Tuesday , Nov , 11 , 2003 C.Y. Ellis

Saint Louis accepts A-10 invite

=== Saint Louis accepts A-10 invite ===

St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) – Saint Louis University accepted an invitation
Tuesday to join the Atlantic 10 Conference for the 2005-06 season, becoming
the second school in two days to announce a move to the A-10.

The Billikens’ announcement comes just one day after UNC Charlotte declared
that it will join the Atlantic 10 Conference for the 2005-06 season. Both
schools have been members of Conference USA since its inception in 1995.

The 49ers and Billikens are just the latest in a series of schools to flee
their conferences. The shakeups have been a domino effect since the ACC pried
Miami and Virginia Tech from the Big East in a high-profile move this year.

“Saint Louis meets all of the goals our presidents and athletic directors
established for expansion,” Atlantic 10 commissioner Linda Bruno stated. “When
this process began, we all believed it was important to identify institutions
which met our criteria of possessing strong commitments to academic and
athletic excellence. Saint Louis does that and more.”

The announcement by Bruno came just three days after C-USA added Central
Florida, Marshall, Rice, SMU and Tulsa to replace departed members Cincinnati,
Louisville, Marquette, DePaul and South Florida, which fled to the Big East.

Saint Louis sponsors the Atlantic 10 sports of baseball, men’s and women’s
basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s golf, men’s
and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s swimming & diving, men’s and
women’s tennis, and women’s volleyball. Saint Louis boasts a student
enrollment of 11,000.

The Billikens’ men’s basketball program has qualified for postseason play in
six of the last 10 years. That stretch includes four NCAA Tournaments and two
NIT bids.

“Saint Louis University is honored and excited to have been invited to join
the Atlantic 10 Conference. We look forward to joining the other outstanding
A-10 universities which share our same commitment to support and nurture
students’ abilities, both on the playing fields and in the classroom.” said
Saint Louis University president Lawrence Biondi, S.J. “SLU is delighted to
accept the invitation and I know this will be a positive move for all of our
athletic teams and for our university.”

The A-10 currently includes the University of Dayton, Duquesne, Fordham,
George Washington, La Salle, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Richmond, St.
Bonaventure, Saint Joseph’s, Temple and Xavier.