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Would SoCon give 49ers a 2nd shot?
With Appalachian State making a possible move up to the NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision, an opening in the Southern Conference might be forthcoming.
Does that mean there’s a spot in the league for the Charlotte 49ers’ football program, which starts play in the Football Championship Subdivision in 2013? The conference already rebuffed the 49ers in the spring. But now, the league could drop to 11 members (eight in football) whenever Appalachian State would leave.
“If and when the time comes that we have 11 members, we would look at all options,” Southern Conference Commissioner John Iamarino said Tuesday. “Right now, our membership has already said there was not enough interest in taking Charlotte just for football. But that could change if we go down to 11, I guess. We’ll talk about all our options.”
The Southern Conference recently expanded, bringing in Samford in 2008. League-member Georgia Southern has also explored moving to FBS, but is staying put.
A Charlotte membership in any FCS league would probably be temporary. The school hopes to someday make a jump to FBS, similar to what Appalachian State is attempting.
The 49ers’ best bet for a league will probably continue to be the Colonial Athletic Association, either as a full-time or football-only member.
Athletics director Judy Rose had no comment on any renewed interest the school might have in the Southern Conference. Football coach Brad Lambert said this week that talks are continuing with the CAA.
By David Scott, The Charlotte Observer