Radical realignment is becoming a trend in college sports, as schools and conferences have chosen to chase cash that revenue-generating sports create rather than stick within the boundaries of tradition and geography.
The Post and Courier columnist Gene Sapakoff suggested in the wake of growing economic chasm that’s been created between the Power Five Conferences and everyone else that South Carolina State should be one of many schools in the regions to join a melting pot conference to save a few bucks.
A Carolinas Conference makes too much sense to ignore, not just for the College of Charleston, The Citadel and Charleston Southern but for almost every mid-major athletic department in the Carolinas.
Charleston Southern shouldn’t have to play conference football games at Monmouth. The Southern Conference shouldn’t be scrambling for replacement schools.
Proximity means never having to put your phone on airplane mode for road trips.
Proposed league: Carolinas Conference
Purpose: Shorter trips mean more time for academics, reduction of travel costs, real rivalries, more visiting fans at road games, better overall attendance numbers, less travel costs for family members of student-athletes, more fan interest.
South Carolina Division (10):
College of Charleston
North Carolina Division (10):
South Carolina State and Furman in the same division? Both schools will definitely save on gas and expenses, as Sapakoff wants. But who would care about a South Carolina State-USC Upstate matchup in anything resembling an athletic competition? There would be no fan interest. The schools, although relatively close to each other, have no history, traditional rivalry or the fan interest to make this work over the long haul.
S.C. State might want to remain in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference with other historically black colleges and universities, though closer sports foes will help the school with its well-documented deficits.
Davidson, UNC Greensboro, Wofford and Presbyterian aren’t in the business of doing what’s best for South Carolina State. Those schools are in the business of doing what’s best for them.
Good try, Gene.