Sunday, December 9, 2012

What's Iamarino saying about replacing CofC

John Iamarino.  Photo/Chattanooga 
Times Free Press
There does not seem to be any sense of urgency within the Southern Conference office or its membership to find a replacement for Charleston or to take action on the inevitable departure of Appalachian and Georgia Southern.

"I don't think there's any reason for us to rush," said SoCon Commissioner John Imarino to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

"Common sense tells us we're not going to be able to add anybody for the '13-14 year. That would be an extremely short time frame." My question is why does he feel that way? I think there are probably several schools that would love to join the Southern Conference for next season.

Imarino told the Times Free Press that there are high-ranking people at SoCon schools who believe the prudent thing to do is wait. Obviously then, the remaining schools in the SoCon are far from a consensus on when or how to act. This inaction or ability to come to a consensus, could spell disaster for the conference, and result in the departure of other member schools to some other conference that may be perceived as a more "stable conference".

"That's the question I think we need to start out with as we have these discussions," Imarino said. "I know that there are a couple of institutions that have expressed the opinion that these changes that are taking place are clearly not over yet and could continue for months and years."

"In the meantime, perhaps we might be better suited -- this is their stance, not necessarily mine -- by waiting a little bit to see what the landscape looks like in the near future as opposed to right now."

Iamarino wouldn't name any schools that the SoCon's may be considering. That could signal that the differences within the conference membership are so far apart, that no schools have been contacted or any off the record negotiations have been held.  He told the Times Free Press that  "every school within the SoCon footprint that might be a good fit "is in play." Again, what is the criteria for a "good fit"? That certainly rules out any OVC or CAA schools as being considered.

Then Imarino added  "Of course that's assuming the SoCon's presidents and chancellors, who will make the final decision, decide to do anything".

Why didn't he just say, "OK, everybody abandon ship" ?

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