The athletics committee of College of Charleston’s Board of Trustees discussed a move to the Colonial Athletic Association today, a first step toward a potential change of conferences for the Cougars.
The CAA “has been in contact with the College of Charleston about the College’s potential interest in joining the league,” committee chairman Dwight Johnson said in a statement. “No formal invitation has been extended by the CAA at this time.”
The athletics committee will study the issue and make a recommendation to the full board, which is next scheduled to meet on Aug. 3.
Cougars athletic director Joe Hull said there is no timeline or deadline from the CAA for College of Charleston to make a decision. He said the uncertain future of the Southern Conference and the potential for missed class time and increased travel costs in the CAA are two of many issues College of Charleston must consider.
Hull said he has discussed the potential change with College of Charleston coaches and with members of the Cougar Club, the school’s athletics booster group.
The CAA has been seeking new members to replace Virginia Commonwealth (gone to the Atlantic 10), Old Dominion (headed for Conference USA) and Georgia State (going to the Sun Belt), leaving the conference with nine members for basketball.
The Colonial stretches from UNC Wilmington in the South to Northeastern University in Boston, with three schools in Virgnia (James Madison, George Mason, William & Mary) as well as Towson (Maryland), Hofstra (New York), Drexel (Philadelphia) and Delaware.
College of Charleston joined the SoCon in 1998. The Cougars began the transition from NAIA to NCAA Division I in 1989 and joined the old Trans America Athletic Conference from 1993 to 1998, earning five postseason bids, three to the NCAA Tournament, as members of the TAAC.
SoCon members Appalachian State and Georgia Southern both have expressed an interest in moving up to FBS (Division I-A) in football. The CAA is reportedly also interested in SoCon member Davidson.