ORANGEBURG, S.C. ---- After notifying the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) of its decision to exit, Claflin University has announced that it is joining the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), commencing July, 1, 2018. President Henry N. Tisdale said the decision to move to the conference headquartered in Charlotte, N. C. was made after careful consideration of potential benefits.
"We believe this is a win-win situation for the University and our student-athletes," Tisdale said. "The CIAA aligns with our institutional profile and the proximity of its members to Orangeburg is very attractive for our alumni and supporters."
Claflin raised its athletic program profile when it became a NCAA Division II member in 2008 and concurrently joined the SIAC. Claflin sponsors men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, men's and women's indoor track and field, men's and women's outdoor track and field, and men's and women's cross country.
Since joining the SIAC, Claflin has won championships in volleyball, baseball, softball and men's basketball. An impressive number of student-athletes have won top individual honors, including qualifying for the Rio Olympics.
"It is my pleasure to welcome Claflin University's administration, student-athletes, staff, alumni, and fans to the CIAA," said Jacqie McWilliams, CIAA Commissioner. "The institution is a fit for our conference based on their location within our demographic region and commitment to sponsoring sports programs that bring competitive and championship growth in the CIAA. They will expand our footprint into the South Carolina market and reinforce our commitment to the student-athlete experience and employ strategies that engage alumni and fans within the region to support our mission and vision.
"The CIAA is committed to sponsoring a range of male and female sports programs that bring competitive and championship growth within the conference and to the regions that all our participating schools represent," said CIAA Board of Directors Chair and Fayetteville State University Chancellor Dr. James A. Anderson. "The CIAA will seek to sponsor additional men's sports like baseball and tennis to maintain a healthy number of automatic qualifications. The addition of Claflin University allows the conference to facilitate this goal while expanding our geographical footprint."
"This is a new day for Claflin University," President Tisdale said. "We look forward to continuing our success in athletics with all the administrative support we can provide. Our student-athletes deserve nothing less."