August 3, 2012
Increased travel costs are one major concern in College of Charleston’s potential move from the Southern Conference to the Colonial Athletic Association.
After all, the CAA stretches from UNC Wilmington to Northeastern University in Boston, requiring more airplane flights and fewer bus rides than the SoCon.
But the chairman of College of Charleston’s athletics committee said Thursday that the school could handle the higher travel costs if the Cougars make the move to the Colonial.
“Yes, we could,” chairman Dwight Johnson said after the committee met Thursday. “It’s one of those gray areas, because we don’t know exactly what that travel budget will be. But we only have seven teams that will play a full conference schedule, so only seven teams will be going north.”
Those seven teams are men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball. The Cougars have 21 Division I teams.
“And if the Colonial brings in more teams and forms North and South divisions, that makes a big difference,” Johnson said. “All we can do right now is look at a range of possibilities, and that’s a concern of the board — what are we committing to?”
College of Charleston is not yet ready to commit to the CAA, as the athletics committee took no formal action Thursday. But with both the SoCon and CAA anxious for news, school officials say they are moving closer to a decision.
“We’ve moved forward, we’ve made progress,” said athletic director Joe Hull. “But we’re not at the point where we’re ready to make a formal recommendation yet.”
Johnson said he’s asked athletic department staff to distill the data they’ve gathered into categories regarding financial information, student-athlete welfare, legal ramifications and “comments from as many people involved as we can.”
But Johnson said there’s one bit of information he’d like to have above all others.
“The thing I’d like to know more than anything else is who would be moving along with College of Charleston,” he said.
SoCon member Davidson also is a reported target of the CAA, which has lost Virginia Commonwealth to the Atlantic 10 and will lose Old Dominion to Conference USA and Georgia State to the Sun Belt. SoCon commissioner John Iamarino has downplayed rumors linking SoCon schools Furman and Elon to the CAA.
“I can’t tell you what the Colonial is going to look like,” Johnson said. “But even if we are the only school that goes, we still have only seven teams that will have to travel up north.”
Johnson said he likes the changes the SoCon has recently made, including altering the formula for revenue distribution, slicing the men’s basketball schedule from 18 to 16 games and hiring a director of operations for men’s basketball.
“The SoCon has made some changes,” he said. “Can they make any more that would sway us to staying there?”
Hull said an increased presence in CAA markets like Boston, Philadelphia and New York will help College of Charleston draw students from those areas. College of Charleston’s student body is about 65 percent in-state students (who pay tuition of $9,918 per year) and 35 percent out-of-state (who pay $25,304 per year).
“Clearly, we’ll have some longer distances to travel,” he said. “The other side of that coin is some very large markets that are relevant to College of Charleston in terms of attracting students. If you want to focus on a longer trip, it might be a negative. If you focus on College of Charleston having a serious presence in those markets, you might come out with a different opinion.”
Some Cougar baseball players, past and present, have made known their preference for the SoCon on Twitter. The SoCon’s RPI last year was No. 7 in the nation, compared with No. 18 for the CAA.
“It depends on which sport and which athletes you talk to,” Hull said. “I talked to some young people today who would be ready to go (to the CAA) tomorrow. I know some of our baseball players love the league they are in. But in most sports, if you look at the RPI and how they are viewed nationally, the Colonial is a stronger league.”
College of Charleston’s full Board of Trustees meets today, with no action expected to be taken on the move to the CAA. The next scheduled board meeting is in October, but the school could call a meeting at any time.
Post and Courier
August 2, 2012
WEYMOUTH, England — College of Charleston senior sailor Juan Maegli, who is competing for Guatemala, is fifth in the overall standings after the third day of Men’s Laser Class racing on Weymouth Harbour at the Olympic Games.
Maegli placed fifth in Race 5, his fourth top-10 finish in the event, but he later dropped to 20th in Race 6.
He trails Pavlos Kontides of Cypress, who leads the field of 49, followed by World No. 1 Tom Slingsby of Australia in second, Tonci Stipanovic of Croatia in third and Rasmus Myrgren of Sweden in fourth.
The participants are off today but return to action Friday.