Georgia State’s desire to compete in Colonial Athletic Association championship tournaments received very little support from the conference’s athletic directors at their annual meeting in Hilton Head earlier this week.
The Panthers are leaving the CAA for the Sun Belt Conference in 2013, in part to further the development of their football team. CAA bylaws state schools that are leaving are ineligible to compete in its tournaments. It is believed to be the only conference in the NCAA to have this rule. However, the bylaws also state that the remaining conference members have the right to determine whether the school that is leaving can participate in the conference championships during the upcoming year.
Citing that provision, GSU president Dr. Mark Becker will ask his conference counterparts to vote to allow them to compete through June 30, 2013 on Tuesday during the conference’s annual presidents meetings in Washington D.C.
According to the CAA constitution, a three-fourths vote will be needed to allow Georgia State and Old Dominion, which is leaving for Conference USA in 2013 (football will join in 2015), to participate in tournaments, including men’s and women’s basketball. Becker and ODU president John Broderick won’t be allowed to vote, meaning seven of the nine voting members must agree.
Should the presidents either decline to vote or vote against Georgia State, the Panthers’ only chance to make NCAA tournaments will come from at-large berths.
“We believe it’s only fair for our student-athletes and coaches to play,” athletic director Cheryl Levick said.
Sun Belt commissioner Karl Benson said he hopes GSU’s effort is rewarded.
“I find it hard to believe that student-athletes would be compromised by the ever-changing landscape of conference realignment,” he said. “While the Sun Belt would like to accommodate Georgia State’s student-athletes, I hope the Colonial Athletic Association will reconsider its decision.”