Vol. 20, No. 13

April 5, 2001

Blue Hens will enter CAA July 1

The University of Delaware, along with Drexel, Hofstra and Towson universities, will become members of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) on July 1, earlier than originally planned, CAA Commissioner Thomas E. Yeager announced April 4. The quartet will join George Mason, James Madison, Old Dominion and Virginia Commonwealth universities, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and the College of William and Mary to form a 10-team conference.

"We are thrilled to be able to expedite the process and incorporate these schools sooner than originally announced," Yeager said. "The CAA is looking forward to their contribution, and we are excited about the future of the conference as this group moves forward."

"We're certainly pleased that this was able to come about," Edgar Johnson, UD athletic director, said. "We are going to have a long-term relationship with the CAA, and we're anxious to get started sooner rather than later. We are pleased to be associated with such a prestigious group of institutions and excited to be moving to a league with a higher level of competition."

According to America East Commissioner Chris Monasch, due to the timing of the transition, the four teams will remain as associate members and compete in the America East in the fall of 2001 in men's and women's soccer, field hockey and volleyball. However, as previously announced, Delaware and Hofstra will compete in CAA volleyball in the fall of 2001.

Beginning with the winter sports, including the 2001-02 basketball season, the four schools will compete as full CAA members, playing full CAA schedules. With their arrival, the CAA will add championships in men's lacrosse and softball in the spring of 2002, bringing the total number of sports sponsored in the conference to 20.

Delaware joined America East in 1991. It was announced at a press conference in December 2000 that the four schools would be joining the CAA for the 2003-04 academic year.