The future of the MEAC is once again rendered uncertain after a report indicated that one of its longtime members might be leaving the conference.
As first reported by HBCU GameDay, Howard is expected to leave the conference to join the CAA.
The website outlined that Howard would be part of the new-look CAA for the 2023-24 season.
Howard would join former MEAC members Hampton and North Carolina A&T in a conference that would feature 14 schools.
In recent years, the conference has lost Bethune-Cookman, Savannah State, Winston-Salem State and Florida A&M in addition to Hampton and North Carolina A&T. The conference, however, has not gained any new members since North Carolina Central joined the league in 2010.
In preliminary expansion conversations last year, the CAA reportedly had eyed Hampton and Howard as potential members, according to reports.
With Howard’s departure, the MEAC would be left with just five football-playing schools and six basketball schools.
Acknowledging that conference realignment was an issue the league would have to face, the MEAC presidents and chancellors addressed the matter in a statement last November entitled “The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s Elite Eight Aren’t Going Anywhere.”
The group expressed that the conference is “wholly committed to sustaining the legacy of its storied conference and promoting a bright future for their student-athletes, alumni and the entire HBCU community.”
“It is because of this solidarity that each leader has expressed a resolute desire to not only maintain their affiliation with the MEAC but also to continue to enhance its profile and value,” the statement said.
Howard President Wayne Frederick was identified among conference presidents who would work toward future MEAC expansion.
“The affiliation of our eight outstanding member institutions is of utmost importance as we also explore conference expansion to include other institutions that reflect our values. President Dr. Wayne Frederick of Howard University, President Dr. Heidi Anderson of UMES and President Dr. David Wilson of Morgan State University are leading a committee with expansion in mind.”
Howard has been a MEAC member since 1970.