George Mason will remain in the Colonial Athletic Association, Athletic Director Tom O’Connor said Friday.
In a telephone interview, O’Connor said the Fairfax school had discussions with the Atlantic 10 about joining that conference but in the end decided to stay in the CAA, the Patriots’ conference home since 1985.
“We felt it was in our best interests to stay,” O’Connor said, citing the conference’s history and geographic strength.
The 12-member CAA has faced recent uncertainty about its membership. Georgia State, a conference member since 2005, announced last month that it will join the Sun Belt Conference in 2013. Virginia Commonwealth is reportedly weighing a move to the Atlantic 10. Old Dominion, which in 2009 restarted a football team that competes in the second-tier Football Championship Subdivision, reportedly is considering a move to join Conference USA so its football program can make the jump to the Football Bowl Subdivision.
O’Connor said the moves being weighed by VCU and ODU had no bearing on George Mason’s decision to remain in the CAA. He added that George Mason was never offered Atlantic 10 membership, nor did it apply, but that the school did meet with Atlantic 10 representatives.