Davidson to leave SoCon for A-10 - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Davidson to leave SoCon for A-10

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DAVIDSON, N.C. (AP/WRCB) -- Davidson is joining the Atlantic 10 Conference in 2014.

The school announced Wednesday that it will leave the Southern Conference to become the A-10's 14th team on July 1, 2014.

Commissioner Bernadette McGlade says Davidson is "an ideal fit for the Atlantic 10" and "will be competitive immediately."

The move helps the A-10 maintain its presence in the Charlotte market. The Charlotte 49ers are leaving the A-10 to rejoin Conference USA in July.

The A-10 also added George Mason after losing Butler and Xavier to the new Big East.

It will be home to all but two of the Wildcats' 21 sports. Football will remain in the non-scholarship Pioneer League and wrestling will seek to remain in the SoCon -- the league it first joined in 1936.

Southern Conference commissioner John Iammarino expressed disappointment in Davidson's decision. He said as late as Tuesday that he had heared nothing from school officials about the possibility of the Wildcats' departure.

"Davidson and the Southern Conference have been a good fit for many decades," Iammarino said in a statement. "We're disappointed in the administration's decision to leave, but understand the dynamics of collegiate athletics have led to many decisions such as this one.

"We wish the Davidson athletic department well."

The SoCon has been eyeing new schools of its own after losing the College of Charleston to the Colonial Athletic Association and both Appalachian State and Georgia Southern to the Sun Belt.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported last week that Virginia Military Institute, Mercer and East Tennessee State have been tabbed as potential additions to the league in all sports.

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