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Elon joins the CAA; Will more moves come?

More conference movement is afoot as Elon announced Thursday it was leaving the Southern conference for the CAA, beginning July 1, 2014.

It’s been an eventful couple of years for the CAA, which has lost George Mason, VCU, Georgia State and Old Dominion. But the conference responded quickly with the additions of Elon and the College of Charleston. There was also the addition of Stony Brook and Albany for football. Both programs begin CAA football play this fall.

With 10 fulltime members, the CAA isn’t likely to stop with Elon. Two sources, along with several media reports, believe that Albany could make an announcement that it will leave the America East for CAA in all sports before July 1.

If Albany makes the announcement, the question about the move is whether the move will be for 2013-2014 or for the 2014-2015 season.

If Albany makes an announcement in the next couple of weeks that it will join the CAA in 2014-2015 for all sports, the Great Danes would be banned from the America East conference tournaments in 2013-2014. It’s the same penalty that was dropped on Boston University when it announced it was leaving for the Patriot League.

But Albany officials have denied that a move to the CAA in all sports is eminent.

“At this time, the reports that we are moving to the CAA are untrue,” the school said in a statement. It also added: “We remain a partner of the America East and we have no further comment on conference affiliation at this time.”

Making a move to the CAA makes sense for Albany, which has a new football stadium and revamped track. In addition to the CAA’s superior programs (compared to some AE athletic programs), the league is also in the middle of a five-year TV deal with NBC Sports Network.