CIAA shakes up football’s closing act, moves title game to Durham

Fred Jeter | 6/20/2024, 7 a.m.
Some changes are coming to CIAA football.

Some changes are coming to CIAA football.

Following a board of directors meeting June 14 in Charlotte, here’s what to look for starting with the upcoming 2024 season.

There will be no more North and South divisions. Following the end of the regular season, the schools will be ranked 1 to 12, with the top two meeting for the championship.

That would create the possibility of a Virginia Union vs. Virginia State grand finale and a one-week later rematch of their traditional end-of-season showdown.

Starting in 2025 and going through 2027, the CIAA Championship Game will be moved from Salem (near Roanoke) to Durham County, N.C., Memorial Stadium (8,500 seating capacity). The event had been held in Salem since 2017.

Previously, the title game had been held in Durham from 2008 to 2012, and 2014 to 2015. Durham is much more centrally located among CIAA affiliates than Salem.

Also starting with the 2025 campaign, the CIAA champ will meet the SIAC champ in a postseason Black Colleges Hall of Fame Legacy Bowl. This would be akin to the NCAA FCS Celebration Bowl arrangement between the MEAC and the SWAC.

The CIAA and SIAC are the NCAA’s only HBCU Division II conferences. Based in Atlanta, the 15-member SIAC has 15 mostly southern affiliates, but stretching to Central State, Ohio.

The CIAA is also exploring the possibility of women’s flag football as a sponsored sport.