VCU Joins Atlantic 10 Conference After Leaving Colonial Athletic Association

DAYTON, OH - MARCH 16: Darius Theus #10 of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams looks to pass against Maurice Jones #10 of the USC Trojans as head coach Shaka Smart looks on during the first round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at UD Arena on March 16, 2011 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The VCU Rams announced Tuesday that they will join the Atlantic 10 Conference for all sports effective on July 1, 2012.

The Atlantic 10 Conference has found a replacement for the Temple Owls.

VCU president Michael Roa revealed Tuesday that the Rams are leaving the Colonial Athletic Association for all sports in favor of the Atlantic 10, and will make the move in time for the 2012-13 academic calendar.

"Accepting VCU's application makes sense on two important levels -- its emphasis on the quality of the student experience of its student-athletes, especially in the classroom, and its commitment to the highest levels of competition. Both ideals square perfectly with the identity of the A-10 and all of its member institutions," said Xavier University president Father Michael J. Graham, the chairman of the conference's council of presidents.

VCU's basketball program, led by rising star coach Shaka Smart, advanced to the Final Four in 2011 and again reached the NCAA Tournament last season despite losing almost every contributor from the 2011 team. The Rams' basketball team should be a big addition to the Atlantic 10, which now has 15 member schools.

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