Georgia State and Old Dominion will not be eligible for CAA postseason events in their final year in the conference, commissioner Tom Yeager said Tuesday.
Yeager said the conference’s council of presidents voted unanimously to uphold a rule that denies access to championships that provide automatic NCAA bids to schools that have announced they will depart the league.
Georgia State is leaving for the Sun Belt in 2013, while Old Dominion has announced plans to join Conference USA next summer.
“That’s a question those institutions that withdrew need to answer for their student-athletes,” Yeager said. “They knew this rule was on the books and it was a likely consequence of withdrawing from the conference and on balance they made the decision to withdraw.”
The league’s rule was previously invoked in 2001, when American, East Carolina and Richmond were all denied access to events with automatic bid access after deciding to leave the conference. Old Dominion was a CAA member when the rule was passed. Georgia State was not.
With Georgia State and Old Dominion out of the picture, the CAA will likely have a seven-team conference tournament in March. Virginia Commonwealth is leaving for the Atlantic 10, while Towson and UNC Wilmington are expected to be ineligible because of NCAA-mandated postseason bans for poor APR scores.
“We went through this in 2001,” Yeager said of that season’s six-team tournament. “You know what? That year isn’t included with an asterisk in the record book by any stretch.”
The CAA expanded soon after that, adding four teams in 2001-02 and then another two in 2005-06. Yeager reiterated his league is seeking additional members after getting pared down to nine as of next summer.
“Suffice to say, we’re active in the conference membership business,” Yeager said.
—- Patrick Stevens