Bluefield State University, a small historically Black school in West Virginia, is joining the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), starting July 1, 2023.
Bluefield State will become the CIAA’s 13th member, bringing with it 13 sports for conference competition, including football. (The school plans to add women’s bowling next year.
Unlike most HBCUs, Bluefield State has a majority-white student body.
Of an estimated 1,231 students, 84% identify as white, compared with 10% who identify as Black, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scoreboard.
Bluefield State was a CIAA member from 1932 to 1955. It revived its football program last year after a 40-year hiatus.
In other sports, the school has primarily competed as an Independent in NCAA Division II.
In a statement Monday, CIAA officials said that, with the addition of Bluefield State, the conference is working to rebalance its divisions.
Based in Charlotte, the CIAA is the nation’s oldest historically black college athletic conference.