Courtside

Your Guide to GW sports

Friday, May 4, 2012 1:45 p.m.

Charlotte officially departs Atlantic 10

Tara Booker, womens basketball, bball

Senior forward Tara Booker tries to grab a rebound against Charlotte earlier this season. | Hatchet File Photo

Charlotte announced its departure from the Atlantic 10 conference Friday, marking the third change in the league’s lineup after the planned departure of Temple and addition of Butler to its ranks.

The 49ers will head to Conference USA, a decision largely guided by the university’s addition of a football program that will begin competition in its new conference in 2015. All other sports will transfer to Conference USA competition in 2013, the second time the 49ers have been a member of Conference USA after a stint from 1995 to 2005.

A-10 commissioner Bernadette McGlade released a statement Friday calling Charlotte a “valued member” of the league.

“The 49ers have a strong athletic program and the addition of football has opened different opportunities for their future,” McGlade said. “We are looking forward to their final year of competition in the Atlantic 10 and wish them success moving forward.”

Charlotte confirmed the news in a press release announcing the intention of the 49ers, who have been a member of the league for six years, to depart the A-10. Like Temple, the 49ers will likely pay a $1 million exit fee to leave the conference.