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Future of the A-Sun?
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MercerFan Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Future of the A-Sun?
(04-01-2013 09:15 PM)NoDak Wrote:  
(03-31-2013 11:54 AM)MercerFan Wrote:  I guess it depends how many non-D1 teams they can add and still maintain an auto-bid. Haven't they've had a waiver many times in the past? If possible, the idea of FL/GA schools makes sense. Make the conference geographically sensible.
After Gardner-Webb left, the A Sun needed a one year waiver until Kennesaw St and North Florida were fully transitioned.

Under new rules, the A Sun can't drop to five DI members as it won't get a waiver. Northern Kentucky doesn't count either for three more years.

FGCU - maybe getting interest now?
Stetson -
North Florida - may have other options if football is planned
Jacksonville - SoCon interest?
Mercer - definite SoCon interest
USC-Upstate - Big South interest?
ETSU - needs a football slot
Kennesaw St - needs a football slot
Lipscomb - no obvious suitors
N Kentucky - still in transition

Losing four schools within the next two years could be diastrous for the ASun. There isn't enough time to new DII schools to help if four schools leave. The ASun should always keep at least 12 schools in inventory, just for the safety of it.

Ironically, the ASun is probably in the best shape financially ever. FGCU's wins have earned the ASun almost $4 million extra over the next six years.


That sounds like the A-Sun should be able to retain enough schools. The worst case I think is Mercer, ETSU, and Kennesaw leaving. I don't see much beyond that. There are reports that FGCU's Enfield is a done deal to move to Southern Cal. So that takes away a lot of FGCU's momentum on the floor and selling to another league.

Good point about the extra money. They must be pinching themselves. Who gets to pocket all that extra dough!?
(This post was last modified: 04-01-2013 10:59 PM by MercerFan.)
04-01-2013 10:58 PM
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MemTGRS Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Future of the A-Sun?
(04-01-2013 10:58 PM)MercerFan Wrote:  
(04-01-2013 09:15 PM)NoDak Wrote:  
(03-31-2013 11:54 AM)MercerFan Wrote:  I guess it depends how many non-D1 teams they can add and still maintain an auto-bid. Haven't they've had a waiver many times in the past? If possible, the idea of FL/GA schools makes sense. Make the conference geographically sensible.
After Gardner-Webb left, the A Sun needed a one year waiver until Kennesaw St and North Florida were fully transitioned.

Under new rules, the A Sun can't drop to five DI members as it won't get a waiver. Northern Kentucky doesn't count either for three more years.

FGCU - maybe getting interest now?
Stetson -
North Florida - may have other options if football is planned
Jacksonville - SoCon interest?
Mercer - definite SoCon interest
USC-Upstate - Big South interest?
ETSU - needs a football slot
Kennesaw St - needs a football slot
Lipscomb - no obvious suitors
N Kentucky - still in transition

Losing four schools within the next two years could be diastrous for the ASun. There isn't enough time to new DII schools to help if four schools leave. The ASun should always keep at least 12 schools in inventory, just for the safety of it.

Ironically, the ASun is probably in the best shape financially ever. FGCU's wins have earned the ASun almost $4 million extra over the next six years.


That sounds like the A-Sun should be able to retain enough schools. The worst case I think is Mercer, ETSU, and Kennesaw leaving. I don't see much beyond that. There are reports that FGCU's Enfield is a done deal to move to Southern Cal. So that takes away a lot of FGCU's momentum on the floor and selling to another league.

Good point about the extra money. They must be pinching themselves. Who gets to pocket all that extra dough!?

The more this amateur reads the posts here, it would probably make the most sense for indeed the three bolded schools to be the choices of the SoCon. Mercer would be a fine choice but I would think they would require the new football program to offer scholarships ASAP. Does Mercer want to do that? Is full FCS scholarship football within the desired budget.

I think ETSU and Kennesaw will be fine football additions within five years.

The scary part is that Northern Kentucky is probably a flight risk to the Summit League or Horizon League at any moment. So I think two or three Peach Belt move-ups are needed quickly.

Here's one for Lipscomb -- Union Univerisity in Jackson, TN now has over 4,000 students. They shared an NAIA league for years. Union is now Division II in the Gulf South. They've been a power in women's hoops for years with respectable men's programs. Football has not been in discusson at all to my knowledge.
04-02-2013 09:47 AM
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Courtside Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Future of the A-Sun?
I have no idea if JU is being considered for the SoCon. However, I do not find the idea to be so far fetched.

Location - Jacksonville is closer to Charleston than to Macon or Ft. Myers. It would also bring the 2nd largest media/population market of the current SoCon members. (Davidson/Charlotte is #1). I am very sure that schools like Furman and Davidson recruit Jacksonville high schools vigorously.

Baseball - Although experiencing a tough season and a half, JU has been to the tournament 7 of the previous 10 years. They have 4 ASC titles since 2006. They will have a new coach in 2014.

Football - 2 Pioneer League titles and a 27-5 conference record in the last 4 years. They will be a favorite to win the 2013 title and with it an automatic bid the FSC play-offs. They finished ranked #22 in the FSC two years ago.

Basketball - 2 conference regular season titles and 3 post-season appearances in the last 5 years.

Lacrosse - Both men's and women's have been competitive since their inception a few years ago. Both are in position to win their respective league's this year. JU hosts a early season tournament at Everbank Field. Past participants have included Notre Dame, Georgetown, Ohio St and Denver. It has drawn 8k-12k in attendance.

Women's Track - Has won like 8 straight ASC titles

On the down-side, which is significant

Endowment - JU ranks very low, and may be at the very bottom of potential SoCon schools.

Enrollment - JU has approximately 3700 students. Not ideal but certainly not a deal breaker given the enrollment of other SoCon schools.

Facilities - Other than Baseball/Softball/Soccer and the Jacksonville Memorial Arena for BB, JU's facilities are sub-standard.

Scholarship Football - Is a huge expense, however Jacksonville is a football city. The city embracing FSC football would go a long way in making it happen. The chicken before the egg, may be too much of a risk for the Trustee's.

The biggest X factor is JU's new President (former JU baseball player) a new AD, and a recently unveiled $83ml Capital Campaign (half of which that has been raised). Included in it are a football stadium/athletic complex and a BB/Volleyball practice facility. If this campaign was completely funded and these facilities underway I would be somewhat optimistic that the SoCon would be at the very least interested.
(This post was last modified: 04-17-2013 10:37 PM by Courtside.)
04-02-2013 12:51 PM
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MercerFan Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Future of the A-Sun?
MemTGRS --- I think Mercer is going to make the move to scholarships sooner rather than later. That's the general word I hear. When the stadium went from 6,000 to 10,200 seats before the 1st kickoff, I think that shows the commitment.

That Union school would be a good choice for the A-Sun if there are a lot of departures. Lipscomb would otherwise be on an island. Northern Kentucky will likely get some interest once their probation is up in 3 years.

Courtside --- That's a good, fair analysis of Jacksonville. It all depends what is said behind closed doors. What the school is telling the SoCon or whoever about what they are willing to do. Kennesaw must have one impressive sales pitch, because their teams flat out stink. If Jacksonville is willing to put the money into programs and step it up a notch, I'd say Mercer, ETSU, and Jacksonville is much more attractive than Kennesaw. I guess it's Kennesaw's location and impressive football (soccer) complex.
(This post was last modified: 04-02-2013 01:01 PM by MercerFan.)
04-02-2013 01:01 PM
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NoDak Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Future of the A-Sun?
(04-01-2013 10:58 PM)MercerFan Wrote:  
(04-01-2013 09:15 PM)NoDak Wrote:  
(03-31-2013 11:54 AM)MercerFan Wrote:  I guess it depends how many non-D1 teams they can add and still maintain an auto-bid. Haven't they've had a waiver many times in the past? If possible, the idea of FL/GA schools makes sense. Make the conference geographically sensible.
After Gardner-Webb left, the A Sun needed a one year waiver until Kennesaw St and North Florida were fully transitioned.

Under new rules, the A Sun can't drop to five DI members as it won't get a waiver. Northern Kentucky doesn't count either for three more years.

FGCU - maybe getting interest now?
Stetson -
North Florida - may have other options if football is planned
Jacksonville - SoCon interest?
Mercer - definite SoCon interest
USC-Upstate - Big South interest?
ETSU - needs a football slot
Kennesaw St - needs a football slot
Lipscomb - no obvious suitors
N Kentucky - still in transition

Losing four schools within the next two years could be diastrous for the ASun. There isn't enough time to new DII schools to help if four schools leave. The ASun should always keep at least 12 schools in inventory, just for the safety of it.

Ironically, the ASun is probably in the best shape financially ever. FGCU's wins have earned the ASun almost $4 million extra over the next six years.


That sounds like the A-Sun should be able to retain enough schools. The worst case I think is Mercer, ETSU, and Kennesaw leaving. I don't see much beyond that. There are reports that FGCU's Enfield is a done deal to move to Southern Cal. So that takes away a lot of FGCU's momentum on the floor and selling to another league.

Good point about the extra money. They must be pinching themselves. Who gets to pocket all that extra dough!?
The ASun has to retain all the rest of the members if KSU, ETSU, and Mercer leave or win over another school from the Big South to retain their conference standing. When NKU gains full DI status, then the ASun has a bit more breathing room. The ASun really needs to add a DII school by the June deadline to provide a bigger cushion for 2017 and later.

Union isn't eligible to move to DI until it has spent five full years in DII as a full member. With their recent move up from NAIA, it's probably not until 2018 that they can move to DI.

Lincoln Memorial and or Bellarmine in Louisville really needed to be added to help Lipscomb (and NKU stay). Bellarmine has won the DII men's basketball in recent years and is already DI in men's lacrosse.
04-02-2013 06:40 PM
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MidniteMadness Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Future of the A-Sun?
Columbus State University, a DII located in Columbus, GA is currently in the middle of a feasibility study that started in December of 2012 to transition to DI. They should be concluded with the study sometime in May or June 2013. CSU has conducted studies in the past, but this is the first time they have ever hired an outside agency (Creative Marketing & Management, Inc.) to assist with the study. This is the same agency that assisted North Alabama and Jax State with their D1 feasibility studies. CSU athletic dept. is paying around $30,000 to conduct this study. It is no secret that CSU wants to move to DI and they have spent the last couple of years upgrading facilities, improving their educational and academic profiles and improving their marketing brand. Rumors in the area and around the school the last few years, is that they have targeted the A-Sun as the conference they want to join. There is even talk that if the study comes back with a more positive recommendation than what is expected, CSU may even include starting a football team to play in the Pioneer division a few years after making the transition to D1 and the A-Sun. CSU wants football, but it will most likely come after they have completed their mandatory 4 year transition period making them an official DI and A-Sun member. IMO, CSU fits the profile that the A-Sun has traditionally gone after in regards to DII upgrades. Rumors, and again, they are just rumors, is that CSU is eyeing a possible 2014 or 2015 beginning DI transition date.

Columbus St is much farther ahead in its DI transition plan than Georgia Regents University (formerly Augusta St.). GSU needs major upgrades to its athletic facilities and wants to add more sports teams to its athletic department before it is ready to make their expected move to DI. Probably around 2017 or 2018.

IMO, the A-Sun is the only viable and geographical option for CSU. The SoCon, OVA and Big South do not have recent history of bringing up DII upgrades, and why would they. They can continue to cherry pick teams from the A-Sun. A-Sun will need and want a Georgia school replacement once Mercer and Kennesaw St jump ship. That only leaves CSU as the logical choice in regards to DII upgrades, and of course if CSU can afford to make the move.
04-03-2013 04:51 PM
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NoDak Offline
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Post: #17
RE: Future of the A-Sun?
Anyone heard any substance to rumors about Wingate wanting to move to DI?
04-07-2013 09:33 PM
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MercerFan Offline
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Post: #18
RE: Future of the A-Sun?
Good info on Columbus State, I've read about them wanting to move to D1.

I've never heard of Wingate.
04-07-2013 10:28 PM
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Mister Consistency Offline
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Post: #19
RE: Future of the A-Sun?
Call me crazy, but I think the A-Sun will survive on the backs of the four Florida schools. That's where they should be looking to add. The Big West is full of California directional schools, the A-Sun could do the same thing with Florida. Try to lure in West Florida, U of Tampa, Florida Tech, and Nova Southeastern, hang on to Lipscomb & NKU for as long as they can, find a couple of schools for football only and you have your conference. Lipscomb and NKU should be less daunting to replace if they find other options.

Of course, that's entirely dependent upon some or all of those Florida schools actually wanting to spend the money to move up...
04-08-2013 05:25 PM
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Courtside Offline
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Post: #20
RE: Future of the A-Sun?
http://t.co/xKBfdktexn

Davidson to A-10. That leaves 4 open spots in SoCon
04-14-2013 10:36 PM
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