Hampton University becomes the first HBCU to join the Colonial Athletic Association
Hampton University Athletics will join the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) as a full member effective July 1, becoming the first HBCU school to join the association.
In addition to Hampton, Stony Brook University and Monmouth University will also leave the Big South Conference to join the CAA, giving the Association 12 full-time members.
“The move to the Colonial Athletic Association is the next step in the evolution of Hampton University athletics,” said the Hampton University President dr William Harvey said in a press release. “Several of the CAA’s institutions are within our geographic footprint, which means our student-athletes will continue to spend less time traveling and more time on campus classes.
The move is expected to increase ticket sales for many of Hampton’s sports programs. The Pirates made a similar move in 2018 when they exited the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), one of two all-HBCU Division 1 conferences.
However, fans who lived for HBCU rivalries cared little for Big Sky schools in North and South Carolina. The move to the CAA gives Hampton natural rivals in the state in William & Mary and Richmond University.
Other full-time CAA members include William & Mary, College of Charleston (South Carolina), University of Delaware, Drexel University (Pennsylvania), Elon University (North Carolina), Hofstra University (New York), Northeastern University (Massachusetts), and Towson University (Maryland) and the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.
Richmond University, Albany University (New York), University of Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island University, Stony Brook University and Villanova University (Pennsylvania) played football in the CAA last season as associate members.
“Like Monmouth and Stony Brook, which are public schools (HU is a private entity), everyone has an opportunity to improve and I think we have,” said the Pirates sporting director. Eugene Marshall Jr. said.
“Under the direction of Dr. Harvey, we came up with a plan (to join the CAA) and I’m excited because there are a lot of similar academic schools and where (almost all) CAA schools are, we have a strong alumni base located.”
CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio said he was pleased with the addition of the three new schools.
“All three schools fit perfectly within the framework of the conference’s vision,” said D’Antonio in a press release. “The CAA is excited about the future and will remain focused on making decisions that ensure its membership is a competitive and sustainable model.”