Conference realignment has continued to shift the landscape of college football as Campbell University has accepted an invitation to join the CAA on July 1, 2023. Campbell has been a member of the Big South since 2018 after their move from the Pioneer League where they were a member from 2008-2017.
The CAA will officially have 15 football members beginning in 2023 and could potentially still have plans to expand even further next offseason. The football members include: UAlbany, Campbell, Delaware, Elon, Hampton, Maine, Monmouth, New Hampshire, North Carolina A&T, Rhode Island, Richmond, Stony Brook, Towson, Villanova, and William & Mary.
This offseason the CAA has added four new members to the conference (Hampton, Monmouth, North Carolina A&T, & Campbell) after losing James Madison to the Sun Belt. The conference also had plans to extend an invitation to Howard, but the Bison announced their plans to stay in the MEAC for this season.
Director of Athletics at Campbell Hannah Bazemore released this statement on the move to the CAA:
“I would like to thank Commissioner Joe D’Antonio and the board of directors in the CAA for extending this invitation and giving Campbell University, our student-athletes, coaches and staff this tremendous opportunity. It’s an exciting time to be at Campbell,” Bazemore said. “Academically, culturally and athletically, the CAA will be an outstanding home for Fighting Camel Athletics for decades to come. It’s our goal to give our student-athletes and coaches an opportunity to compete among the nation’s leaders, and joining the CAA at this time affords us this opportunity.”
CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio released this statement introducing Campbell as the newest members of the conference:
“We are excited to welcome Campbell University as the newest member of the Colonial Athletic Association,” CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio said. “Campbell is an outstanding academic institution that features a successful and competitive athletic program. Both of these attributes fit perfectly into the Conference’s vision that calls for our membership to work together to advance nationally competitive athletic programs – coupled with outstanding academic programs – that empower student-athletes as whole persons to strive at the highest level in every aspect of their lives. The CAA continues to be focused on making decisions that ensures its membership a competitive and sustainable model.”
The Big South will only have four members in the conference after the departure of Campbell and North Carolina A&T after this season. The conference does have plans to form an association with the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) beginning next season. The association will have 10 members, which will all compete for one auto bid into the FCS Playoffs. The 10 members of the OVC-Big South Association will be: Bryant, Charleston Southern, Gardner-Webb, Robert Morris, Eastern Illinois, Lindenwood, SEMO, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech, and UT-Martin.