George Mason heading to Atlantic 10

George Mason is leaving the Colonial Athletic Association for the Atlantic 10.

The move will become effective on July 1.

"This is an exciting time for George Mason University," said George Mason president Angel Cabrera in a statement Monday. "After careful consideration, we have concluded that joining the A-10 is the right move at the right time for Mason."

The Atlantic 10 needed reinforcements after losing four schools. Xavier and Butler are headed to the new Big East, Temple is joining the old Big East schools in a soon-to-be named conference and Charlotte is going to Conference USA.

"I am honored and excited to welcome George Mason to the Atlantic 10 Conference. They are a perfect fit for our league with world-class academic programs and a nationally successful intercollegiate athletic program," said A-10 commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. "The addition of George Mason further strengthens our footprint, enhances our brand and will allow us to continue to build on our national prominence and success in men's basketball and all sports."

The Patriots were a surprise Final Four team in men's basketball in 2006.

George Mason was an original member of the CAA and will join Richmond and VCU as former CAA schools now in the Atlantic 10.