Today was a historic day for VCU Athletics, as University President Michael Rao announced VCU’s move to the Atlantic 10 conference, thus turning the page on the 17-year relationship the Rams had built with the Colonial Athletic Association.
The move will take effect July 1st, meaning VCU basketball will go into scheduling overdrive to prepare for Atlantic 10 play this coming November.
By leaving, VCU will forfeit as much as $5 million in NCAA tournament shares owed, a loss President Michael Rao was willing to swallow, going on to say, “the expected returns are far greater than the short-term losses”.
Rao also commented on the Universities desire to be “premier across the board…and that includes athletics”.
Coach Smart wasn’t on hand to comment, but in an emailed statement said, “We are extremely excited by the opportunity to join the Atlantic 10 Conference. It is a phenomenal league, made up of programs with both rich traditions and recent track records of success. We are very appreciative of the time we spent in the CAA, the experiences we had and the relationships we gained. We plan to maintain our key rivalries with CAA teams, now and in the future. We are enthuasiastic about attacking the challenges that lie ahead. Our number one goal remains to move our student-athletes forward, both on and off the court.”
The following video is part 1 of a series of videos of the press conference.