Conference Realignment: VCU To Join Atlantic 10 In 2012

Feb 25, 2012; Richmond, VA, USA; Virginia Commonwealth Rams head coach Shaka Smart celebrates with Virginia Commonwealth Rams guard Briante Weber (2) after Weber caused a turn over during the first half at Stuart C. Siegel Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-US PRESSWIRE

The VCU Rams have decided to fast-track their plans to join the Atlantic 10 and will become a conference member effective July 1, 2012.

The Duquesne Dukes' conference just got a little better. The Virginia Commonwealth Rams held a press conference on Tuesday to announce that they will join the Atlantic 10 conference effective on July 1, 2012, to begin competition in the 2012-13 academic year.

Reports had been made that they were going to join in 2013, but obviously those plans have been fast-tracked. VCU president Michael Rao made his announcement today.

We are very honored to join A-10. This is a tremendous opportunity that represents best interests of the institution.

Rao has said that the decision to move to the Atlantic 10 was made to raise the visibility of their team in more robust media markets. The president also made sure to address the conference they are departing, the CAA.

We have the utmost respect of Tom Yeager, the leadership team and the other institutions of CAA.

With this decision to join the Atlantic 10 ,the Rams have the opportunity to revive a rivalry with the crosstown Richmond Spiders as well as possibly starting one with the Butler Bulldogs, whom they played in the Final Four in 2011.

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