May 8, 2013
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. –The Atlantic 10 Conference Council of Presidents has unanimously voted to formally accept an application for membership from Davidson College the league announced Wednesday. A prestigious private institution in Davidson, N.C., the Wildcat athletic program sponsors 19 of the Atlantic 10’s 21 championship sports.
Davidson will join the A-10 on July 1, 2014 and begin competition in the 2014-15 academic year. Located just north of Charlotte within the Atlantic 10 footprint, the Wildcats have a tradition of excellence in intercollegiate athletics led by men’s basketball, a successful women’s basketball program and strong Olympic sports programs. Consistently ranked in the top ten of the best Liberal Arts schools in the United States, Davidson’s academic programs are among the best in the nation.
"All of us in the Atlantic 10 are delighted to add such an academically distinguished and athletically competitive institution to our conference," said Chair of the A-10 Council of Presidents and President of The George Washington University Dr. Steven Knapp.
Davidson is the second addition to the Atlantic 10 Conference this spring, joining George Mason, which will enter the league this July. Like Mason, the Wildcats further strengthen the Atlantic 10 as the most successful basketball-centric conference in Division I. The league had nine members selected for postseason play in men’s basketball in 2013, including five for the NCAA Tournament, the third most of any Division I conference. Davidson has made 11 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including five since 2002. The Wildcats, behind long-time coach Bob McKillop and All-American sharpshooter Stephen Curry, made a run to the 2008 Elite Eight.
Additionally, 10 Olympic sports in the A-10 have automatic qualifying (AQ) status for the NCAA Championships. The league has also earned six at-large Olympic-sport selections to the NCAAs in the last two years. Davidson has a history of success in Olympic sports, including a run to the men’s soccer College Cup.
“Davidson is an ideal fit for the Atlantic 10 – as a nationally recognized academic Institution complimented by excellence in a broad-based athletic program -- the Wildcats will be competitive immediately. Their success in men's basketball is important, bringing another nationally recognized brand into the league," stated A-10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. “It is my pleasure to welcome Davidson's administration, their student-athletes, staff, alumni and fans to the Atlantic 10 Conference. They will maintain our presence in the Charlotte market, one of the top 25 media markets in the country, and reinforce our commitment to national prominence in men’s basketball.”
A hallmark of the Atlantic 10 Conference is its academic reputation. The league ranks second among all Division I conferences in the most recent NCAA graduation rates (GSR) with an incredible 90 percent of student-athletes graduating. Davidson had 14 teams achieve perfect GSR rates last fall and nearly all of its teams achieved a 990 or better in the Academic Progress Rate (APR).
“Davidson is thrilled to join the Atlantic 10 Conference to compete alongside some of the most dynamic Division I student-athletes in the country,” Davidson President Dr. Carol Quillen said. “Our athletic teams – from men’s basketball to women’s lacrosse, from men’s swimming to women’s tennis – are ready for this new opportunity and we have the greatest confidence they will succeed.”
Athletically, the Atlantic 10 has had 50 at-large NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament selections in the past 25 years, including four this season. The A-10 has boasted 71 postseason appearances in the last decade. For the sixth year in a row, the Atlantic 10 Conference earned at least three bids and multiple at-large bids into the NCAA Tournament. The A-10 had 10 institutions rated in the top 100 of the RPI for most of the season.
One of the premier women’s basketball leagues in the country, the Atlantic 10 has had two consecutive years of 50 percent of its membership participating in postseason play. Davidson just completed its second consecutive 22-win season in women’s basketball, earning a postseason WNIT bid in each year.
"The Atlantic 10 is a conference that gives Davidson the opportunity to be associated with and compete against institutions with significant profiles, both academically and athletically, while we continue to establish our national brand. This is a great opportunity to use athletics to further the goals and objectives of the college as we enhance the experience of our students," said Jim Murphy, Davidson Director of Athletics.
The move will also allow Davidson to have a home for its swimming & diving, field hockey and women’s lacrosse programs within the school’s primary conference affiliation in the A-10. This affords the Wildcat programs the opportunity to grow the brand recognition for those sports and contributes to the overall success of the Davidson athletics.
One of just five conferences to have its men’s basketball championship air on network television (CBS), the A-10 recently signed new, eight-year media rights agreements with ESPN, CBS Sports Network and NBC Sports Network. Partnering with three of the largest media corporations nationally and internationally the A-10 aligns itself with the best in the business from distribution platforms and branding. The Atlantic 10 holds one of the most impressive media footprints in all of Division I, with eight A-10 schools located in the top 25 media markets in the country and every institution within the top 65 markets. The Atlantic 10 reaches approximately 35 million television homes. The league also recently completed the first year of a multi-year contract relationship for the A10 Men’s Basketball Championship to be held in the Barclays Center, the newest- state of the art NBA arena in Brooklyn, N.Y.
About the A-10
The Atlantic 10 Conference was formed in 1976. Sponsoring 21 championship sports, the mission and goal of the Atlantic 10 is to preserve, protect, and enhance the academic and athletic pursuits of the membership. The conference is committed to integrity, educational excellence and providing quality equitable championship experiences for more than 6,000 student-athletes, coaches, and support staff.
About Davidson College
Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,920 students located 20 minutes north of Charlotte in Davidson, N.C. Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently regarded as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Through The Davidson Trust, the college became the first liberal arts institution in the nation to replace loans with grants in all financial aid packages, giving all students the opportunity to graduate debt-free. Davidson competes in NCAA athletics at the Division I level, and a longstanding Honor Code is central to student life at the college.