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Campbell heads to the CAA as FCS leagues continue to shift

The CAA continues to raid the Big South as Campbell University has announced it will join NC A&T, Hampton and others in that league.

North Carolina A&T and Hampton will soon have a new, familiar neighbor in the Colonial Athletic Association. Campbell University, currently a member of the Big South Conference, has decided to depart for the CAA next July.

It will increase the conference’s membership to 14 schools — joining new members Monmouth and Stony Brook along with A&T and Hampton. 

“The leadership team at Campbell University could not be more grateful to the Colonial Athletic Association for the invitation to join this outstanding athletic conference,” said Campbell President J. Bradley Creed. “Campbell’s athletic teams have demonstrated that we can compete with some of the best teams in the country. This move to the CAA aligns extremely well for Campbell in terms of the profile of sports and athletics, as well as the academic reputation of these highly regarded colleges and universities.”

Both North Carolina A&T and Hampton left the Big South Conference earlier this year to move to the CAA. NC A&T is in the Big South for football this year, where it and Campbell are expected to contend for the conference crown. Campbell University has a total of four games against HBCUs this season and will likely be a part of a division that will include both CAA HBCUs moving forward.

Former NFL defensive back Mike Minter is head coach at Campbell University.

The move is the latest in an expansion push for the CAA that included a flirtation with Howard University, which it had reportedly targeted for entry next fall. Howard ultimately declined the CAA’s invite earlier this year to remain in the MEAC.

CAA addition leaves Big South hole

The Big South now finds itself down to just four football programs after this season when Campbell and A&T depart the conference. The league entered into a football partnership with the Ohio Valley Conference earlier this year that will result in a joint auto-bid for football moving forward.

Big South Commissioner Kyle Kallander told HBCU Gameday at Big South Media Day he anticipated that agreement making things easier for current institutions as well as helping the league attract new members. 

“It is a great foundation for our football programs. It’s a stable future. And number two, it’s very creative. And as we move forward in this kind of unsettled area of college athletics with NIL and transfers and everything else, to be able to find creative solutions and be innovative in what we’re doing is really attractive, I think, to other institutions. So we’re finding solutions that make a lot of sense for our institutions and our student-athletes and really help set us up for the future.”

Campbell heads to the CAA as FCS leagues continue to shift
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