|« 2011 Big Sky position rankings: Wide receivers||NCAA Invites 19 Coaches to 2011 Expert Forum in Orlando »|
SoCon, Big South turn down Charlotte 49ers
Charlotte 49ers Director of Athletics Judy Rose said this morning that the 49ers won’t be offered a football-only associate membership by either the Southern Conference or Big South.
Rose said she talked with commissioners of both leagues – the SoCon’s John Iamarino and the Big South’s Kyle Kallander – earlier this week. Rose and Chancellor Phil Dubois were part of a Charlotte group that made a presentation to the Southern Conference at its spring meetings last week.
“It has to be win-win for both us, whichever the league, and they didn’t think it was for them,” said Rose.
Rose said Charlotte’s only other option for conference affiliation when the 49ers begin football in 2013 is the Colonial Athletic Association. Otherwise, Charlotte would be an FCS independent until it makes a move up to FBS, whenever that comes.
Rose feels strongly that the rest of Charlotte’s athletic teams remain in the Atlantic 10, which doesn’t sponsor football.
Rose and Charlotte chancellor Phil Dubois spoke with Southern Conference presidents and athletics directors at the league’s annual meeting last Thursday in Charleston.
“There were a lot of positives,” said Iamarino. “But we already have a very diverse membership. And the elephant in the room was the temporary nature of what their membership would be. Everybody had to think about that.”
Kallander wouldn’t comment specifically on any contact he had with Charlotte.
“We’ve had conversations with any number of institutions about potential membership,” said Kallander, whose league office is in Charlotte. “Anybody in our region would be a possibility.”
The Big South has seven football-playing schools, including Stony Brook (N.Y.), which is an associate member in football. Stony Brook is also in the league temporarily, signing a four-year contract with the Big South in 2008 and recently extending it through 2015.
Dubois acknowledges that when the 49ers’ football feasibility committee publically recommended moving up to FBS, their chances at finding a temporlary conference might have been hurt.
“We’ve got to crawl before we walk, walk before we run,” said Dubois, who added that he didn’t agree with the FBS recommendation. “The committee did an outstanding job, but we needed to say we’re going to start football as an FCS proglram and just do it the best way we can.”
By David Scott, Charlotte Observer