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Big South

Could HBCUs be in play for new-look CAA?

The CAA is looking to expand and switch to a divisional format to save on travel. A few HBCUs could be in play.

The wheels of re-alignment continue to roll in college athletics and HBCUs could be impacted once again. 

The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) is reportedly considering expansion and splitting into north and south divisions to reduce travel costs, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. 

“We’re always looking at scenarios associated with a competitive model that provides a sustainable atmosphere for the schools that are in our conference,” CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio told the paper on Monday night.

Founding member James Madison is expected to leave the CAA and join the Sunbelt Conference as it moves up to FBS. 

Without JMU, the CAA for basketball and other sports apart from football would include Charleston, Delaware, Drexel, Elon, Hofstra, Northeastern, Towson, UNC Wilmington and W&M.

CAA Football outside of JMU includes Albany, Delaware, Elon, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Richmond, Stony Brook, Towson, Villanova and W&M.

Sources indicate that at least one HBCU has had discussions with the CAA. Howard has reportedly had discussions with the league, multiple sources tell HBCU Gameday. 

Potential members for the new-look CAA could include Monmouth, currently an associate member of the Big South, as well as UNC Greensboro of the SoCon. 

Both schools have ties to North Carolina A&T, one of three HBCUs at the Division I level not in the MEAC or SWAC. Monmouth is set to take on A&T in football this weekend for the first-ever matchup between the two schools that play Big South football. A&T and UNC Greensboro are similar-sized institutions located in the same state and consider themselves basketball rivals.

A&T and current CAA member Elon have played home-and-home football series many times before. The most recent game took place in 2019 and had attendance of better than 16k at Aggie Stadium. UNC Wilmington is a fellow UNC System school.

North Carolina A&T Director of Athletics Earl Hilton told HBCU Gameday that his program has not been involved in any official talks with the CAA or other league for that matter.

“We are happy in the Big South and focused on competing in our league,” Hilton said. 

Could HBCUs be in play for new-look CAA?
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