A&T joins Colonial Athletic Association by unanimous vote
EAST GREENSBORO, NC (February 18, 2022) – The North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Board of Trustees on Friday unanimously approved a recommendation that the university join the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), perhaps the most important athletics conference in the country. among the Football Championship Series (FCS) institutions.
In making the presentation that elicited the vote, Athletics Director Earl Hilton made a compelling case that CAA represents where North Carolina A&T sits, academically and athletically, as a research university. highly competitive doctoral program. “We are delighted to join a conference of like-minded institutions,” said BOT President Hilda Pinnix-Ragland.
All board members voted “yes” in a formal voice count, after receiving Thursday’s 8-0 vote of support from the Executive Committee and a 20-slide presentation from Hilton.
All North Carolina A&T sports teams and student athletes will begin competing in the CAA beginning July 1, 2022, with the exception of soccer and bowling. Football will move to July 1, 2023 to avoid any impact on the Big South Conference’s automatic qualifying status for FCS post-season playoff participation. Bowling, which never left the Middle East Athletic Conference (MEAC), will retain that affiliation.
“What a historic week for A&T,” exclaimed Pinnix-Ragland, referring not only to the conference change, but also to the grand opening Thursday of the 100-storey Harold L. Martin Sr. Engineering Research and Innovation Complex. million dollars and several reports from major institutions. progress at Friday’s meeting. “From what we saw today, it’s not going to stop. … We’re going to have a great ride.
Despite the geographic diversity of conference membership, the new affiliation promises to improve student-athlete welfare and keep financial costs low in the North and South divisions. A&T’s competition will be largely limited to Southern Division campuses, all located in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia (in football, Maryland-based Towson University will also compete in the Southern Division ).
CAA also benefits from the location of several member campuses in national media markets, such as Boston and Philadelphia.
CAA opened a dialogue with A&T in November 2021 and subsequently issued an invitation to join. A&T informed the CAA and the Deep South that it would evaluate the invitation “in a deliberate and data-driven manner.”
Over the past two months, this assessment has come about through an extensive compilation of data, interviews with students, athletic staff, alumni, boosters and Hall of Famers, and additional research. Support among A&T Athletics constituents for the move was strong.