FAIRFAX, VA (WWBT) - George Mason will become a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, beginning July 1st of this year, both the school and the conference announced Monday.
The Patriots will be the 13th conference member at that time. The league is currently made up of 16 teams, but Xavier, Butler, Temple and Charlotte will depart this summer. George Mason becomes the third Virginia school and second Washington, DC, metro-area school in the A10.
George Mason is the latest of several schools to depart the CAA. VCU, Old Dominion and Georgia State each announced their intentions to leave last year, the Rams for the Atlantic 10, ODU to Conference USA and Georgia State to the Sun Belt. The Monarchs and Panthers are motivated by a rise to the FBS level in football. George Mason was one of the original members of the CAA and was in the league for 28 years.
The move also renews a conference rivalry with VCU. The Rams and Mason battled as rivals in the CAA until VCU departed for the Atlantic 10 last May. The two had agreed to meet annually in a non-conference game, but now they'll face each other for league bragging rights and standing once again.