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North CarolinaCentral University Votes To Move To Division I

North CarolinaCentral University Votes To Move To Division I

Trustees at North Carolina Central University voted last month to approve moving the school’s sports affiliation to Division I in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

NCCU, which will play Division I-AA football, will move from the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, a Division II conference. NCCU will start adding MEAC teams to its roster starting next year as part of a five-year process.

The trustees voted unanimously for the move on a motion made by trustee Glenn Adams.

NCCU, a founding member of the MEAC in the early 1970s, left the league a few years later, when MEAC was reclassified Division I from its original Division II affiliation.

In the MEAC, NCCU will compete against other historically Black colleges and universities that offer comprehensive curricula and masters’ degrees, says NCCU Chancellor James Ammons. Its CIAA rivals offer mostly bachelor’s degree programs, he says.

“We will be reunited with some of our historical rivals,” he says, mentioning Howard University, North Carolina A&T State University, Norfolk State University and Hampton University.

Increasing NCCU’s sports-fan appeal will in turn increase its competitiveness in attracting high-achieving students, he says.

In September, consultant Andrew Fellingham told the committee investigating the move that, based on 2004 expenses, moving to the MEAC would require an annual athletics budget of $5.4 million.

In 2004, NCCU spent about $2.3 million on athletics.

— Associated Press

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