Beginning in 2012, when the Georgia State Panthers begin their first year of football conference play, the team will officially be a member of CAA Football.
The announcement was made Thursday afternoon, June 11, at a press conference on campus, where CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager extended the invitation to Georgia State President Mark Becker, Athletics Director Cheryl Levick, and head coach Bill Curry.
The Panthers will play for two seasons as an independent team, starting in 2010, before joining CAA Football in 2012. The team will compete in the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly known as NCAA Division I-AA.
Georgia State began competing in the CAA for all sports during the 2005-2006 season, after 22 years of membership in the Atlantic Sun Conference. Other all-sports members of the CAA include: Delaware, Drexel, George Mason, Hofstra, James Madison, Northeastern, Old Dominion, Towson, UNC Wilmington, VCU, William and Mary.
When Georgia State’s football program joins CAA Football in 2012, it will be the 14th team in the league.
“The inclusion of Georgia State University’s program in CAA Football is another important step forward in our journey toward the Fall 2010 inaugural kickoff for GSU Football,” said Becker. ”CAA Football has emerged as the premier Football Championship Subdivision conference in the nation, and that athletic success is matched by an exemplary commitment to excellence in academics and scholarship. This is a perfect partnership for Georgia State in every dimension.”
“We are very excited about Georgia State joining CAA Football in 2012,” said Yeager. ”The state of Georgia is known for its passion for college football, and we look forward to welcoming the Panthers into the best FCS conference in the country.”
“On behalf of everyone at Georgia State, we’d like to thank the Colonial Athletic Association and Commissioner Tom Yeager,” said Levick. “The CAA has been a great fit for Georgia State athletics, and it is the perfect home for Panther football. The response to Georgia State football has been remarkable. Around campus and throughout the city of Atlanta, there is a positive buzz for our new program. The membership in the CAA is now official, and we are ready to kick off practice in August.”
“CAA Football is the best FCS football conference in the country, by record and playoff performance,” said Curry. “The numbers are simply astonishing. The opportunity to compete in a conference this successful and this prestigious will only help our program grow. We know that we have our work cut out for us, and we can’t wait to get started. This University, this state, and this conference demand excellence, and that’s what we’re going to strive for from day one.”
For more on Georgia State Football, please visit www.georgiastatesports.com.