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Cougars digging their claws into possible move to CAA - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Cougars digging their claws into possible move to CAA

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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

The College of Charleston's Athletics Committee of the Board of Trustees met on Tuesday morning to officially begin discussions about a possible move from the Southern Conference to the Colonial Athletic Association. 

The Cougars, along with Davidson, have been rumored targets of the CAA for several weeks now.

Georgia Southern Athletic Director Sam Baker told a Statesboro, GA. newspaper last week that both schools had officially been invited to join the CAA but a statement from Dwight Johnson, Chair of the Athletics Committee, said "no formal invitation has been extended by the CAA at this time." 

Johnson continued by saying "the Colonial Athletic Association has been in contact with the College of Charleston about the College's potential interest in joining the league."

CofC Athletic Director Joe Hull says before any decision is made the Athletics Committee will make a complete analysis of the pros and cons.

"We divided them into areas. Pure athletics, things that are economic and then factors that really involve the campus at large," said Hull. "Travel is a concern from two different points of view. One is the obvious cost of going to more distant places. The bigger issue for me is how much more time will this take from student athletes sitting on a bus or airplane...that's definitely a concern."

Hull said the future of the Southern Conference also adds into the equation, if Georgia Southern and Appalachian State depart in the coming years.

The Athletic Director said the upside of the CAA is it's TV time compared to the SoCon.

"The Colonial... gets dramatically more exposure than the Southern Conference does," said Hull. "I think it's fair to say that in general the Colonial is perceived nationally."

He would go on to say that he "hasn't formed an opinion" on whether or not the Colonial is a better fit for the Cougars than the SoCon, where the College has been since 1998. 

The big catch is the $600,000 the College will owe the Southern Conference if it leaves without giving a two year notice. Hull says with that amount of money on the line the Athletics Committee will pick apart every detail about a possible move before making any recommendations.

It's expected a recommendation from the Athletics Committee will be given to the full Board of Trustees on Aug. 3 when the group reconvenes. 

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