35th Anniversary - Feature 1
On March 2, 1975, the idea of what is now the Atlantic 10 Conference was conceived. What started as an eight-school, men's basketball-only affiliation has grown into a 14-university, 21-sport league that is universally hailed as one of the best conferences in the country.
In March 1975, eight university representatives from Villanova, Duquesne, Penn State, West Virginia, George Washington, Massachusetts, Pittsburgh, and Rutgers met in Harrisburg, Pa., to discuss the formation of a new collegiate basketball association. A similar meeting was held on May 23 of that year and on August 13, 1975 the Eastern Collegiate Basketball League (ECBL) was formed, comprised of those eight universities.
The NCAA granted allied affiliation status to the ECBL on October 15, 1975 and established the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament on June 17, 1976. This effectively laid the foundation of what, over the next 35 years, would become one of the premiere Division I collegiate athletic conferences in the country.
While the foundation was set, it was mere scaffolding for what the league would become. After a year of operating as the ECBL, a men's basketball-only conference, the league added the men's sports of baseball, cross country, golf, swimming and tennis to the championship slate during the 1977-78 academic year. In an effort to reflect the fundamental change in its mission, the ECBL changed its name to the Eastern Athletic Association--better known as the Eastern 8.
The Eastern 8, and its beloved "Hoopster Rooster" mascot, remained the face of the conference over the next five years adapting with the addition of St. Bonaventure and Rhode Island who joined the league during the 1979-80 and 1980-81 seasons, respectively. When Saint Joseph's and Temple joined the league in 1982-83, becoming the ninth and tenth members at that time, the conference changed its name and became what it is known today as the Atlantic 10 Conference.
Reflecting more than just a change in the number of its members, the adoption of the Atlantic 10 identity ushered in an era of rapid growth and leadership. That growth and prominence is a direct result of the ideals and commitments of the current member institutions of the Atlantic 10 - the University of Dayton, Duquesne University, Fordham University, The George Washington University, La Salle University, University of Massachusetts, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, University of Rhode Island, University of Richmond, St. Bonaventure University, Saint Joseph's University, Saint Louis University, Temple University, and Xavier University.
The 14 member institutions of the A-10 are united and strengthened by their diversity. Each is extraordinary in its educational mission and to strengthening the athletic opportunities and achievements of the conference, while maintaining a commitment to academic excellence, integrity and tradition.
Scroll through and click the icons below for the membership history of each institution.