James Madison University has long been considered a candidate to move its football program from the FCS to FBS level.
But in the wake of the Colonial Athletic Association learning Thursday that it will lose another member school - Old Dominion, which will join Conference USA beginning in the 2013-14 school year - JMU released a statement concerning its commitment to its conference, whose football teams play on the FCS level.
The statement read: "In recent days, the Colonial Athletic Association has been notified of the departure of two member institutions. Both Virginia Commonwealth University and Old Dominion University have made decisions to join other conferences.
"Although James Madison University is disappointed in these decisions, we continue to support the CAA and the values for which it stands. There are numerous examples of CAA schools whose values closely align with those of JMU. This list includes, among others, such institutions as William & Mary, Delaware and George Mason. These are schools with which we choose to be aligned because they share our commitment to academics and excellence in all sports, not just one or two.
"James Madison University is extremely proud of its comprehensive commitment to all of its student-athletes, athletic programs and fans. The conference realignment discussion for some schools has focused on particular sports and in doing so does a disservice to the other student-athletes, athletic programs and the fans. JMU has and always will take a holistic view of its athletic programs. This philosophy is evident in JMU's balanced investments in facilities, scholarship and opportunities. In addition, JMU's holistic view of athletics has positioned our student-athletes to be successful in the classroom, in life and on the field. This success is clearly seen in the very high graduation rate numbers.
"The conference now finds itself in the position of adding new member institutions that share the values and commitments of the current members. The CAA commissioner, Tom Yeager, has been working to develop a roster of institutional prospects. As one can imagine, these are delicate and complex issues that require some time to process before public disclosure. We will do our best to communicate to our fans at the appropriate time regarding an expanded membership."