Catholic returns to ODAC

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Catholic University has been accepted as the seventh football-playing member of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. The league champion will receive an automatic bid to the expanded 28-team playoffs.

"I am very excited for the football program to be aligned with the Old Dominion Athletic Conference," Catholic U. athletic director Robert Talbot said. "It"s a league of solid academic institutions and football programs, and I think the match is perfect."

The Cardinals competed as an ODAC member in all sports from 1982-84. In 1983 -- the only season Catholic was eligible for the league title -- they went 5-5 overall and 3-3 in the ODAC. The team has gone 10-1 each of the past two seasons and made consecutive appearances in the NCAA playoffs.

Coach Tom Clark welcomes the independent program's entrance into the 23-year-old conference. "We"re joining one of the most distinguished conferences in the nation at this level," Clark said. "It gives us an identity that we lacked as an independent."