ODU to Join Conf. USA; Future Home for Lacrosse Uncertain

Old Dominion University is leaving the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) for Conference USA as well as seeking reclassification of its football program. The implications for the women's lacrosse program are not yet known. As reported in the press release, which appears below in its entirety, "ODU ... is also actively seeking associate conference membership for its women's lacrosse, field hockey, wrestling and men's swimming programs."

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NORFOLK, Va. Old Dominion University President John R. Broderick announced today that the institution's athletic programs have entered into a membership agreement with Conference USA and will seek reclassification of its football program from the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision to the Football Bowl Subdivision, effective July 1, 2013.

"We are very proud today to announce a bold step forward for Old Dominion University to a well respected, established and successful conference. The future for ODU athletics is bright with Conference USA and full of opportunities for new levels of excellence," said Old Dominion University President John R. Broderick, who participated in a press conference today to formally announce the athletic program's new league affiliation.

"Our University has performed considerable due diligence in examining the impact an NCAA reclassification of football and conference change could have on the university, overall student body and athletic programs, in particular ensuring that such a move could be made without an increase in student fees.

"The uncertain national landscape of conference membership necessitated a consideration of our future and, in particular, our football program. Conference USA's invitation provided the right opportunity at the right time to reclassify our football program and broaden the national footprint of our athletic program, and was supported by our Board of Visitors, as well as many of our donors and the community," adds Broderick.

ODU joins 13 members in Conference USA, including Charlotte, East Carolina, FIU, Marshall, Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Rice, Southern Miss, Tulsa, Tulane, UAB, UTEP and UTSA. Members will compete in all sports beginning with the 2013-14 season, with the exception of ODU and Charlotte playing their first conference football schedules in 2015.

Broderick noted that Old Dominion's academic excellence, evidenced by a Rhodes Scholar, Truman Fellow and USA Today All Academic, as well as 26 State Council of Higher Education Outstanding Faculty Award winners, will complement the strong academic institutions of the C-USA.

Old Dominion University is Virginia's forward-focused metropolitan research university with rigorous academics, an energetic residential community, entrepreneurial research and collaboration, and initiatives that contribute nearly $1 billion to the economy.

"I want to extend my appreciation to John Broderick for his leadership and guidance throughout our conference discussions and ultimately the strategic decision to join Conference USA," says ODU Athletic Director Dr. Wood Selig.

"When I was hired two years ago it was conveyed to me during the search process that one of my primary goals was to protect and guide our overall athletic program in the ever changing landscape of college athletics. I had no idea at the time that change would come about so quickly. What became critical factors for us in joining Conference USA was the ability to reclassify our football program to the highest NCAA competition level, placing us at the table in every national intercollegiate athletic discussion, while moving the majority of our 16 intercollegiate sports to new levels and competitive opportunities.

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