Campbell breaks from Big South Conference, set to join CAA

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BUIES CREEK — Campbell University accepted an invitation Wednesday to join the Colonial Athletic Association in all sports the league sponsors effective July 1, 2023.

Campbell will remain a member of the Big South Conference for the 2022-2023 season before making the move.

Wrestling will remain a member of the Southern Conference.  

"The leadership team at Campbell University could not be more grateful to the Colonial Athletic Association for the invitation to join this outstanding athletic conference," said Campbell President J. Bradley Creed.

"Campbell's athletic teams have demonstrated that we can compete with some of the best teams in the country. This move to the CAA aligns extremely well for Campbell in terms of the profile of sports and athletics, as well as the academic reputation of these highly regarded colleges and universities."

The addition of Campbell in 2023 will increase CAA’s membership to 14 schools, joining new members North Carolina A&T State University, Hampton, Monmouth and Stony Brook as schools that have all joined in the last year.

CAA football will consist of 15 teams beginning in 2023, including gridiron-only programs Albany, Villanova, Richmond and Rhode Island.

Acting CU director of athletics, Hannah Bazemore, called the move “one that will be exceptional for our institution.”

“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.

Campbell joined NCAA Division I in 1977 and became a charter member when the Big South was formed in 1983. Campbell joined the Atlantic Sun Conference in the summer of 1994 and competed in the ASUN for 17 years before returning to the Big South in the summer of 2011.

After a five-decade absence, Campbell resumed football competition in 2008 as a member of the Pioneer Football League. Campbell moved up to Big South football in 2018.

“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."

Campbell will join a CAA that has established itself as one of the nation’s top collegiate conferences both athletically and academically for more than three decades.

Other CAA schools include College of Charleston, Delaware, Drexel, Elon, Hofstra,  UNC Wilmington, Northeastern, Towson and William & Mary.

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