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Future of the A-Sun?
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MercerFan Offline
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Future of the A-Sun?
In the landscape of the national conference realignment, the A-Sun once again is left in a position of maximum uncertainty. Let's look at the rundown of schools and think about the possibilities:

East Tennessee State
Florida Gulf Coast
Jacksonville
Kennesaw State
Lipscomb
Mercer
North Florida
Northern Kentucky
USC Upstate
Stetson

The bold teams are getting the most attention, and a LOT of discussion leads us to believe that 2 or all 3 are locks to join the SoCon. The list of the SoCon commissioner's requirements almost spell M-E-R-C-E-R. They were Academics, Geographic Location, and Baseball being good as a bonus.

I think the SoCon would be smart to take at least Mercer & ETSU. Kennesaw a gamble.

If the SoCon swiped all 3 teams, that would leave the A-Sun with only 7 teams and no immediate D1 teams I can think of that would be looking to join. So what would happen to the A-Sun? It's hard to imagine they can survive another heavy wave like this, but they've done it before.
03-29-2013 04:11 PM
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MercerFan Offline
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RE: Future of the A-Sun?
SoCon expected to announce new additions no later than June. Crossing my fingers for Mercer/ETSU and then whoever else, as long as we get those 2 in.

Florida Gulf Coast is at the peak of excitement right now. If they weren't on an island down there geographically, and they had a plan for football then they would be an easy pick. However, both of those are 2 major strikes against them. They've been pretty clear about no football. So I don't think they even be in the discussion.

North Florida got a couple brief mentions, but they really lack a lot of quality factors: No football intentions, tiny gym, and immediate geographic outlier (much less than FGCU, but I suspect they would gamble on FGCU and drive extra miles before UNF).

Jacksonville is a strange program. They seem content right where they are. Enrollment is only 4,000ish (half of Mercer's size), and they've never shown interest in moving leagues. Or taking football to the next level. As a geographic outlier, baseball struggling, I don't think they get much attention either.

The remainder of A-Sun schools are not in the discussions.

It's an interesting time.. The A-Sun is peaking in basketball, yet they are even more unstable. It's a problem with no solution. Even the Sweet 16 can't save it. So what will? Mercer needs to get out and get into a stable league, now!
(This post was last modified: 03-29-2013 04:21 PM by MercerFan.)
03-29-2013 04:20 PM
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etsuandpurdue3 Offline
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RE: Future of the A-Sun?
I'd say the ASUN may invite NJIT to avoid NCAA deconferenceization, even though they are a geographic outlier to the ASUN.(Only Great West team left.) Call-Ups from D2 include Augusta State(or whatever it's called now), Columbus State,North Alabama(football unknown), Lincoln Memorial(longshot in really, really small town.Also geographic outlier with ETSU leaving.).
03-29-2013 05:12 PM
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MercerFan Offline
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RE: Future of the A-Sun?
That sounds pretty bad. The A-Sun is pretty decent right now, but it's all but a guarantee that teams will be leaving. So we gotta get out while we can.
03-29-2013 06:07 PM
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NoDak Offline
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RE: Future of the A-Sun?
(03-29-2013 04:20 PM)MercerFan Wrote:  SoCon expected to announce new additions no later than June. Crossing my fingers for Mercer/ETSU and then whoever else, as long as we get those 2 in.

Florida Gulf Coast is at the peak of excitement right now. If they weren't on an island down there geographically, and they had a plan for football then they would be an easy pick. However, both of those are 2 major strikes against them. They've been pretty clear about no football. So I don't think they even be in the discussion.

North Florida got a couple brief mentions, but they really lack a lot of quality factors: No football intentions, tiny gym, and immediate geographic outlier (much less than FGCU, but I suspect they would gamble on FGCU and drive extra miles before UNF).

Jacksonville is a strange program. They seem content right where they are. Enrollment is only 4,000ish (half of Mercer's size), and they've never shown interest in moving leagues. Or taking football to the next level. As a geographic outlier, baseball struggling, I don't think they get much attention either.

The remainder of A-Sun schools are not in the discussions.

It's an interesting time.. The A-Sun is peaking in basketball, yet they are even more unstable. It's a problem with no solution. Even the Sweet 16 can't save it. So what will? Mercer needs to get out and get into a stable league, now!
The ASun really needs to patch together more schools in Florida and Georgia from DII and/or attempt to create an FCS option within the conference.

North Florida's President has stated football by 2017 is possible. UNF could have interest elsewhere, as football conferences want a Florida presence for recruiting.

Nova Southeastern supposedly has interest in moving to DI.

Columbus St, Georgia Regents (Augusta St), W Georgia, and North Alabama also have interest in DI. Bellarmine (in Louisville) has a goal of moving sports to DI too. If N Kentucky stays, Bellarmine may be an option.
(This post was last modified: 03-30-2013 11:55 PM by NoDak.)
03-30-2013 11:53 PM
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MercerFan Offline
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RE: Future of the A-Sun?
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.
03-31-2013 11:54 AM
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Statman101 Offline
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RE: Future of the A-Sun?
(03-29-2013 04:20 PM)MercerFan Wrote:  SoCon expected to announce new additions no later than June. Crossing my fingers for Mercer/ETSU and then whoever else, as long as we get those 2 in.

Florida Gulf Coast is at the peak of excitement right now. If they weren't on an island down there geographically, and they had a plan for football then they would be an easy pick. However, both of those are 2 major strikes against them. They've been pretty clear about no football. So I don't think they even be in the discussion.

North Florida got a couple brief mentions, but they really lack a lot of quality factors: No football intentions, tiny gym, and immediate geographic outlier (much less than FGCU, but I suspect they would gamble on FGCU and drive extra miles before UNF).

Jacksonville is a strange program. They seem content right where they are. Enrollment is only 4,000ish (half of Mercer's size), and they've never shown interest in moving leagues. Or taking football to the next level. As a geographic outlier, baseball struggling, I don't think they get much attention either.

The remainder of A-Sun schools are not in the discussions.

It's an interesting time.. The A-Sun is peaking in basketball, yet they are even more unstable. It's a problem with no solution. Even the Sweet 16 can't save it. So what will? Mercer needs to get out and get into a stable league, now!

Just to correct one note that you made. That "Tiny Gym" for UNF can seat almost twice as many as Mercer's facility (5,600+). Not that it makes UNF more viable but is one of the largest on-campus facilities in the ASun currently.
04-01-2013 09:58 AM
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MercerFan Offline
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RE: Future of the A-Sun?
You're right about that -- I'm not sure what I was thinking of. Maybe Swisher. But either way they have a much bigger gym than I realized.
04-01-2013 11:55 AM
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chargeradio Offline
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Future of the A-Sun?
How feasible would it be for JU and UNF to share Veterans?
(This post was last modified: 04-01-2013 09:14 PM by chargeradio.)
04-01-2013 09:14 PM
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NoDak Offline
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RE: Future of the A-Sun?
(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.
04-01-2013 09:15 PM
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