Thursday, October 18, 2012
Charleston expected to join CAA
By Andy Katz ESPN.com
Colonial Athletic Association officials hope and expect that the College of Charleston will vote to accept an invitation to join the CAA, a day after Davidson declined the same invitation.
The board of trustees at Charleston has scheduled a 9:30 a.m. ET vote Saturday on the invitation with an announcement after the meeting concludes.
Multiple sources within the CAA told ESPN.com that they expect the Cougars to move to the CAA. And the CAA isn't holding back cheering for it to occur.
"I hope it happens," George Mason athletic director Tom O'Connor said. "They would be a great addition to the league. I hope they make the decision to come. They would be excellent."
Southern Conference commissioner John Iamarino said Thursday that he wouldn't comment on the possibility of a Charleston departure.
Iamarino said the exit fee for a school leaving without two years' notice is $600,000 -- but is $300,000 for two or more years.
He did say that Charleston would be able to play in postseason championships if the Cougars decide to leave. The CAA, like the Horizon League and America East, doesn't allow teams to do so based on the bylaws.
That's why VCU and Butler left the CAA and Horizon, respectively, for the A-10 immediately before this season. Old Dominion and Georgia State are stuck in the CAA without access to postseason championships before they leave for C-USA and the Sun Belt, respectively.
Boston University can't play in the America East championship before it leaves for the Patriot League. Power leagues like the Big 12 and Big East don't have similar restrictions on teams that have left or are leaving their conferences.
ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy reported Wednesday about Davidson's decision to stay in the Southern Conference.
"Davidson made the decision, and I respect that," O'Connor said. "If Charleston comes, then we'll be at 10 and we'll see if there is any need to expand again. If they don't come and we're at nine, then we'll regroup and see if there is anyone out there that fits our criteria.
"It has to be the right fit, and there is nobody (else) we're targeting right now."
If Charleston leaves the Southern for the CAA, it would be for 2013-14 and join members William & Mary, Drexel, George Mason, Hofstra, James Madison, Northeastern, Towson, Delaware and UNC Wilmington.