James Madison will be barred from the CAA conference championships if the school joins the Sun Belt – or any other conference

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One of the best Colonial Athletic Association schools may not be able to compete for conference titles this year.

Wednesday’s conference told James Madison – one of the nation’s top programs in women’s lacrosse and FCS football, among other sports – that he won’t be able to compete for CAA titles if the school moves to join the Sun Belt. or any other conference, as previously reported.

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The school had already been approved to move from the FCS level to the FBS level at the end of last week.

The AAC had different plans for one of its most prominent and most successful members.

“As we head into a potentially monumental week for the future of James Madison University and our intercollegiate athletics program, we were extremely disappointed to have been informed by the Colonial Athletic Association that the university should accept an invitation to another conference. JMU student-athletes would not be allowed to compete for postseason conference team championships and, therefore, for the opportunity to earn NCAA team auto qualification. ” the school said in a joint statement by President Jonathan Alger and Sports Director Jeff Bourne.

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The AAC’s decision was met with almost universal contempt:

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This is not the first time that the AAC has applied the rule to an outgoing conference member. It did the same with Old Dominion in 2013 when the monarchs left AAC for the US Conference. The conference also admitted that the rule was excessively punitive, but will apply it anyway.

“We have great respect for JMU as a conference”, CAA Commissioner Joe Dantonio said in a statement. “I’ll be honest. It’s not my job to determine whether it makes sense or not. It’s my job to make sure the statute is applied the way it’s written.”

In addition to threatening to deprive the JMU of its ability to compete for conference championships – or claim the league’s NCAA tournament auto mooring – the CAA has also threatened the JMU’s hosting privileges for league conference tournaments in football. men’s, women’s lacrosse, women’s basketball and softball.

The Dukes have been one of AAC’s most successful programs. The women’s lacrosse program features 16 seats for the NCAA tournament with a national title in 2018; the football program includes seven consecutive places for the FCS playoffs and two national titles; and the men’s basketball program won the CAA regular season title last season.

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