They’re one of three new schools joining the league!
Hampton University just made history as the first historically Black college or university (HBCU) to join the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), ENN reports.
This past week, the CAA announced the expansion of three new schools to the league, Monmouth University, Stony Brook University and Hampton University, the first HBCU to join the league in its more than four decade history.
Hampton is a private Virginia University and one of the oldest historically Black colleges, founded in 1868. The school is one of just two Division I HBCU schools that are not tied to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference or the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Joining the CAA is pivotal for them as they put more of a focus on their athletic division.
“It’s an incredible academic institution. It is on the upswing athletically, and it provides a tremendous fit for the vision that they have and the vision that the CAA has going forward,” said Joe D’Antonio, CAA Conference Commissioner.
When considering the expansion, the CAA evaluated a number of factors including athletic facilities, geographical fit, school academic and overall reputation, and commitment to investing in student athletes and the success of the athletic program.
James Madison University recently split from the CAA, joining the Sun Belt Conference this past November. New Jersey’s Monmouth University will now join alongside New York’s Stony Brook which had previously been a football-only CAA member since 2012 but is now transitioning all of its sports from the America East Conference to the CAA.
The CAA will begin the 2022-23 year on July 1, 2022 with 12 full-fledged members and 13 football members. While there have been talks of splitting into two divisions for football members and further expansion, D’Antonio says the CAA currently is moving forward with an eight game conference schedule and has no specific goal number for future conference members.
“Any and all options… may be available. We’re not specifically tied to any one number or any one scenario, but what we are tied to is the welfare of our student athletes and continuing to try to improve our programs on a daily basis and our programs within…the conference of all of our member institutions. We’re excited for what the future holds,” said D’Antonio.
Photo Courtesy of Mark Sutton/Hampton Pirates