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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Richmond leaving new-look CAA football

The University of Richmond, co-champions of CAA football and a long-time member of the league, are now leaving the Coastal Athletic Association. 

Richmond, currently a football – only member of the CAA — is headed to the Patriot League. It will be exiting the CAA following the 2024 season.

“We are elated to welcome the University of Richmond as our eighth football member,” Patriot League Commissioner Jennifer Heppel said. “Richmond’s consistent success on the field has made them a premier program in the FCS and their addition positions the League for continued competitive success at the national level. Beyond their on-field excellence, our shared commitment to prioritizing highly competitive academic and athletic experiences makes them an ideal institutional partner for the Patriot League.”

“The Patriot League provides our football student-athletes and staff with the opportunity to experience championship-level competition at the highest levels of the FCS in a conference that is rich in tradition, scholarship, and stability,” said University of Richmond Vice President and Director of Athletics John Hardt. “Joining the Patriot League puts our football program in a great position to continue to compete for championships and achieve the type of postseason success that is so important to our players, our university, and Spiders everywhere.”

Richmond is in the A-10 for non-football sports. It has been said to have been unhappy with the direction of the CAA in recent years as it has added several new members — including HBCUs — while losing stalwarts like James Madison. Delaware will be transitioning from the CAA to the FBS. 

Richmond, Richmond,

Coastal Athletic Association commissioner Joe D’Antonio addressed the departure on Tuesday afternoon.

“This morning, I was informed of the University of Richmond’s decision to depart the CAA Football conference at the conclusion of the 2024 season. The CAA has long been regarded as one of the premier conferences in FCS football, having sent at least three teams to the playoffs in 16 of the past 18 years. A CAA team has advanced to the semifinals of the playoffs 10 times in the last 11 seasons, and even more impressively, seven different conference schools have reached the semifinals over that 11-year period. CAA Football is committed to competing at the highest level and continuing that success. CAA Football will continue to make decisions that move the conference forward by creating both a competitive and sustainable model.”

UR will spend the 2024 season in the CAA along with William & Mary, Hampton, Albany, Bryant, Campbell, Delaware, Elon, Maine, Monmouth, New Hampshire, North Carolina A&T, Rhode Island, Stony Brook, Towson and Villanova.

Richmond played five HBCUs in 2023 — beating Delaware State, North Carolina A&T and North Carolina Central while losing to Morgan State and Hampton. It has three HBCUs  on the schedule for 2024 — Delaware State, North Carolina A&T and Hampton. 

Richmond leaving new-look CAA football

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