Delaware to move up from FCS, join Conference USA in 2025, per report

By Kevin Kelley -

The Delaware Blue Hens will move up from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and join Conference USA in 2025, according to a report from Brett McMurphy of The Action Network.

As McMurphy notes, the move up to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) from the FCS will cost the Blue Hens a $5 million application fee, which was previously only $5,000 under NCAA bylaws.

Delaware has been a member of the Coastal Athletic Association (CAA; formerly known as Colonial Athletic Association) since the 2007 season. Prior to joining the CAA, the Blue Hens competed in the Atlantic 10 Conference from 1997 through 2006.

Delaware finished the 2023 regular-season 8-3 overall and 6-2 in CAA play. The Blue Hens received an at-large bid to the 2023 FCS Playoffs and defeated the Lafayette Leopards at home in the first round, 36-34. Next up is a second-round contest on the road at the second-seeded Montana Grizzlies on Saturday, Dec. 2.

With the addition of Delaware in 2025, Conference USA would expand to 11 members. CUSA currently consists of nine members: FIU, Jacksonville State, Liberty, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee, New Mexico State, Sam Houston, UTEP, and Western Kentucky.

In 2024, CUSA will expand to 10 members with the addition of the Kennesaw State Owls from the FCS.

Future Delaware Football Schedules

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Comments (11)

This is one of the more shocking developments to come out of realignment. Nearly four decades of CAA Football membership (dating to its time as the Yankee Conference) will end in 2025.

Have to wonder if C-USA ends another school west of Alabama (perhaps McNeese) to allow a 2-division split.

Good thing CAA/A10 Football “stocked up” continuously adding schools and flipping the Football from A10 to CAA 16 years ago. Unlike a lot of other conferences (hello stuPAC12!), they’ve protected themselves against the losses of a lot of schools over the past decade.
Never would have guessed Delaware to make the jump — Villanova always seemed so close back in the Big East days of doing it. But Delaware is a state land grant flagship, which gives them a sense of exclusivity, even for a small state, and they’re adjacent to the Philadelphia/Wilmington DE/Camden NJ consolidated metropolitan area so they’re not hurting for enrollment ever… Too bad they didn’t move a year sooner, or they might have caught the Sun Belt with JMU….

$5 Million application fee instead of $5,000? Conference USA Schools will get about $750,000 a year instead of $75,000 a year for CAA. So that is 7 years break even on the investment, plus additional coaches salaries, infastructure, etc.

Are they just trying to stop the growth of FBS?

In the empirical ncaa Bylaws, which have been openly lobbied 2 B changed by the Trust Six Conferences, & then rewritten with the changes in law from the early 1990s on, the NCAA doesn’t govern the Trust Six.
They do suppress the Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision Unis. by not adopting the ncaa Tournament business Model which causes that Example to financially thrive.
Each 63 scholarship Uni. moving out of the 1AA Subdivision is no longer subject to the ncaas postseason Fees on the 24 team Playoff Participants.
The is getting their short term governance tax Benefit from the departing Uni. since Delaware will no longer be paying the ncaa 2 play in ‘the 24 team Playoff’ which they qualify 4 almost every Year.

I think not. Delaware State University has an endowment that is roughly 2.5% that of the University of Delaware ($1.8 billion).

Woohoo Sam,

Spencer Coldburn,
Wether Sam is having Fun or not, adding Delaware State would cause the segregated Unis. of the Mid East Ath. Conference to ask the South West Athletic Conf. to accept the rest of them. Or to integrate with the rest of the longtime integrated Conferences. Or to convince a Division 2 segregated Uni. to join them in their racist separateness.

IMO, Sam is kidding.

Ken Knuckles,
The TN State Uni. Tigers of the Ohio Valley Conf.- Big South, the NC A & T Uni. Aggies & the Hampton Uni. Pirates of the Coastal A. Association are not segregationists or racists.

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs currently in My favorite Conference USA Team & 114% looking forward to Delaware Blue Hens to join in.