published Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Changes may be coming to SoCon

Davidson will be on the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga basketball schedule for the foreseeable future. The College of Charleston may not.

Davidson athletic director Jim Murphy informed Southern Conference commissioner John Iamarino on Wednesday that Davidson would remain in the SoCon instead of moving to the Colonial Athletic Association.

The College of Charleston board of trustees passed a resolution Friday by a 12-5 vote to open official negotiations with the CAA. However, that does not guarantee that the Cougars are bolting. They’re just thinking — real hard — about it.

“It’s a move forward for our program, and I would expect negotiations to start in relatively short order,” Charleston athletic director Joe Hull told the Charleston Post and Courier. “I would expect the president would get together with the conference commissioner pretty soon and begin discussions.”

Iamarino released a statement after the decision by Charleston’s board.

“We will continue to monitor membership issues as we have done consistently for the past few years,” he said. “We are working diligently with our membership to ensure the continued success of the Southern Conference and provide a bright future for our athletics programs and the student-athletes we serve.”

UTC coach John Shulman, whose team went 6-11 in SoCon games last year, has more important things on his mind right now with a backcourt full of freshmen.

“I worry zero about it,” Shulman said. “If you can’t control it, why worry about it? If Charleston is in, they’re in. If Davidson is in, that’s good for our league.

“Charleston helps our league, too, but if they don’t want to be here, they don’t have to. This is America.”

UTC, Davidson and Wofford are the only SoCon schools to have played in the NCAA men’s tournament during the last 10 years.

“You don’t ever want anybody to leave the league, but it happens,” Shulman said. “I’m sure the commissioner is ready to act and to move and make adjustments. That’s part of the nature of college athletics right now.”

Contact David Uchiyama at duchiyama@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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