Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association
DivisionDivision II
Sports fielded16 (men's: 8; women's: 8)
RegionMiddle Atlantic States, South Atlantic States
HeadquartersHampton, Virginia
CommissionerJacqie Carpenter (since September 2012)

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) is a college athletic conference, mostly consisting of historically black colleges and universities. CIAA institutions participate in sports at the Division II level of the 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 beginning in the fall of 2011.


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. St. Paul's College disbanded its football program after the 1987 season. In 2002 the sport was revived for three years, preceding its full reestablishment at the NCAA level in 2005.

Similarly, 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, celebrating the Centennial of its founding 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]


Conference sports
Cross Country
Track and field (indoor)
Track and field (outdoor)

Conference membershipEdit

Current membersEdit

Institution Founded Location Enrollment Status Varsity
Nickname Joined
Northern Division
Bowie State University 1865 Bowie, Maryland 5,600 Public 11 Bulldogs 1979
Chowan University 1848 Murfreesboro, North Carolina 1,260 Private 11 Hawks 2008 (football-only)
2009 (all-sports)
Elizabeth City State University 1891 Elizabeth City, North Carolina 3,100 Public 11 Vikings 1957
Lincoln University 1854 Oxford, Pennsylvania 2,650 Public 15 Lions 1912,
re-joined 20081
Virginia State University 1882 Petersburg, Virginia 6,000 Public 14 Trojans 1920
Virginia Union University 1865 Richmond, Virginia 1,700 Private 12 Panthers 1912
Southern Division
Fayetteville State University 1867 Fayetteville, North Carolina 5,000 Public 10 Broncos 1954
Johnson C. Smith University 1867 Charlotte, North Carolina 1,500 Private 13 Golden Bulls 1926
Livingstone College 1879 Salisbury, North Carolina 1,200 Private 11 Blue Bears 1931
St. Augustine's University 1867 Raleigh, North Carolina 1,500 Private 14 Falcons 1933
Shaw University 1865 Raleigh, North Carolina 2,800 Private 13 Bears 1912
Winston-Salem State University 1892 Winston-Salem, North Carolina 6,000 Public 14 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 membersEdit

Institution Location Nickame Joined Left Current Conference
Bluefield State College Bluefield, West Virginia Big Blues WVIAC
Delaware State University Dover, Delaware Hornets 1945 1970 MEAC
Hampton University Hampton, Virginia Pirates 1912 1995 MEAC
Howard University Washington, D.C. Bison 1912 1970 MEAC
North Carolina Central University Durham, North Carolina Eagles 1928,
University of Maryland Eastern Shore Princess Anne, Maryland Hawks MEAC
Morgan State University Baltimore, Maryland Bears MEAC
Norfolk State University Norfolk, Virginia Spartans 1962 1996 MEAC
North Carolina A&T State University Greensboro, North Carolina Aggies 1924 1970 MEAC
St. Paul's College Lawrenceville, Virginia Tigers 1923 2011 Dropped sports in 2011
Virginia University of Lynchburg Lynchburg, Virginia Dragons USCAA
West Virginia State University Institute, West Virginia Yellow Jackets WVIAC

Conference facilitiesEdit

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 tournamentEdit

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.[3]

Cheerleading Edit

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.[4]


  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.
  4. "Saint Paul's College discontinues athletic program". The Onnidan Group. 2011-05-09.

External linksEdit

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