a non-football playing member in UDC deserves to be added. By granting UDC membership into the CIAA, the North Division becomes even more compact and limits travel to the South Division schools within the Carolinas. In football, NSU is in the North Division and ECSU is in the South Division.
  • Chowan would be dropped from associate membership in football so that the CIAA Football membership is even at 14 schools.
  • Certain cross-divisional games would be protected in basketball and Olympic sports by moving the southernmost Virginia team in proximity to the I-85 and I-95 corridor (VSU) and Elizabeth City State to the South Division.


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Potential HBCU Conference Realignment Proposals: CIAA/SIAC superconferences, new conference
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