Friday, November 30, 2012

Charleston to the CAA

Today, the College of Charleston Board of Trustees voted to join the Colonial Athletic Association effective July 1, 2013.

In response, the Southern Conference released this statement: "We're naturally disappointed, but not surprised, by today's decision. Public comments made it apparent that the College of Charleston administration favored this move. Successfully assimilating changes in membership has been part of the Southern Conference's DNA for more than 90 years. With the commitment and cooperation of our Presidents and Chancellors, we will continue to explore the best options available to us to ensure a successful future for our athletic programs and the student-athletes we serve."

I do not fault Charleston's desire to move to a basketball conference, it's their premier sport, and many Charleston fans (and now the Board of Trustees) feel they should be in a conference of like minded schools. Just as ASU and GSU are seeking to move up in football to the FBS level, Charleston is seeking to move to a basketball concentric conference.

The problem now, as I see it, with three schools either moving or about to move, what does the Southern Conference do about replacements?

I'm afraid the conference commissioner is reacting to events, rather than being proactive to these same events.  In my opinion, just as the CAA did, the SoCon commissioner should have announced his intentions publicly some time ago, and then pursued a set of schools that could have been ready and waiting to fill these positions.  I'm afraid, that without a public plan in place, more SoCon schools might seek out other conference homes on their own, before the SoCon even approaches any potential replacement schools about these openings.

What if, with these three schools departing, Davidson reconsiders their decision. Then, Elon and UNCG (or Wofford) decides to depart with Davidson?  With those departures, maybe UTC and Samford decide that the OVC is looking pretty good now, and seeks re-entry.  This could turn into a completely depleted SoCon real quick.

Commissioner John Iamarino's lack of public action, just might result in his presiding over the death of the conference or at least to one that looks a whole lot like the Big South.  However, maybe I'm wrong and lots of behind the scenes negotiations have already taken place with multiple schools.  Wanna bet?