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CAA History Lesson
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solohawks Offline
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Post: #1
CAA History Lesson
The conference and football discussion on the podcast thread got me thinking about the original CAA and what led to the mess we are in now.

I found a treasure trove of old articles that pretty clearly lays out what happened
https://www.dailypress.com/topic/sports/...ery_search

After ECU and American decided to leave and the A10 flirted with Richmond but turned them down. The CAA was down to 7 teams, the 6 VA schools and UNCW. There where two goals Yeager seemed to have, a Carolina replacement for ECU so UNCW wouldn't be isolated and getting CAA football up and running. At the time the CAA only had 3 football schools playing in A10 football: JMU, W&M, and Richmond.

It appears that they pieced together a 14 team all sports league with 8 football playing schools: *=Football School
Delaware*
GMU
ODU
VCU
Richmond*
JMU*
W&M*
VMI*
UNCG
UNCW
Furman*
Wofford*
The Citadel*
Charleston

However during the planning of this Richmond was using this new football conference as leverage to get into the A10. A10 football had 10 members at the time, so losing 4 of those members to this new conference would have left it in a tough spot. Admitting Richmond kept the A10 as a football league, which entitles you to more voting rights in NCAA matters.

Once Richmond did the deed, the 14 team all sports CAA fell apart and the 6 remaining schools were left scrambling, yet committed to each other. JMU and W&M turned down interest from the SoCon while JMU, W&M, and GMU turned down interest from the AE. From the looks of it W&M really saved the CAA. An attempt was made to get all 6 schools in the AE for a full merger but that was shot down as some non football northern AE schools prevented the super majority requirement from being met in order to expand. After that did not work out the CAA got the 4 AE schools to join and the rest is history.

Looking at it all, it seemed the pursuit of football was what killed the league. This article in particular was interesting: https://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-xpm-2...story.html

"We could go out and get an eighth school and satisfy our need to be above the NCAA minimum and accommodate (UNC) Wilmington geographically - we could do that next week and stop there," Yeager said. "But at the same time, we have an opportunity to think outside the box a little bit and do some really creative things. We can really change how we operate and how things look."

His creativity and desire for football led to Richmond leveraging an A10 invite, which led to panic and a poor foundation for a conference, consequences we are still suffering today. It also left an unfulfilled promise to get UNCW a Carolina based partner, a promise that would remain unfulfilled for over a decade. Looking back i wonder how differently things would have been if they had just added a UNCG or Charleston, focused on basketball, and called it a day.
02-07-2019 07:02 AM
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70shawk Offline
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RE: CAA History Lesson
No one ever accused Tom Yeager with Albert Einstein.
02-07-2019 11:32 AM
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Seahawkhoops Offline
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RE: CAA History Lesson
(02-07-2019 11:32 AM)70shawk Wrote:  No one ever accused Tom Yeager with Albert Einstein.

Compared to currently, he looks like Einstein
02-07-2019 12:07 PM
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SEA33HAWK Online
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Post: #4
RE: CAA History Lesson
(02-07-2019 12:07 PM)Seahawkhoops Wrote:  
(02-07-2019 11:32 AM)70shawk Wrote:  No one ever accused Tom Yeager with Albert Einstein.

Compared to currently, he looks like Einstein

More like "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss".
02-07-2019 01:55 PM
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Seahawkhoops Offline
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RE: CAA History Lesson
(02-07-2019 01:55 PM)SEA33HAWK Wrote:  
(02-07-2019 12:07 PM)Seahawkhoops Wrote:  
(02-07-2019 11:32 AM)70shawk Wrote:  No one ever accused Tom Yeager with Albert Einstein.

Compared to currently, he looks like Einstein

More like "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss".

in many respects. But in many respects the current regime is worse. TV package etc.
02-07-2019 01:58 PM
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TribePride91 Offline
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Post: #6
RE: CAA History Lesson
I think it is likely true that W&M saved the CAA, but it has hampered us since(and it has adversely affected UNCW and JMU as well). Much of that was based on a desire to keep a Virginia based conference. But every one of those 14 schools would have given an excellent footprint. Football has created a lot of difficulties to a lot of schools and non-revenue sports. In many cases, the financial outlay to try and move up hasn't led to revenue overall or even a better situation. At least right now, it is still driving the bus in most athletic departments. It is interesting since at many of those places, none of the institutions can reach the heights of the FBS playoffs yet they spend huge amounts to try and move one step up. If you could get one of the roughly 64 spots in higher P5 then it might make sense, but so far no one has. I guess it will be interesting to see if UCF cracks that group at the table. But, in basketball, you have seen Butler, Wichita St., Gonzaga, and a few others(VCU?) reach much higher heights. There is a lot more money in football right now though.
02-07-2019 02:43 PM
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Gary Miller Offline
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RE: CAA History Lesson
(02-07-2019 02:43 PM)TribePride91 Wrote:  I think it is likely true that W&M saved the CAA, but it has hampered us since(and it has adversely affected UNCW and JMU as well). Much of that was based on a desire to keep a Virginia based conference. But every one of those 14 schools would have given an excellent footprint. Football has created a lot of difficulties to a lot of schools and non-revenue sports. In many cases, the financial outlay to try and move up hasn't led to revenue overall or even a better situation. At least right now, it is still driving the bus in most athletic departments. It is interesting since at many of those places, none of the institutions can reach the heights of the FBS playoffs yet they spend huge amounts to try and move one step up. If you could get one of the roughly 64 spots in higher P5 then it might make sense, but so far no one has. I guess it will be interesting to see if UCF cracks that group at the table. But, in basketball, you have seen Butler, Wichita St., Gonzaga, and a few others(VCU?) reach much higher heights. There is a lot more money in football right now though.

TCU moved up to the Big 12 in recent memory and competed in the FBS Playoffs. Other than that, you're correct. UCF could very well be next.
02-07-2019 05:39 PM
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solohawks Offline
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RE: CAA History Lesson
(02-07-2019 02:43 PM)TribePride91 Wrote:  I think it is likely true that W&M saved the CAA, but it has hampered us since(and it has adversely affected UNCW and JMU as well). Much of that was based on a desire to keep a Virginia based conference. But every one of those 14 schools would have given an excellent footprint. Football has created a lot of difficulties to a lot of schools and non-revenue sports. In many cases, the financial outlay to try and move up hasn't led to revenue overall or even a better situation. At least right now, it is still driving the bus in most athletic departments. It is interesting since at many of those places, none of the institutions can reach the heights of the FBS playoffs yet they spend huge amounts to try and move one step up. If you could get one of the roughly 64 spots in higher P5 then it might make sense, but so far no one has. I guess it will be interesting to see if UCF cracks that group at the table. But, in basketball, you have seen Butler, Wichita St., Gonzaga, and a few others(VCU?) reach much higher heights. There is a lot more money in football right now though.

The Tribe had been the glue that has held the CAA together and have been rewarded with all their VA brethren leaving them for the A10 and FBS football. JMU would leave if they had the same invite ODU had to the CAA.

Looking back it likely would have been in W&M best interest to partner with Wofford and Furman in the SoCon since the Patriot League isnt the best fit.

That 14 team league Yeager tried to pull off would have been ideal for the Tribe. I'm not sure how the CAA can realistically be improved at this point
02-07-2019 08:02 PM
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TribePride91 Offline
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RE: CAA History Lesson
And add no CAA basketball titles in the last 10 years where only the Seahawks have more than 1. Consistent success but never the champ.

Edit: i forgot ODU won in both 2010 and 2011. I obviously remember 2010 since they beat the Tribe in the final.

This year is the worst Tribe team since 2013. But, the Tribe would be a significant challenger to Hofstra if they could hold jwf under 30. Not sure they match up as well with Northeastern or Charleston.

Still think you guys might still make a run as well. Want to not be 7-10, and avoiding Charleston in the 1st round as well. Probably need 8 to 9 conference wins to get there. But, history says Hofstra, Charleston, or Northeastern will cut the nets down on March 12th.
(This post was last modified: 02-10-2019 02:21 PM by TribePride91.)
02-10-2019 02:13 PM
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solohawks Offline
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RE: CAA History Lesson
(02-10-2019 02:13 PM)TribePride91 Wrote:  And add no CAA basketball titles in the last 10 years where only the Seahawks have more than 1. Consistent success but never the champ.

Edit: i forgot ODU won in both 2010 and 2011. I obviously remember 2010 since they beat the Tribe in the final.

This year is the worst Tribe team since 2013. But, the Tribe would be a significant challenger to Hofstra if they could hold jwf under 30. Not sure they match up as well with Northeastern or Charleston.

Still think you guys might still make a run as well. Want to not be 7-10, and avoiding Charleston in the 1st round as well. Probably need 8 to 9 conference wins to get there. But, history says Hofstra, Charleston, or Northeastern will cut the nets down on March 12th.

Is W&M happy with the state of the CAA?

I believe they are the glue holding it together.

Does W&M regret staying?
02-10-2019 05:40 PM
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TribePride91 Offline
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RE: CAA History Lesson
I doubt the Tribe had a better option at the time, but I don't think they regret staying. The regret comes from missing the old rivalries with Richmond, VCU, ODU and George Mason. ODU has continued to play the Tribe in several sports and Mason returned for a home and home basketball series. VCU has absolutely refused to play the Tribe, but has played JMU I think. The "plan" would have been more stable than the current CAA. The problem with most smaller leagues including the CAA is that the football driven choices often adversely affect the other sports. Since the league only has W&M, JMU, Delaware, Elon and Towson that play in the CAA in all sports, it makes for a difficult juggling act. All of the non-football schools have been good partners to this point. But, the football portion is still a significant problem with Richmond, Stony Brook, New Hampshire, Villanova, Maine, Rhode Island, and Albany having different allegiances that the other 5 members. Plus, JMU and Delaware(At least their fan bases) seem eager to leave the conference for a low level G5 conference. Overall, the CAA has been a better conference in basketball and football than most people give them credit for. In football, it has been at worst, the 2nd best FCS conference. In basketball, the conference has had quality basketball for years with 2 teams reaching the final four and usually quality appearances in the NCAA.
02-11-2019 12:56 PM
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Seahawk2010 Offline
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Post: #12
RE: CAA History Lesson
So why did the CAA bring Richmond back for football only, after leaving for the A-10?
02-12-2019 09:24 AM
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solohawks Offline
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RE: CAA History Lesson
(02-12-2019 09:24 AM)Seahawk2010 Wrote:  So why did the CAA bring Richmond back for football only, after leaving for the A-10?

When the CAA took over football from the A10 after inviting Northeastern, they basically decided to take all affiliates, UMass, URI, UNH, Maine, Richmond, and Villanova and not be petty.

If the CAA had chosen to exclude Richmond they would have joined the Patriot League for football

http://articles.mcall.com/2005-03-04/spo...ll-options
02-12-2019 11:40 AM
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Seahawk2010 Offline
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RE: CAA History Lesson
(02-12-2019 11:40 AM)solohawks Wrote:  
(02-12-2019 09:24 AM)Seahawk2010 Wrote:  So why did the CAA bring Richmond back for football only, after leaving for the A-10?

When the CAA took over football from the A10 after inviting Northeastern, they basically decided to take all affiliates, UMass, URI, UNH, Maine, Richmond, and Villanova and not be petty.

If the CAA had chosen to exclude Richmond they would have joined the Patriot League for football

http://articles.mcall.com/2005-03-04/spo...ll-options

Eh, I would have been petty to be honest. And it sounds like Richmond wasn’t even sure they wanted to join. They wanted to “associate with institutions similar academically to Richmond.”

I would have said they would have to be a full member or nothing. They could have taken their pompous selfs to the non scholarship Patriot League and watch their level of success go down.
(This post was last modified: 02-12-2019 12:35 PM by Seahawk2010.)
02-12-2019 12:29 PM
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solohawks Offline
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RE: CAA History Lesson
(02-12-2019 12:29 PM)Seahawk2010 Wrote:  
(02-12-2019 11:40 AM)solohawks Wrote:  
(02-12-2019 09:24 AM)Seahawk2010 Wrote:  So why did the CAA bring Richmond back for football only, after leaving for the A-10?

When the CAA took over football from the A10 after inviting Northeastern, they basically decided to take all affiliates, UMass, URI, UNH, Maine, Richmond, and Villanova and not be petty.

If the CAA had chosen to exclude Richmond they would have joined the Patriot League for football

http://articles.mcall.com/2005-03-04/spo...ll-options

Eh, I would have been petty to be honest. And it sounds like Richmond wasn’t even sure they wanted to join. They wanted to “associate with institutions similar academically to Richmond.”

I would have said they would have to be a full member or nothing. They could have taken their pompous selfs to the non scholarship Patriot League and watch their level of success go down.

I would have been fine with that.

If you have a bit of leverage then why not use it?

W&M and JMU might not have been so much as I think Richmond would have figured something else out for football
(This post was last modified: 02-12-2019 02:41 PM by solohawks.)
02-12-2019 02:39 PM
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TribePride91 Offline
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RE: CAA History Lesson
In football, Richmond is both JMU's and W&M's biggest rival. But, in hindsight given how it affected the conference and possibly led to the exits of VCU, ODU and George Mason, supporting the Spiders and allowing them partial membership might have been a mistake. But, now W&M has the former Spiders coach and former UVA coach, Mike London as its head coach. I still think the CAA is a good league in both football and basketball. My only concern is how secure the league is with its current membership.
02-15-2019 04:06 PM
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CAA History Lesson
(02-15-2019 04:06 PM)TribePride91 Wrote:  In football, Richmond is both JMU's and W&M's biggest rival. But, in hindsight given how it affected the conference and possibly led to the exits of VCU, ODU and George Mason, supporting the Spiders and allowing them partial membership might have been a mistake. But, now W&M has the former Spiders coach and former UVA coach, Mike London as its head coach. I still think the CAA is a good league in both football and basketball. My only concern is how secure the league is with its current membership.

It’s about as insecure as the chick with no bf who took her cousin to prom. Odd plot twist though, many of those young ladies went on to become W&M students.


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(This post was last modified: 02-15-2019 04:25 PM by CG_Hawk06.)
02-15-2019 04:25 PM
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RE: CAA History Lesson
(02-11-2019 12:56 PM)TribePride91 Wrote:  I doubt the Tribe had a better option at the time, but I don't think they regret staying. The regret comes from missing the old rivalries with Richmond, VCU, ODU and George Mason. ODU has continued to play the Tribe in several sports and Mason returned for a home and home basketball series. VCU has absolutely refused to play the Tribe, but has played JMU I think. The "plan" would have been more stable than the current CAA. The problem with most smaller leagues including the CAA is that the football driven choices often adversely affect the other sports. Since the league only has W&M, JMU, Delaware, Elon and Towson that play in the CAA in all sports, it makes for a difficult juggling act. All of the non-football schools have been good partners to this point. But, the football portion is still a significant problem with Richmond, Stony Brook, New Hampshire, Villanova, Maine, Rhode Island, and Albany having different allegiances that the other 5 members. Plus, JMU and Delaware(At least their fan bases) seem eager to leave the conference for a low level G5 conference. Overall, the CAA has been a better conference in basketball and football than most people give them credit for. In football, it has been at worst, the 2nd best FCS conference. In basketball, the conference has had quality basketball for years with 2 teams reaching the final four and usually quality appearances in the NCAA.

When was the last quality CAA appearance in the NCAA tournament? Was it by a present member? How is CAA trending in men’s basketball by any metric?
02-18-2019 06:27 PM
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CAA History Lesson
(02-18-2019 06:27 PM)Florida tribe fan Wrote:  
(02-11-2019 12:56 PM)TribePride91 Wrote:  I doubt the Tribe had a better option at the time, but I don't think they regret staying. The regret comes from missing the old rivalries with Richmond, VCU, ODU and George Mason. ODU has continued to play the Tribe in several sports and Mason returned for a home and home basketball series. VCU has absolutely refused to play the Tribe, but has played JMU I think. The "plan" would have been more stable than the current CAA. The problem with most smaller leagues including the CAA is that the football driven choices often adversely affect the other sports. Since the league only has W&M, JMU, Delaware, Elon and Towson that play in the CAA in all sports, it makes for a difficult juggling act. All of the non-football schools have been good partners to this point. But, the football portion is still a significant problem with Richmond, Stony Brook, New Hampshire, Villanova, Maine, Rhode Island, and Albany having different allegiances that the other 5 members. Plus, JMU and Delaware(At least their fan bases) seem eager to leave the conference for a low level G5 conference. Overall, the CAA has been a better conference in basketball and football than most people give them credit for. In football, it has been at worst, the 2nd best FCS conference. In basketball, the conference has had quality basketball for years with 2 teams reaching the final four and usually quality appearances in the NCAA.

When was the last quality CAA appearance in the NCAA tournament? Was it by a present member? How is CAA trending in men’s basketball by any metric?


Quality appearance or successful win? Obviously those can be different answers. The first being in 2016 and 2017 when UNCW had leads on Duke and UVA. The second is obviously VCU’s Final Four run nearly a decade ago now (geez that makes me feel old).


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02-18-2019 06:54 PM
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RE: CAA History Lesson
(02-18-2019 06:54 PM)CG_Hawk06 Wrote:  
(02-18-2019 06:27 PM)Florida tribe fan Wrote:  
(02-11-2019 12:56 PM)TribePride91 Wrote:  I doubt the Tribe had a better option at the time, but I don't think they regret staying. The regret comes from missing the old rivalries with Richmond, VCU, ODU and George Mason. ODU has continued to play the Tribe in several sports and Mason returned for a home and home basketball series. VCU has absolutely refused to play the Tribe, but has played JMU I think. The "plan" would have been more stable than the current CAA. The problem with most smaller leagues including the CAA is that the football driven choices often adversely affect the other sports. Since the league only has W&M, JMU, Delaware, Elon and Towson that play in the CAA in all sports, it makes for a difficult juggling act. All of the non-football schools have been good partners to this point. But, the football portion is still a significant problem with Richmond, Stony Brook, New Hampshire, Villanova, Maine, Rhode Island, and Albany having different allegiances that the other 5 members. Plus, JMU and Delaware(At least their fan bases) seem eager to leave the conference for a low level G5 conference. Overall, the CAA has been a better conference in basketball and football than most people give them credit for. In football, it has been at worst, the 2nd best FCS conference. In basketball, the conference has had quality basketball for years with 2 teams reaching the final four and usually quality appearances in the NCAA.

When was the last quality CAA appearance in the NCAA tournament? Was it by a present member? How is CAA trending in men’s basketball by any metric?


Quality appearance or successful win? Obviously those can be different answers. The first being in 2016 and 2017 when UNCW had leads on Duke and UVA. The second is obviously VCU’s Final Four run nearly a decade ago now (geez that makes me feel old).


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If W&M had had halftime lead in opening round of tournament, I’d have had a tee shirt made, so I’ll concede that fans of a CAA team would construe this as a quality appearance. To some, covering the spread might be characterized as a quality appearance. Not sure many others would. Majority of CAA historical success arguably belongs to schools now in A-10, CUSA, and in case of Navy, even in the Patriot League.

Calling card of a conference ought to be more compelling than we used to have members who punched above their weight. Tomorrow’s history is being made today. How is CAA trending in men’s basketball by any metric? Looking forward, where is cause for optimism on part of commissioner and ADs? If trend is cause for concern, what is strategy to reverse?
02-18-2019 07:56 PM
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