Despite seeing their SoCon conference mate Davidson reject an invitation from the CAA, the College of Charleston will likely vote Saturday to move to the CAA.
The move is an interesting one when you look at the history of the school and the CAA. When the CAA stil had members ODU and VCU and were seeking to expand, College of Charleston rejected the CAA. Georgia St. and Northeastern then joined the CAA. But now with arguably the top two CAA schools now gone (VCU to A10) or leaving next year (ODU to CUSA), the College of Charleston seems to feel the time is now. With GMU as it’s top competition in the CAA, the school likely feels they can compete well in the CAA now.
There are also the benefits of being in a conference with members in many southerns states, such as W&M, UNCW, JMU, GMU, but also having a greater northern presence, due to CAA members Delaware, Drexel, Hofstra and Northeastern. College of Charleston likely hopes that they will get a nice enrollment boost from northern students similar to that which they had during the basketball programs successful run in the late 1990′s.
With the addition of College of Charleston, the CAA will now be at 10 members. They had hoped for that number to be 12 with Davidson and Appalachian St., but will need to either opt to remain at 10 or seek other members. Other options could be Elon and Furman for all sports. Coastal Carolina could be a target as well and a travel partner for Charleston. If the CAA were to add Charleston and another southern school like Coastal Carolina, they could always look again to the north by bringing in Stony Brook for all-sports rather than as a football only member.