CIAA Commissioner Steps Down After 22 Years

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) has announced that Leon G. Kerry has resigned as commissioner, effective immediately. The stated reason for his departure was “personal reasons.”

In April, the Charlotte Observer reported the CIAA had issued payments to an employee of the Charlotte Regional Visitor Authority (CRVA). The city of Charlotte hosts the annual CIAA men’s basketball tournament. Commissioner Kerry and the CRVA denied there was anything improper about the payments. But the city government subsequently changed the rules governing such payments.

Kerry, a graduate of Hampton University, joined the CIAA in 1988 and has served as commissioner for the past 22 years. He is widely credited with the financial success of the league by negotiating television contracts and bringing in corporate sponsorships that have produced millions of dollars of revenues which have benefited member institutions.

Monique Smith, associate commissioner and senior woman administrator was named interim commissioner. She has been employed by the CIAA for the past 11 years.

The CIAA was founded in 1912 as the Colored Intercollegiate Athletic Association and is the oldest African-American athletic conference in the nation. Member institutions include Bowie State University, Chowan University, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, Johnson C. Smith University, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, Livingstone College, St. Augustine’s College, Shaw University, Virginia State University, Virginia Union University, and Winston-Salem State University.

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