Davidson College will join the Atlantic 10 Conference effective July 1, 2014, President Carol Quillen announced Wednesday morning.
“Davidson is thrilled to join the Atlantic 10 Conference to compete alongside some of the most dynamic Division I student-athletes in the country,” Quillen said. “Our athletic teams – from men’s basketball to women’s lacrosse, from men’s swimming to women’s tennis – are ready for this new opportunity and we have the greatest confidence they will succeed.”
According to most recent NCAA graduation rates, the Atlantic 10 ranked second among all Division I conferences, with 90 percent of their student-athletes graduating.
"The Atlantic 10 is a conference that gives Davidson the opportunity to be associated with and compete against institutions with significant profiles, both academically and athletically, while we continue to establish our national brand. This is a great opportunity to use athletics to further the goals and objectives of the college as we enhance the experience of our students,” said Director of Athletics Jim Murphy.
The geographic footprint of the Atlantic 10 Conference covers eight different states and the District of Columbia for a total population of 75.3 million people (2010 Census).
The move will allow 19 of Davidson’s 21 sports to compete in the A-10, with the exception of football and wrestling. Football will remain in the Pioneer Football League which hosts non-scholarship programs, while wrestling will seek to continue its affiliation with the Southern Conference.
Davidson is currently a member of the Southern Conference, which it first joined in 1936.
“Davidson is an ideal fit for the Atlantic 10 – as a nationally recognized academic institution complimented by excellence in a broad-based athletic program – the Wildcats will be competitive immediately. Their success in men's basketball is important, bringing another nationally recognized brand into the league," stated A-10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. “It is my pleasure to welcome Davidson's administration, their student-athletes, staff, alumni and fans to the Atlantic 10 Conference. They will maintain our presence in the Charlotte market, one of the top 25 media markets in the country, and reinforce our commitment to national prominence in men’s basketball.”
In addition to Davidson, the other members of the Atlantic 10 Conference for the 2014-15 academic year are the University of Dayton, Duquesne University, Fordham University, George Mason University, The George Washington University, La Salle University, the University of Massachusetts, the University of Rhode Island, the University of Richmond, St. Bonaventure University, Saint Joseph’s University, Saint Louis University, and Virginia Commonwealth University.
About the A-10
The Atlantic 10 Conference was formed in 1976, is currently comprised of 14 member institutions and sponsors 21 championship sports. The mission and goal of the Atlantic 10 is to preserve, protect, and enhance the academic and athletic pursuits of the membership. The conference is committed to integrity, educational excellence and providing quality equitable championship experiences for more than 6,000 student-athletes, coaches, and support staff.
Conference Statement Regarding Davidson
Southern Conference Commissioner John Iamarino released the following statement regarding Davidson College: “Davidson and the Southern Conference have been a good fit for many decades. We’re disappointed in the administration’s decision to leave, but understand the dynamics of collegiate athletics have led to many decisions such as this one. We wish the Davidson athletic department well.”