The lengthy flirtation between Howard University and the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) appears to have come to an end.
Howard University has reportedly decided to decline an invitation to join the CAA, according to Hero Sports. This news comes two months after sources told HBCU Gameday and several others that the school was preparing to make a move to the new conference.
According to Daniel Steenkamer, Howard recently informed the CAA that it would not be joining the league for the 2023-2024 season as expected.
HBCU Gameday has reached out to Howard University officials for comment.
This news comes a month after Dr. Wayne Fredrick joined other conference presidents in chancellors in stating that the school was committed to the MEAC — though he did not state for how long.
Retaining Howard would be a major victory for the MEAC, which has seen six institutions leave its ranks since 2018. Savannah State returned to Division II and the SIAC in 2019, while Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman bolted for the SWAC in 2020. Hampton University left the league in 2018 for the Big South, and will join the CAA in July. North Carolina A&T, a founding member of the league, left the MEAC for the Big South in 2021 and will join the CAA on July 1 for all sports except for football (which will join the CAA in 2023) and bowling (which remains in the MEAC.)
Howard is one of three founding members of the league that have never left — Delaware State and South Carolina State being the others. It does, however, have several sports participating in the Northeast Conference (NEC).