NORFOLK -- Old Dominion University is making it official - it's joining Conference-USA effective July 1, 2013.

ODU President John R. Broderick made the announcement about the move from the Colonial Athletic Association at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Foreman Field.

ODU will seek reclassification of its football program from the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision to the Football Bowl Subdivision, effective July 1, 2013.

'We are very proud today to announce a bold step forward for Old Dominion University to a well respected, established and successful conference. The future for ODU athletics is bright with Conference USA and full of opportunities for new levels of excellence,' said Broderick.

The Monarchs will join East Carolina, Rice, Tulane Tulsa, Marshall, Florida International, North Texas and Louisiana Tech universities and the universities of North Carolina Charlotte, Southern Mississippi, Alabama at Birmingham, Texas at El Paso, and Texas at San Antonio.

In a campus letter, Broderick wrote, 'While the university was not actively seeking a change, recent events necessitated an earlier consideration of our future, and in particular, for our football program. C-USA's invitation provided the right opportunity at the right time to reclassify our football program and broaden the national footprint of our athletic program.'

ODU will have to pay a $250,000 exit fee and add football scholarships. Broderick's letter said boosters have already pledged $3 million to help meet those expenses.

Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond announced earlier this week it was leaving the CAAfor the Atlantic 10 Conference.

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