College of Charleston athletic department officials were close-mouthed about reports that the Colonial Athletic Association has made overtures to get the Cougars to leave the Southern Conference.
Calls and text messages to athletic director Joe Hull on Friday were not returned, and College of Charleston director of athletics communications Marlene Navor sent out an email stating: “At this time, we do not have a statement/comment regarding the CAA.”
The Times-News of Burlington, N.C., is reporting in today’s paper that the CAA has made formal contact with the College of Charleston, Davidson and Appalachian State. Those three schools along with Elon and Furman reportedly are being targeted by the CAA.
Appalachian State and Georgia Southern have both indicated they are interested in taking their football programs from FCS (formerly known as Division I-AA) to Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I).
The CAA is losing three schools to larger conferences — Virginia Commonwealth to the Atlantic 10 immediately and Georgia State to the Sun Belt and Old Dominion to Conference USA, both in 2013.
Travel is a big concern. The footprint of the Colonial Athletic Association currently extends from UNC Wilmington to Northeastern, in Boston. The league recognizes 18 sports, including football.
Should the College of Charleston elect to leave the Southern Conference, the school would have to pay a $600,000 exit fee with less than two years’ notice or $300,000 with more than two years’ warning.