Chowan CIAA
Bluefield State

CIAA expected to add Bluefield State, cut ties with Chowan

CIAA membership is expected to undergo a change as the leadership preps to add Bluefield State and clip Chowan.

The landscape of the CIAA is about to undergo a change.

A source tells HBCU Gameday that Bluefield State University has enough votes to gain entry to the league, while Chowan University’s time in the league is coming to an end.

The league’s presidents and chancellors held fall meetings this week, including a vote on extending a membership offer to BSU and whether or not to renew Chowan’s associate membership.

Chowan, once a full-time member of the league, has been an associate member since 2018. The source says its associate membership was up for vote and will not be renewed. The Murfreesboro, NC-based school has been the only non-historically black university in the CIAA since it joined in 2007.  It is currently a full-time member of Conference Carolinas, but did compete in women’s tennis and football in the CIAA. Ironically, Chowan reached the CIAA football championship game for the first time in its history last month, falling to Fayetteville State. 

Bluefield State, located in West Virginia, has been playing as an independent for nearly a decade. It is one of two HBCUs in the state — along with West Virginia State — both of which are predominantly white. BSU added football along with several other sports back in 2020, and has compiled a 3-1 record against CIAA competition in its first two seasons. It would join the CIAA at the start of the 2023-2024 season.

Bluefield State CIAA
Bluefield State is expected to join the CIAA beginning in the 2023-2024 school year.

Attempts to reach Bluefield State have been unsuccessful so far. BSU’s basketball teams both compete regularly against CIAA opponents and the BSU men recently competed in the inaugural HBCU Gameday Classic. BSU head coach Devin Hoehn talked about the difficulty of putting a schedule together as an independent. 

“You have to schedule 26 games. We had nine games cancel out on us in July, so it was kind of scramble mode to try and get teams. We ended up getting teams, but it’s tough and that’s what we’re hoping. We get into a conference here sooner than later will make our job a lot easier. And I know our guys want to be in a conference as well.”

The current membership of the CIAA includes: Claflin University, Johnson C. Smith University, Livingstone College, Winston-Salem State University, Fayetteville State University, Shaw University, Saint Augustine’s University, Elizabeth City State University, Virginia State University, Virginia Union University, Bowie State University and Lincoln University.

The CIAA is the oldest league for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), as it was founded in 1912 in Hampton, VA. 

CIAA expected to add Bluefield State, cut ties with Chowan
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


To Top