Report: VCU joining Atlantic 10 in 2013

Report: VCU joining Atlantic 10 in 2013
May 14, 2012, 4:01 pm
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VCU is moving on.The Richmond program will leave the Colonial Athletic Conference and join the Atlantic 10 in 2013, according to CBSSports. If official, the Rams would join Butler as a new conference member. Thetwo schools played in a combined three Final Four appearances in the past three seasons. The additions would also offset the loss of Temple to the Big East and Charlotte to Conference USA while boosting the conference's status to the king of the so-called mid-majors.The VCU news comes days after George Mason announced last week that after kicking some Atlantic 10 tires, it was staying put in the CAA. Perhaps, according to the CBSSports report,the Patriots were simply not invited."On Friday, George Mason, which along with VCU and Butler had discussions with the Atlantic 10, announced it was staying in the CAA. However, sources told CBSSports.com at the present time the Atlantic 10 was looking to add only one more school and VCU got the nod over Mason."Though VCU has managed to land a spot in recentNCAA tournaments as a member of the CAA, the league is not always a lock for an at-large bid. CBSSports notes that since 2000, the CAA has received only four at-large NCAA bids. This season the Rams, winners of theCAATournament and thus the automatic bid,were the only CAA school in the field of 68. Meanwhile, the Atlantic 10 has received multiple bids in five consecutive seasons. Financially, that adds up."Since 2006 even with George Mason and VCU reaching two Final Fours the CAA only accrued 24 NCAA tournament units (awarded for every round advanced in the NCAA), compared to 36 for the Atlantic 10. Each unit is worth about 250,000."If the reports prove accurate, it would only be the latest, though most significant blow to the CAA, which has already lost Georgia State to the Sun Belt this offseason. Reports suggest Old Dominion could be next.The Norfolk schoolis considering a move to Conference USA with a decision expected later this summer.From the George Mason perspective, the glass half-full argument is without VCU (and perhaps ODU), its path to that automatic bid becomes easier, perhaps dramatically so. Of course, without one or both of those programs, the CAA loses much of its appeal - and RPI status. Without those programs, the Patriots lose two of their main rivals. While VCU starts checking out its new neighborhood, George Mason might need to reassess its current location. Maybe that involves helping the CAA find new blood or finding its own landing spot, though the BCS conferences are out and anything scenario outside the Atlantic 10 seems like a downgrade. In other words, the Patriotsshould make sure their LinkedIn and Evite accounts are active.