CofC could soon be a CAA school


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Officials at the College of Charleston held an executive meeting Tuesday morning, and one of the items on the agenda -- whether or not to join the Colonial Athletic Association.

Joining the CAA would mean a whole new schedule of playing different teams. It also means the Cougars will no longer be in the same conference as crosstown rival, The Citadel Bulldogs.

Athletics Director Joe Hull addressed the board Tuesday morning saying he met with coaches and staff about the athletic, economic, and academic issues, and that they all weighed in on the decision.

Hull never mentioned the CAA in his opening statement, but said that true details will be discussed in a closed executive session to be held immediately after.

Finally, BOT member Dwight Johnson brought up the CAA, saying they haven't been given a timeline on the decision.

The college officially said that they've been in contact with the CAA but no official offer has been made. The board mentioned CofC's "potential interest in joining the league" in a statement but no recommendation has been made on a decision.Hull mentioned that the school was intrigued by CAA's television exposure, which he says is much more than that of the Southern Conference.

"The level of television exposure for the Colonial, just looking at men's basketball, the Colonial gets dramatically more exposure than the Southern Conference does," he said.

Though he admits he will act on the behalf of all sports, Hull also says CAA is a better basketball conference, and with that being CofC's main revenue sport, will definitely be considered.

"I always see myself as the AD for 21 teams not just one, if I forget that, I always have coaches that will remind me I'm the athletics director for 21 teams. The success of our basketball program is critical to us but it is not the only concern we've got."

According to Hull, SoCon Commissioner John Iamarino has been understanding and helpful in gathering information about the move. One of the huge factors he says he has to consider is the $600 thousand the school would have to pay if it were to leave the SoCon now. In the future that amount could drop to $300 thousand.Another consideration, Hull says, is missed class time and extensive travel with its associated costs.

"Certainly travel is a concern from two points of view. Certainly one is the cost of going to more distant places, and then the bigger issue for me is how much more time will this take from student athletes sitting on a bus, plane or airport waiting to get to games," Hull said.

Hull says there is no timetable on sending a recommendation to the board of trustees. He says he has to consider all 21 sports.

"There is no timeline," he said. "The board will do their due diligence and take the proper amount of time that it takes to make the right decision. ...I'd be surprised if we make a decision by the board meeting in a few weeks."

We will continue to update this story as more details become available.