The Colonial Athletic Association announced Tuesday that Georgia State and Old Dominion will be ineligible to participate in any CAA team championships during the 2012-13 season in which the conference receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.
Georgia State has announced that it will be joining the Sun Bel in the fall of 2013, while Old Dominion will be making the move to Conference USA at the same time. Both schools had made formal requests to remain eligible to compete for all conference championships during the 2012-13 season and for their effective date of withdrawal be set as June 30, 2013. Instead, the league presidents unanimously decided to set July 1, 2012 as the date at which both institutions would become ineligible.
"The conferences Bylaws were well understood and evaluated when the institutions made their decision to withdraw from the conference," CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager said. "While we respect an institution's decision to withdraw, it is not without consequences that the institution must accept. As a conference, we desire to have those institutions that are fully invested in the continued prosperity of the conference represent the conference as its champion."
Not surprisingly, the reaction from the affected athletic programs was unfavorable.
"Now we know the ground rules," said ODU basketball coach Blaine Taylor. "Now we know how strongly everyone is taking a position against us. We'll band together and we'll bunker in."
This news paired with VCU's immediate departure for the Atlantic 10 and the postseason ineligibility of Towson and UNC-Wilmington due to low APR scores means the 2013 CAA Tournament will feature just seven teams.
"I think the CAA is so mad at VCU they took advantage of (an) entity that tried to handle things right," Taylor said. "It's kind of a sad state of affairs. The statement that's being made loud and clear is, you need to be like the Baltimore Colts and move in the middle of the night."