The CIAA announced on Friday that the conference is ending its associate membership with Chowan University.
Chowan, the only non-HBCU in the league, became a full member of the CIAA in 2008 and although the program garnered full membership with Conference Carolinas in 2017, its football program remained in the CIAA as the conference’s 12th football-playing institution.
“This news is not what we wanted to hear but understand that the CIAA was looking to grow their full-time membership,” said Patrick Mashuda, vice president of athletics at Chowan. “We have appreciated our time within the CIAA and wish the league and her member schools the best of luck moving forward.”
Chowan officials explained they would begin the search for conference affiliation for the football program. The current CIAA membership agreement expires on June 30, 2023.
“We are committed to getting our football program conference affiliation and feel confident that this will happen sooner rather than later,” said Chowan President Kirk Peterson. “We are exploring all options for conference membership because competing as an independent is not a part of our future.”
Chowan’s exit from the conference coincides with the addition of Bluefield State. The school’s membership was approved at the annual CIAA Board of Directors meeting this week in Charlotte.
Bluefield State, which restarted its football program in 2021 after a 40-year hiatus, will be a CIAA member on July 1, 2023.