Georgia State won’t be allowed to play in CAA tournaments — updated with Sun Belt news

Georgia State will not be able to compete for Colonial Athletic Association tournament team championships in the upcoming year, its last before joining the Sun Belt, CAA commissioner Tom Yeager announced on Tuesday. A vote was taken by the conference’s presidents during a meeting last week. The results were unanimous, reinforcing a long-time CAA bylaw.

“The conference believes that the championship opportunities should be reserved for those student-athletes that are continuing members of the conference,”  Yeager said.

GSU President Mark Becker said in a statement they “were very disappointed” in the decision, which  prevents the Panthers’ teams from the chance to earn automatic berths into NCAA tournaments.  The sports affected are baseball, basketball, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball. The conference will allow individuals to compete in  cross country, swimming and diving, track and field and wrestling, but team points will not be calculated.

Becker and athletic director Cheryl Levick have two options:

• Their teams can try to earn at-large berths. Five CAA teams have made the NCAA men’s basketball tournament as at-large selections. GSU football isn’t eligible for the playoffs because it has already applied to reclassify from FCS to FBS.

•  Becker can ask Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson if the Panthers can join this fall in every sport but football (whose schedules are completed) with immediate postseason eligibility.

Georgia State and the Sun Belt had several “What if?” discussions several weeks ago, centered on the Panthers joining the conference this fall, a year earlier than planned.

Now that the CAA has ruled the Panthers are ineligible to compete in its tournament championships, Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson said he expects they will re-visit those discussions. He said the Sun Belt would like to accommodate Georgia State, as long as doing so doesn’t disrupt the schedules that are complete, notably men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball. Benson declined to say if it could be done because Georgia State hasn’t approached him. Changing conferences doesn’t require any application or approval by the NCAA. Becker declined an interview request on Tuesday. Levick is out of the country and couldn’t be reached for comment. Benson said when Levick returns he assumes they will begin talking.

The Panthers announced in April that they were leaving the CAA for the Sun Belt in 2013-14. A  CAA bylaw prohibits schools that have resigned from participating in conference championships.The CAA is believed to be the only conference in the NCAA that has a rule prohibiting postseason involvement. However, citing another provision that states the remaining schools can determine when the resignation is effective, Becker tried to persuade  the school presidents last week to allow the Panthers to be eligible to compete. Levick said it’s not fair that the student-athletes may be  punished by not being allowed the chance to compete.

Yeager brushed off that point during a teleconference on Tuesday.

“That’s a question that those institutions that withdrew have to answer,” he said. “They knew the rule was on the books and that it was a likely consequence. On balance, they made the decision to withdraw.”

Georgia State basketball coach Ron Hunter wasn’t as understanding Tuesday afternoon, saying that it was the first bad day he has had since taking over the team last year. He said he’s not mad at Georgia State because a move had to be made. He’s upset that his players are the ones being punished.

“When I meet with the players tonight I have to explain this to them,” he said. “The older guys will understand. The younger guys, they are going to ask ‘What did we do wrong?’ They didn’t do anything wrong.”

He said though Georgia State will be in the CAA, it will in effect be an independent and that independents rarely receive at-large bids.

“This decision means we aren’t going to be able to play in March Madness,” he said. “That week is a special week. It’s about the kids.”

– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu

59 comments Add your comment

Panama

June 19th, 2012
3:04 pm

#DieCAADie

Go Panthers!

Willjbutcher

June 19th, 2012
3:08 pm

Onto bigger and better things for GSU. Way to punish the kids, CAA.

ajg-marietta

June 19th, 2012
3:13 pm

They waited a week. And for what? There were supposedly very important matters to be resolved before they shut the door in the face of GSU and ODU student athletes. What were they?

Sluggo

June 19th, 2012
3:15 pm

So what was all the deliberations for? To sleep on it in case they had a change of heart? That’s seems really unprofessional to me. Oh well, let’s move on!

Tom Yeager

June 19th, 2012
3:18 pm

Don’t worry, dudes. My conference won’t exist in 5 years anyway.

Truth

June 19th, 2012
3:22 pm

Somebody should have asked Yeager the same question David Stern asked Jim Rome during their recent blow-up. Bet that would’ve gotten him off those talking points!

Yeager piece of crap

June 19th, 2012
3:28 pm

Oh god please let Tom Yeager wreck his car tonight.

Barkeep

June 19th, 2012
3:34 pm

Drinks on the house tonight, boys. Yeager Bombs all around!

Join the CAA #theworstdecisionsevermade

June 19th, 2012
3:35 pm

How does a conference president retain his job when 3 teams are leaving and 2 are ineligible.
Jiffy Lube wouldn’t even hire that idiot.

RidgeRunner

June 19th, 2012
3:36 pm

The CAA presidents are really small minded revengeful short sighted people who have no business in their positions. The sole purpose of athletic conferences is for the student athletes, not a platform for political statements. CAA sucks and I can old extend to our students athletes how sorry they have to go through this. Of course we can hope that GSU will ask the SBC for admission of our olympic sports for teh 2012-13 year.

GSU_MEX_ALUM

June 19th, 2012
3:41 pm

So, the waiting period was just another way to punish us. Way to show your class Yeager!

I hope we are quickly trying to move immediately to the SBC.

CAA sucks the big one

June 19th, 2012
3:45 pm

Screw you Tom Yeager.

just sayin'

June 19th, 2012
3:46 pm

this shouldn’t have been a big surprise. the administration knew the rule was on the books and they felt the need to announce. look how the conference dealt w/ UMass last year. Just go after each opponent one on one–beat the team who is their champ.

Panther

June 19th, 2012
3:46 pm

Glad to be leaving that train wreck we call the CAA. There is no doubt in my mind that us leaving is the best thing we could have possibly done. Without VCU, Old Dominion and us, only three of the top six basketball teams from last season remain in the CAA. Conference is falling apart.

Panther

June 19th, 2012
3:47 pm

@just sayin’
It’s not the decision that pisses us off. It’s that it took a week for them to tell us for no good reason.

Truth

June 19th, 2012
3:51 pm

Let’s all e-mail Yeager (tyeager@caasports.com) in language he can understand–clown talk!

GSU Bleed Blue

June 19th, 2012
3:56 pm

I am stunned at the retribution. With 7 teams remaining in the Men’s Basketball CAA championship why should they have a tournament just let Drexel and Georg Mason play one another and the winner goes to the NCAA tournament. I wonder if the MBB CAA Championship banner will have an Asterisk similar to steroids and MLB.

Team/ 2011-12 record
Drexel 29-7
George Mason 24-9
Hofstra 10-22
James Madison 12-20
Northeastern 14-17
William & Mary 6-26
Delaware 18-14

Disqualified:
Georgia State
Old Dominion

Gone:
VCU

Ineligible:
Towson
North Carolina-Wilmington

GSU Bleed Blue

June 19th, 2012
4:02 pm

Doug you better turn off the comments section. The comments about the CAA, it’s presidents, and Tom Yeager are going to get nasty.

just sayin'

June 19th, 2012
4:04 pm

*Panther…I understand your point. you don’t like to be led on. it does suck for the students. (about football) now it becomes more obvious why ODU waited; they can at least earn an at-large bid by delaying their own announcement.

David Stern

June 19th, 2012
4:07 pm

Tom, do you still beat your wife?

#Stateofshock

June 19th, 2012
4:07 pm

Why even have a CAA MBB tournament. Just let Drexel and Georg Mason play and the winner gets and automatic NCAA tourney bid.
Look at the records the other 5 teams (yes 5 teams) are terrible. I feel the NCAA should remove the NCAA Tournament auto qualifier for the CAA. What a joke.

Team/2011-12 record
Drexel 29-7
George Mason 24-9

Hofstra 10-22
James Madison 12-20
Northeastern 14-17
William & Mary 6-26
Delaware 18-14

Good to be a Panther

June 19th, 2012
4:15 pm

Yeager and Heater both have it in for Ga State.

Respond to #Stateofshock

June 19th, 2012
4:20 pm

Your exactly right Drexel won more games last year than Hofstra, James Madison, and William & Mary combined. The CAA NCAA auto qualifier needs to be removed for at least this season. Any CAA team in the NCAA Tourney needs to be an at large bid based only on RPI.

Truth

June 19th, 2012
4:20 pm

@David Stern, I wish you were on the conference call!!! Throw Yeager for a loop!

Blueland

June 19th, 2012
4:23 pm

Doug does this mean ODU is ineligible for the CAA football championship?

To rewspond to Truth

June 19th, 2012
4:31 pm

FIFY- “Throw Yeager………” (nothing else follows)

Truth

June 19th, 2012
4:35 pm

I concur, throw Yeager!

RidgeRunner

June 19th, 2012
4:58 pm

New movie. Throw Yeager From The Train

PantherMike82

June 19th, 2012
5:20 pm

We’ll have this same dilema in 5-7 years when we bolt from the Sun Belt to greener pastures.
The cost of doing business, boys. Let’s not cry about it.

A person SMART enough to know......

June 19th, 2012
5:44 pm

Good for the CAA……..It ain’t like GaState is Notre Dame. Don’t want to be in their league than good for them.

A person SMART enough to know......

June 19th, 2012
5:49 pm

Join an HBCU to play the other sports. That is a MONEY GAME for sure. GaState could get the BAND going and steal students from Spelmen, Morehouse and Morris Brown. the ATL is a great place to enjoy a game or a trip. GaState is in the HEART of Black History. Use that to draw fans and money.

Georgia State ranked top for graduating African-Americans
By Laura Diamond
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Georgia State University was ranked No. 1 in the nation for awarding the most bachelor’s degrees to African-Americans, according to a report from Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.
Georgia State awarded 1,262 degrees to African-Americans this year, a one-year increase of 17 percent. That pushed the college past Florida A&M and North Carolina A&T State universities.
The college has also received national recognition for its success with Asian and Latino students. More than half of the school’s nearly 32,000 students are minority.

Live it! Sell it! Use it to make the school MONEY!

panther

June 19th, 2012
6:01 pm

What on earth or you talking about?

StingerFan

June 19th, 2012
6:04 pm

Really? Nobody cares about the CAA, why should you.

Your half step up to the Sun Belt is where you should worry. Beat downs are waiting.

BTW… You have ZERO chance at getting an at large bid.

Face it, your dormant in sports for a year.

StingerFan

June 19th, 2012
6:06 pm

@Panthermike82

WHAT??? You never won a the CAA level and your thinking beyond Sun Belt??

Chicken Bone

June 19th, 2012
6:14 pm

SMART please go back to the TECH blogs with your kind. We are not interested in your bigoted ideas and opinions. As for Yeager, CAA Presidents and Conference crew you have exceeded our expectations with your decision and we welcome the slow death of your soon to be insignificant conference. The auto bid will also most likely become past history for your Mens BB. Better yet, why don’t you all go ahead and change your name to the VAA and disguise the death of the CAA. lol

Chicken Bone

June 19th, 2012
6:18 pm

StingerFan, we don’t care! Troll on somewhere else.

A person SMART enough to know......

June 19th, 2012
6:18 pm

Panther……..i say play Savannah St, Jax St. Clark Atl, and any HBCU teams that will schedule GaState in OTHER SPORTS. Don’t worry about the conference to start. Make MONEY and build a recruiting base. In a few years GaState can step-up in the other sports. Taking on Big Time Football you need to concentrate on that and let the non-money making sports do the bidding for football building a name.

A person SMART enough to know......

June 19th, 2012
6:20 pm

Chicken bone…………. Bigoted? You need to know where your bread is buttered and BUILD on that FOUNDATION for FOOTBALL.
Having Diversity is a HUGE Selling point for GaState. You are way off base.

StingerFan

June 19th, 2012
6:23 pm

You know you do ;)

VAA

June 19th, 2012
6:51 pm

Is nobody else concerned that our AD is out of the country and couldn’t be reached for comment at this time?

[...] Georgia State won’t be allowed to play in CAA tournamentsAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Georgia State will not be able to compete for Colonial Athletic Association tournament team … The results were unanimous, reinforcing a long-time CAA bylaw. [...]

Donor

June 19th, 2012
9:29 pm

Everyone that didn't go to G-S-U is G-A-Y!

June 19th, 2012
10:11 pm

The next two important news items for GSU Athletics:

1) Benson and Becker announce that GSU will join the Sun Belt immediately.

2) Cheryl Levick announces she has been mauled by a lion while on safari

panther

June 20th, 2012
3:51 am

I can’t criticize CL for being on holiday. When do you think is the best time for an AD to go on vacation? During basketball season? Nope. Football season? probably not. In fact, the only time when there are no sports going on is summer. She knows what the situation is, the school has known this was the situation for a while. Let her have her break, god knows she has plenty of work to come back to.

RidgeRunner

June 20th, 2012
6:47 am

Panthermike82, most other conferences do not have such policies. In general most conferences understand it is all about student athletes competing and do not take revenge on departing schools.

Truth

June 20th, 2012
9:54 am

Best time for an AD to go on vacation is after July 1 when all the conference shifting has stopped and the new fiscal and athletic year have started. But that would make too much sense I suppose.

Cheryl Levick

June 20th, 2012
11:21 am

May as well use up these vacation days before I get fired.

Suckers.

Truth

June 20th, 2012
12:35 pm

I may question Cheryl’s leadership style etc, but to me the jury is still out on her ability to raise GSU’s athletic profile. Let’s see who she brings in as the new FB coach.

another view

June 20th, 2012
1:03 pm

I understand the frustration of the student-athletes involved, but the anger should be directed at their own administators, not the other CAA schools. Certainly, GSU has policies and procedures that it wants student-athletes to follow. What would the reaction be from GSU coaches and administration if the student-athlete violated those policies and procedures? The admin would say “we have policies and procedures, but if you make a decision to violate those policies, you will not have to face the consequences?” Of course not. GSU willingly joined the CAA when the policy was in place. Now, GSU says the policy should not apply because it hurts the student-athletes? Sure, where is GSU’s righteous indignation about many other things that “hurt” student-athletes? GSU knew the rules and decided to gamble with the student-athletes’ ability to compete. Kind of like your kid driving 100 mph on the Perimeter and you blaming the cop for giving the kid a ticket because it increases your car insurance rates. Time for GSU admin and coaches to own up and accept responsibility for this situation. Teach your student-athletes to accept responsibility for the consequences of a person’s actions.

[...] Hunter had already begun putting together a challenging non-conference schedule before the CAA annou… [...]