Cougars invited to join Colonial

College of Charleston and Davidson have been invited to join the Colonial Athletic Association, according to the athletic director at a rival Southern Conference school.

“There’s been an invitation from the Colonial to Davidson and Charleston,” Georgia Southern AD Sam Baker said in an article in the Statesboro Herald on Sunday.

“We’ve not heard, as conference members, where that may lead. It would be hard to tell. I think they both benefit by being in our conference.”

Baker’s comment is the first public confirmation that College of Charleston has been asked to leave the SoCon for the Colonial. College of Charleston officials have kept mum on the process, and Cougars AD Joe Hull again refused comment Sunday.

The Colonial (CAA) is seeking to replace members Georgia State (headed to the Sun Belt), Virginia Commonwealth (going to the Atlantic 10) and Old Dominion (bound for Conference USA).

There has been widespread speculation that the CAA would pursue Davidson and College of Charleston, and in fact CAA commissioner Tom Yeager informed SoCon commissioner John Iamarino that he would be contacting SoCon schools.

In recent days, Yeager has said that he expects the CAA to add new members for the 2013-14 school year, and that he hopes to announce those additions by the end of summer.

“I think there are some attractive institutions out there that are interested in the CAA and vice versa,” he said.

It would cost a SoCon member $600,000 to leave the league with less than two years’ notice. With more than two years’ notice, the penalty is $300,000.

In the same Statesboro Herald article, Georgia Southern’s Baker said the Eagles would not be leaving the Football Championship Subdivision for a Football Bowl Subdivision conference any time soon.