After 14 years, the College of Charleston has left the Southern Conference sports league and joined the Colonial Athletic Association.
College president George Benson describes the move as one to a, "higher-profile conference that includes several nationally recognized universities will help improve the quality and competitiveness of our athletic programs."
I previously shared with you in an email on October 19th some of the athletic-related advantages of joining the Colonial. These benefits include access to stronger conference opponents; increased opportunities for at-large bids to NCAA championship tournaments; and a larger and stronger recruiting pool of student-athletes. In addition, whenever our student-athletes travel to other Colonial campuses to compete, they will have access to many of the same academic support services they would have on our own campus, including study halls, tutoring, computer and wi-fi access, and library services.
Our membership in the Colonial also creates exciting new opportunities for our university outside of athletics. Virtually every area of our university will benefit from this move. Most notably, our marketing, admissions, and fundraising operations will benefit from the College having a presence in larger population centers and larger media markets.
But the change appears to not come without cost, ESPN writes that the college may have to pay a fee of $600,000 for not giving two years notice.
The news of Charleston and the poteintal leaving of other schools is being painted as poor news for the SoCon, with SouthernPigskin.com writing, "The conference has not faced something like this in more than half a century, when Clemson, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina and Maryland left the Southern Conference for the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1953."
Charleston now joins teams George Mason, James Madison, UNC Wilmington, William & Mary, Delaware, Drexel, Hofstra, Towson and Northeastern.