Davidson joins A-10 conference

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Davidson College will join the Atlantic 10 starting in the 2014-15 season, conference officials announced Wednesday.

The North Carolina school, which currently competes in the Southern Conference, will join the Atlantic 10 in all sports except for football and wrestling.

"Not only does Davidson meet the benchmarks we have set, they have exceeded them in many areas," Atlantic 10 Commissioner Bernadette McGlade said on a conference call.

Davidson president Carol Quillen said the Atlantic 10 will provide the school with an opportunity to compete in the D.C, Philadelphia, Richmond and New York markets. The school recruits students from those areas.

Davidson turned down an opportunity to join the Colonial Athletic Conference last year. Quillen said that the time and fit were not right just wasn't right but the Atlantic 10.

Duquesne men's basketball coach Jim Ferry said the additions of Davidson and George Mason -- announced earlier -- strengthens a strong league.

"They fit both academically and athletically," Ferry said. "It allows the Atlantic 10 to remain as one of the top basketball conferences in the country."

The addition of Davidson and George Mason, which is leaving the Colonial Athletic Conference and will join the Atlantic 10 for this season, means the Atlantic 10 will be a 14-team league in 2014-15.

The conference lost Xavier and Butler this year to the Big East and also lost Charlotte to Conference USA and Temple to the American Athletic Conference (the old Big East)l so these recent moves to add schools have been designed to help stabilize the Atlantic 10.

The other members of the Atlantic 10 are Duquesne, Dayton, LaSalle, Massachusetts, St. Joe's, St. Bonaventure, Rhode Island, Fordham, Richmond, St. Louis, George Washington and VCU.

Dayton, St. Louis and VCU have all been rumored to be on the short list for membership in the Big East should the conference look to expand beyond 10 teams. UMass could end up in the American Athletic Conference because the school has bumped its football program up to Division I-A.

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