Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association

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Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association
Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association logo
Established 1912
Association NCAA
Division Division II
Members 12
Sports fielded 16 (men's: 8; women's: 8)
Region Middle Atlantic States, South Atlantic States
Headquarters Hampton, Virginia
Commissioner Jacqie Carpenter (since September 2012)
Website theciaa.com
Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association locations

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) is a collegiate athletic conference, mostly consisting of historically black colleges and universities. CIAA institutions are affiliated at the Division II level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Conference members are primarily located in North Carolina (eight) and Virginia (two). There is also one school from Maryland and another from Pennsylvania.

The CIAA sponsors 16 annual championships and is divided into Northern and Southern divisions in every sport except track and field, cross country, and baseball. The CIAA recently partnered with the startup network Bounce TV to televise sporting events and championships.


The CIAA, founded on the campus of Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) in 1912, is the oldest African-American athletic conference in the United States. It was originally known as the Colored Intercollegiate Athletic Association and adopted its current name in December 1950.

Founding leaders were Allen Washington and C.H. Williams of Hampton Institute; Ernest J. Marshall of Howard University; George Johnson of Lincoln University, PA ; W.E. Atkins, Charles Frasher, and H.P. Hargrave of Shaw University; and J.W. Barco and J.W. Pierce of Virginia Union University.[1]

The CIAA's legacy dates back to 1892 when Livingstone College and Biddle University (now Johnson C. Smith University) played in the first football game between two African-American colleges.[citation needed] Many other sports also increased in popularity over the ensuing years.

Football is experiencing a major resurgence after going through a period of decline at several member universities. Football was absent from the campus of St. Augustine's University for nearly three decades, before getting reinstated by the administration in 2002. Shaw University then brought back its football program in 2003, following a hiatus of 24 years.

Lincoln University, a charter member, added varsity football in 2008 and was readmitted to the CIAA after nearly three decades in Division III. Chowan University joined the CIAA in 2008 for football only. On October 14, 2008, the CIAA Board of Directors admitted Chowan as a full member effective July 1, 2009, the first non-HBCU to play in the conference.

The CIAA, founded in 1912, is composed predominantly of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) spanning the east coast from Pennsylvania to North Carolina.

On August 27, 2012, the CIAA announced the appointment of Jacqie Carpenter, the first African-American female commissioner to hold the position.[2]

In 2014, a collection of records, including the original 1912 documents leading to the formation of the CIAA and meeting minutes from 1913-1922, were sold at auction after being discovered in a storage locker. The lot sold for $11,500 to an unnamed bidder.[3]


Conference sports
Sport Men's Women's
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Cross Country
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY
Track and field (indoor)
Green tickY
Green tickY
Track and field (outdoor)
Green tickY
Green tickY
Green tickY

Conference membership[edit]

Current members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Status Enrollment Nickname Joined Varsity
Northern Division
Bowie State University Bowie, Maryland 1865 Public 5,600 Bulldogs 1979 11
Chowan University Murfreesboro, North Carolina 1848 Private 1,260 Hawks 2008 (football-only)
2009 (all-sports)
Elizabeth City State University Elizabeth City, North Carolina 1891 Public 3,100 Vikings 1957 11
Lincoln University Oxford, Pennsylvania 1854 Public 2,650 Lions 1912,
re-joined 20081
Virginia State University Ettrick, Virginia 1882 Public 6,000 Trojans 1920 14
Virginia Union University Richmond, Virginia 1865 Private 1,700 Panthers 1912 12
Southern Division
Fayetteville State University Fayetteville, North Carolina 1867 Public 5,000 Broncos 1954 10
Johnson C. Smith University Charlotte, North Carolina 1867 Private 1,500 Golden Bulls 1926 13
Livingstone College Salisbury, North Carolina 1879 Private 1,200 Blue Bears 1931 11
St. Augustine's University Raleigh, North Carolina 1867 Private 1,500 Falcons 1933 14
Shaw University Raleigh, North Carolina 1865 Private 2,800 Bears 1912 13
Winston-Salem State University Winston-Salem, North Carolina 1892 Public 6,000 Rams 1945,
re-joined 20102
  1. Lincoln (Pa.) left the CIAA after the 1979-80 season, and re-joined back in the 2008-09 season.
  2. Winston-Salem State left the CIAA after the 2005-06 season, and re-joined back in the 2010-11 season.

Former members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Type Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Current Conference
Bluefield State College Bluefield, West Virginia 1895 Public 1,800 Big Blues 1932 1955 NCAA D-II Independent
Delaware State University Dover, Delaware 1891 Public 4,425 Hornets 1945 1970 MEAC
(NCAA Division I)
Hampton University Hampton, Virginia 1868 Private 5,000 Pirates 1912 1995 MEAC
(NCAA Division I)
Howard University Washington, D.C. 1867 Private 10,000 Bison 1912 1970 MEAC
(NCAA Division I)
University of Maryland Eastern Shore Princess Anne, Maryland 1886 Public 3,922 Hawks 1954 1970 MEAC
(NCAA Division I)
Morgan State University Baltimore, Maryland 1867 Public 7,952 Bears 1929 1970 MEAC
(NCAA Division I)
Norfolk State University Norfolk, Virginia 1935 Public 7,035 Spartans 1962 1996 MEAC
(NCAA Division I)
North Carolina A&T State University Greensboro, North Carolina 1891 Public 10,383 Aggies 1924 1970 MEAC
(NCAA Division I)
North Carolina Central University Durham, North Carolina 1910 Public 8,612 Eagles 1928,
(NCAA Division I)
St. Paul's College Lawrenceville, Virginia 1888 Private 600 Tigers 1923 2011 Dropped sports in 2011, Closed in 2013
Virginia University of Lynchburg Lynchburg, Virginia 1886 Private 270 Dragons 1921 1954 USCAA
West Virginia State University Institute, West Virginia 1891 Public 2,644 Yellow Jackets 1942 1955 Mountain East (MEC)

Conference facilities[edit]

School Football Basketball
Stadium Capacity Arena Capacity
Bowie State Bulldog Stadium 6,000 A.C. Jordan Arena 2,200
Chowan Garrison Stadium 5,000 Helms Center 3,500
Elizabeth City State Roebuck Stadium 6,500 R. L. Vaughn Center 5,000
Fayetteville State Luther "Nick" Jeralds Stadium 5,520 Felton J. Capel Arena 4,000
Johnson C. Smith Irwin Belk Complex 4,500 Brayboy Gymnasium 2,316
Lincoln Lincoln University Stadium 3,000 Manuel Rivero Hall 3,000
Livingstone Alumni Memorial Stadium 5,500 William Trent Gymnasium 1,500
St. Augustine's George Williams Athletic Complex 2,500 Emery Gymnasium 1,000
Shaw Durham County Stadium 8,500 C.C. Spaulding Gym 1,500
Virginia State Rogers Stadium 13,500 Daniel Gymnasium 3,454
Virginia Union Hovey Field 10,000 Barco-Stevens Hall 2,000
Winston-Salem State Bowman Gray Stadium 22,000 C.E. Gaines Center 3,200

Basketball tournament[edit]

It was the first NCAA Division II conference to have its tournament televised as part of Championship Week on ESPN. Over 115,000 fans attended the 2007 CIAA tournament.[4]


The CIAA cheering squads practice Stomp 'N Shake that incorporates voice, gymnastics, and dance. Over the past few decades, S-N-S has evolved into a more technical style, priding itself on precision, accuracy, and creativity. Included in this style are the techniques of up-stomp, up-step, down-stomp, kick, side-kick, roll, roll-break, power-arms, slpaz-hand, clasp, blade, and the shakes(car-wash shake, single shake, double shake, hit-shake, and jiggle-pop). CIAA Cheerleading is most known for its cheer battles. This is where squads battle each other during games verbally with chants. It provides a heightened level of excitement and competition to the sports they are cheering for. It showcases cheerleading in a different dimension. Only in this style can you excite the crowd, rally them to cheer on the team, cheer on the team and slay your opponent all at the same time.

Institution Squad name
Bowie State University Golden Girls
Chowan University Sapphires
Elizabeth City State University Dee-Lite Cheerleaders
Fayetteville State University Cheer Phi Smoov Cheerleaders
Johnson C. Smith University Luv-A-Bull Cheerleaders
Lincoln University Fe-Lions Cheerleaders
Livingstone College La La's Cheerleaders
St. Augustine's College BlueChip Cheerleaders
Shaw University Chi Chi Cheerleaders
Virginia State University Woo Woo Cheerleaders
Virginia Union University Rah Rah Cheerleaders
Winston-Salem State University Cheer Phi Cheerleaders


A.^ St.Paul's dropped athletics on July 1, 2011.[5]


  1. ^ Raymond Schmidt, Shaping College Football: The Transformation of an American Sport, 1919-1930 (Syracuse University Press, 2007) p133
  2. ^ "Carpenter Named New CIAA Commissioner". 2012-08-27. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  3. ^ "Saunders: This CIAA treasure trove fails to bring in big money at auction". 2014-02-26. Retrieved 2014-02-26. 
  4. ^ http://theciaa.com/news/2006-07/tournament_impact040407
  5. ^ "Saint Paul's College discontinues athletic program". Onnidan.com. The Onnidan Group. 2011-05-09. 

External links[edit]