Campus: Humboldt State University -- September 23, 2005

Humboldt State To Change Athletic Conference

Lumberjacks joining CCAA, with 10 CSU campuses in 10 sports next fall

Effective in the fall of 2006, Humboldt State University will become a member of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), one of the best Division II athletic conferences in the country, HSU Athletic Director Dan Collen announced Thursday. The conference, founded in 1938, has seen its members win 145 NCAA championships, best among the 23 Division II conferences in the nation.

The addition of Humboldt State to the CCAA was approved Wednesday by a unanimous vote of the presidents and athletic directors representing the league's current institutions.

Humboldt State's move from its previous affiliation in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) to the CCAA will afford the university's athletics program more visibility within the state, consistent with Humboldt State's student recruitment efforts. It also positions the Lumberjacks in the same conference with all of the other NCAA Division II-affiliated programs in California, ten of which are members of the California State University system.

"This is the perfect fit for Humboldt State," Collen said. "The timing was right for us to realign with our sister schools in the CSU system, and the move enhances the entire university's presence in our home state from a marketing perspective."

"This change in conference affiliation continues our strong support for athletics," said HSU President Rollin Richmond. "We remain committed to all of our athletic programs, including football." Football and crew are independents, non-conference sports with the GNAC and will remain so with the CCAA. "Improving our name recognition, recruitment and retention of students, especially California students, is our primary concern."

Humboldt State becomes the 12th school in the conference, which currently includes full members Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Bakersfield, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State L.A., Cal State San Bernardino, Cal State Stanislaus, Chico State, UC San Diego, San Francisco State and Sonoma State, and provisional member California State University, Monterey Bay. Cal State Bakersfield announced in August that it has made application to gain National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I status and is expected to relinquish its CCAA membership.

Ten of Humboldt State's 12 sports programs will be immediately eligible for league championships, with the other two football and women's rowing continuing to compete as Division II independents. Consistent with the Humboldt State Athletic Department's commitment to gender equity and diversity, both of those sports will continue as fully-supported programs, Collen said.

"Another benefit (of joining the CCAA) is the opportunity to renew the traditional rivalries we had formed with Chico State, Sonoma State, Cal State Stanislaus and San Francisco State," Collen said. "It will also present additional opportunities for many of our student-athletes to perform in their hometown areas."

CCAA institutions compete in seven women's and six men's CCAA-sponsored sports. Fall sports include men's and women's cross country, men's and women's soccer and women's volleyball. Men's and women's basketball are contested in the winter; and women's tennis, men's golf, men's and women's outdoor track and field, softball and baseball comprise spring competition.

Humboldt State has been affiliated with the GNAC for five years, and will continue that partnership through the 2005-06 school year. The GNAC's current composition includes schools in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. HSU is the lone California institution represented.

For more about Humboldt State Athletics, see this website: http://hsujacks.com. For more about the CCAA, see http://www.goccaa.org.

Media contact: Dan Pambianco, Asst. AD/Media Relations, 707-826-3631 dmp1@humboldt.edu


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