The Atlantic Ten is scurrying. After rumors that Siena would be added to the league two weeks ago come reports that Davidson might be brought to the league starting in the fall of 2014.
The A-10 is close to adding Davidson to the league, likely in 2014-15, sources told CBSSports.com. The move is pending approval from the school’s board of trustees.
The league has lost Butler and Xavier to the Big East, and is likely to see two more schools eventually bolt — potentially Dayton and Saint Louis. The A-10 has already added George Mason, and commissioner Bernadatte McGlade had targeted Davidson — which had previously spurned the CAA.
Davidson has been the elite school in the Southern Conference, but that league has also been hit by realignment as College of Charleston is bolting for the CAA. Bob McKillop has been the head coach since 1989, and the Wildcats have gone to the NCAA tournament in five of the past eight seasons.
Sources told CBSSports.com that Siena is also under consideration by McGlade to join the A-10.
Mason and Davidson are two programs with recent tournament success, which is clearly the sole reason they are valued at this point, but have lacked the type of progress that would indicate they are programs built to last. Steph Curry’s run with the Cats is now five seasons in the past, and Mason’s historic Final Four run (likely cheapened by more recent semi-final appearances by Butler, VCU and Wichita State) is over seven years removed.
However, given the current landscape, schools like Davidson and George Mason might be the best-case scenario for the A10. With the Missouri Valley adding Loyola Chicago over the weekend, that league seems poised to remain intact. The Horizon League has been trim to a miniscule eight teams, but there doesn’t appear to be any programs worth poaching from that particular conference. So what other recourse does Bernie really have?
The inference of these additions speak volumes for UD’s future (hopefully). Clearly, the A10 is anticipating losses in the near future, and we all hope Dayton is one of the first defectors. Adding Mason, Davidson, and perhaps Siena, sets the table for the Flyers’ departure. To put it simply, as Flyer fans let’s not even consider the quality of teams being added to the Atlantic Ten at this point — it will be a moot point (again, hopefully) — let’s simply be content with the fact that the league is adding teams period.