The CIAA tournament has experienced unprecedented growth over the past decade and interim Commissioner Peggy Davis has no plans to let that momentum slip.
This week the conference comprised mostly of historically black colleges and universities celebrates its 100th year anniversary when its signature events – the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments – descend on Charlotte.
Games, as well as the parties that come with it, begin Tuesday and will last throughout the week.
Davis says the conference’s goals moving forward include possible expansion, increasing the scholarship money given back to the existing schools and continuing to build on the remarkable growth the CIAA Tournament has enjoyed since coming to Charlotte by continuing to draw in more business support in the community.
Last year the CIAA Tournament generated a $44.3 million economic impact for Charlotte, a 19 percent increase over 2010. That’s more than last year’s ACC and Big Ten basketball tournaments combined.
In 2008, the CIAA made a big step forward in terms of diversity, adding Chowan University, a mostly white school to the conference after losing schools who tested the waters at the Division I level. Last year Winston-Salem State and Lincoln University rejoined the conference, bringing the total back to 12 schools.
“We would like to expand if the situation is right,” Davis said. “That is the direction the NCAA is heading. Our main goal is try to provide opportunities for students and athletics and if expanding can enhance that, we will do it.”