Archive for April, 2012

Benson will meet with GSU on Monday about Sun Belt membership

Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson confirmed on Friday he will meet with Georgia State President Mark Becker and athletic director Cheryl Levick on Monday in Atlanta to discuss the possibility of membership in his conference.

Timing may be critical because the Colonial Athletic Association, Georgia State’s home since 2005, is expected to vote on Tuesday to increase its exit fees from $250,000 to $1 million.

Should Georgia State accept an invitation, it will likely have to forfeit any revenue-sharing agreements with the CAA for the upcoming season. That could mean the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars. It may also have to forfeit the chance to participate in any of the conference’s tournaments in 2012-13.

There also will be an entry fee to the Sun Belt, which Benson said is in the process of being changed.

Georgia State’s athletic department has been exploring a move for the past few months. Levick commissioned a report last year that studied the ramifications of …

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McLane named Georgia State’s starting quarterback

Ben McLane was named Georgia State’s starting quarterback today by coach Bill Curry.

“Ben McLane won the job, he earned it with his performance,” Curry said. “He completed a higher percentage of his passes, he learned the system better, he learned the checks better than the other  two guys. He’s a remarkably reliable young man. He doesn’t miss classes, he doesn’t miss assignments. He trains hard in the weight room. He does all the things you expect of a leader.”

McLane, who will be a redshirt freshman in the fall, edged Kelton Hill, who started five games last year and was the presumed starter for the 2012 season, and Bo Schlechter. The Panthers wrapped up spring practices today with McLane going 10 of 13. One of the incompletions was a drop. He completed seven of 11 in last week’s scrimmage. Two of those incompletions were drops.

Offensive coordinator John Bond said last week that he wanted someone who could manage the game and give the receivers a chance in the team’s …

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Portee dismissed from Georgia State football team

Defensive end A.J. Portee has been dismissed from Georgia State’s football team for violating a team rule related to academics.

Portee, 6-feet, 4-inches  and 240 pounds, transferred from Connecticut last year. He had 31 tackles and two sacks. A graduate of Mays High School, he was being counted on to be an impact player in the Panthers’ 4-2-5 defense this year.

Coach Bill Curry’s decision to dismiss Portee leaves the team very thin on the defensive line. None of the returnees could be considered an impact player based upon last year’s results.

It’s also another disciplinary issue that Curry has had to deal with.

He suspended four defensive players for portions of the spring practices. Three of those players have been reinstated. Linebacker Dexter Moody has been indefinitely suspended.

This comes on the heels of numerous disciplinary issues on and off the field last year.

– Doug Roberson, AJC

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CAA is discussing increasing exit fee to $1 million

Colonial Athletic Association commissioner Tom Yeager told caahoops.com that Georgia State and the Sun Belt Conference are “pretty far down the road,” but he doesn’t know what the outcome will be.

If Georgia State were to leave, Yeager said he would try to replace them. The Panthers have been members of the conference in 2005. They will play their first conference football schedule this year.

If Georgia State is going to leave, it may need to do so quickly.

Yeager said there is a conference call scheduled on Tuesday for the presidents and athletic directors to discuss raising the exit fee from $250,000 to at least $1 million. It will take a two-thirds vote to pass.

– Doug Roberson, AJC

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Benson: GSU to Sun Belt hasn’t been approved

Sun Belt commissioner Karl Benson said his conference hasn’t decide to invite Georgia State, and that he will not be in Atlanta on Thursday.

Benson’s comments contradict a report on CBSSports.com that the presidents of the Sun Belt voted earlier this week to invite Georgia State, and that Benson will be in Atlanta on Thursday to likely extend an invitation.

“No invitations have been extended, no decisions have been made,” he said. “We have had a continued dialogue.”

Benson said he was tentatively scheduled to visit Georgia State on Thursday. But that trip has been postponed. He said he is trying to get to Atlanta next week for a fact-finding trip.

Benson and GSU athletic director Cheryl Levick have had exploratory discussions for the past few months. Georgia State has been a member of the Colonial Athletic Association in all sports since 2005. The Panthers began playing football two years ago and will play its first conference schedule later this year.

– Doug Roberson, …

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GSU hasn’t been invited to Sun Belt yet

Georgia State hasn’t received an invitation to join the Sun Belt Conference, at least not yet.

CBSSports.com reported earlier today that the conference’s presidents have voted to add Georgia State and that acceptance could come as early as Thursday. A call to commissioner Karl Benson hasn’t been returned.

Benson and GSU athletic director Cheryl Levick have had exploratory discussions, but as of last week no invitation had been extended. Benson said he was going to take a fact-finding trip to Atlanta, but didn’t know when. CBSSports reported today that the trip will occur on Thursday and that Georgia State will be invited then.

Georgia State has been a member of the Colonial Athletic Association in all sports since 2005. The Panthers began playing football two years ago and will play its first conference schedule later this year.

– Doug Roberson, AJC

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