Report: SoCon issues July 4 deadline for College of Charlestons decision regarding CAA
With an apparent deadline looming, College of Charleston officials remain tight-lipped on the school’s future in the Southern Conference.
The conference reportedly has given three of its member schools until next week to declare their intentions of staying in the SoCon or leaving for the Colonial Athletic Association.
The Times-News of Burlington, N.C, reported that the SoCon has given a tentative deadline of July 4 for the College of Charleston, Appalachian State and Davidson.
“In keeping with our policy surrounding conference membership, it would be inappropriate for us to make a public comment at this time,” Jason Yaman, Southern Conference assistant commissioner for media relations, said in an email Wednesday afternoon.
College of Charleston director of athletic communications Marlene Navor deferred all questions to Joe Hull, the school’s athletic director. Hull did not return calls or text messages Wednesday.
The CAA is losing three members to larger conferences — Virginia Commonwealth to the Atlantic 10 this fall; Georgia State to the Sun Belt and Old Dominion to Conference USA, both in 2013.
Several reports this past weekend had the CAA formally contacting College of Charleston, Appalachian State and Davidson about leaving the SoCon to join the CAA. Several news outlets had Furman and Elon also being contacted by the CAA to gauge their interest. Furman and The Citadel both joined the SoCon in 1936 and are the longest tenured schools in the league. College of Charleston has been a SoCon member since 1998.
The Times-News reported that Davidson and College of Charleston have pushed for Furman and Elon to be included in the CAA’s expansion. The four former SoCon schools would join with UNC Wilmington to form a Southern Division in the CAA.
Travel is a big concern. The footprint of the Colonial Athletic Association extends from UNC Wilmington to Northeastern in Boston. The league recognizes 18 sports, including football.
Appalachian State and Georgia Southern have made no secret about their desire in taking their football programs from FCS (formerly known as Division I-AA) to Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I). The CAA competes at the FCS level.
Should College of Charleston elect to leave the SoCon, 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.