George Mason, one of the original founding members of the Colonial Athletic Association, will join the Atlantic 10 conference next season, CSNwashington has confirmed.
The Patriots, who put the conference on the national stage by reaching the 2006 Final Four, will make the move effective July 1 and become the 13th member of the A-10. The school has scheduled a press conference for 1 p.m. on the Fairfax campus. The Atlantic 10 also has a teleconference scheduled later in the day.
Like many conferences across the country, the Atlantic 10 and CAA have undergone considerable shake-ups recently. Virginia Commonwealth bolted for the A-10 following last season along with Butler, giving the A-10 16 teams. However, this past week Butler and Xavier announced plans to join the new version of the Big East with Georgetown and other basketball-centric schools.
Previously Temple and Charlotte announced plans to leave following the 2012-13 season. Temple is part of the unnamed conference with the Big East football schools and Charlotte moves to Conference USA.
Old Dominion and Georgia State were unable to participate in the CAA's postseason tournament this season after announcing plans to join Conference USA and the Sun Belt conference respectively. Based on the conference's current bylaws, George Mason would have met the same lame duck fate with a drawn out departure.
Along with old rival VCU, George Mason will join a league with George Washington. The two local programs last played each other in 2010.
The CAA's current lineup has nine schools for next season, including incoming member College of Charleston.'
Under coach Paul Hewitt, the Patriots finished the regular season with a 19-14 record, but have now advanced into the second round of the CBI Tournament. George Mason hosts Houston Monday night.