CCU outgrows Big South, mulls move to CAA, SoCon

Coastal Carolina University’s athletic programs have been moving on up for the past decade.

Now it looks like the Chanticleers may be moving on out of the Big South Conference.

The school is having serious discussions about leaving the league it co-founded a quarter-century ago for a higher level of competition.

Although a similar potential move to the Southern Conference fell through a few years ago, the Chants now have added the Colonial Athletic Association to their wish list. Either conference would be a big step up in class.

The CAA includes Delaware, Drexel, George Mason, Georgia State, Hofstra, James Madison, Northeastern, Old Dominion, Towson, Virginia Commonwealth, William & Mary and UNC Wilmington, which would create a natural rival with the Seahawks just 60 miles up the coast.

But the conference is heavily concentrated farther north up the Eastern Seaboard, which would involve creating new rivalries from scratch and require a significant increase in the school’s travel budget.

If only the school had a wealthy, influential individual on its staff to help make the move more financially feasible … like maybe a new football coach. It already appears the football program is recruiting heavily on the CAA’s turf.

Competing for a conference championship in football would become a lot more difficult among some FCS power programs, as it would in every other sport. But truth be told, Coastal has outgrown the Big South and needs to step up in class.

Consider the progress Coastal’s athletic programs have made over the past decade, particularly the two “revenue” sports. Rewind your mind to 2002 when the Chants’ first football team and Brooks Stadium were still works in progress and the men’s basketball program hadn’t had a winning season since being devastated by NCAA sanctions in 1994.

The baseball program was just beginning to flex its muscle under Gary Gilmore, but no one had heard of Coastal back then. The men’s soccer program was trying to survive losing its field and some funding while the “real football” team was being founded, the golf programs were failing to live up to their potential and many of the women’s teams were mired in mediocrity.

Now the football program is well-established, with four conference championships and two playoff appearances to its credit, and boasts some of the best facilities in the FCS. The men’s basketball team has returned to national prominence under Cliff Ellis and will move into a much-needed new arena next season.

The baseball team is once again expected to compete for a trip to Omaha, the nationally ranked men’s soccer team lost in a shootout to NCAA tournament champion North Carolina in the second round, the golf programs have produced Dustin Johnson and currently compete with the nation’s elite and the women’s programs have become more competitive in virtually every sport.

So it should come as no surprise that the Chants are at least looking to leave the roost it has so obviously outgrown. The Big South was perfect for Coastal for the first quarter-century, but it seems destined for bigger things in the future.

And those bigger things can only happen in a bigger conference.

Comments

comments

CCU men, women score soccer shutouts on road

CCU men, women score soccer shutouts on roadThe Coastal Carolina men's soccer team had not played another [more]

Florence fallout again pulls plug on Friday night lights

Florence fallout again pulls plug on Friday night lightsHurricane Florence 2, Horry County Schools 0. That appears to be [more]

Strand golf courses race to re-open in wake of storm

Strand golf courses race to re-open in wake of stormMyrtle Beach area golf courses, spared the worst of Hurricane [more]

SCHSL extends season but plans for Strand still afloat

SCHSL extends season but plans for Strand still afloatThe SCHSL's executive committee voted unanimously Tuesday to extend the [more]

Pelicans Young, Swarmer claim Cubs' POY awards

Pelicans Young, Swarmer claim Cubs' POY awardsMyrtle Beach Pelicans infielder Jared Young was named the Chicago [more]

Chants blow out Camels in front of Hurricane Florence

Chants blow out Camels in front of Hurricane FlorenceJust four days removed and 142 miles away from its [more]

Coastal baseball signs first BA Top 25 recruiting class

Coastal baseball signs first BA Top 25 recruiting classFor the first time in Coastal Carolina baseball program history, [more]

Hurricane Florence throws local sports scene a curve

Hurricane Florence throws local sports scene a curveIn response to the impending arrival of Hurricane Florence and [more]

Coast FA brings home five titles from Rock Hill Classic

Coast FA brings home five titles from Rock Hill ClassicCoast FA returned to the beach with five championship and [more]

CF boys finish second, MB girls net third at CCU meet

CF boys finish second, MB girls net third at CCU meetThe Carolina Forest boys finished second and the Myrtle Beach [more]

Chants explode in second half to cruise past Blazers

Chants explode in second half to cruise past BlazersCoastal Carolina football used a number of big offensive plays [more]

No. 4 Seahawks light up scoreboard, beat Braves

No. 4 Seahawks light up scoreboard, beat BravesThe No. 4-ranked Myrtle Beach football team celebrated Neon Night [more]

No. 6 Chiefs struggle their way past revitalized Sharks

No. 6 Chiefs struggle their way past revitalized SharksWithout raising his voice, without screaming his face red or [more]

Panthers take big win over Hoggard to stay unbeaten

Panthers take big win over Hoggard to stay unbeatenJackson Weatherwax knew he had the ball. Late in the fourth [more]

Football Roundup: Tigers, Saints fall, remain winless

Football Roundup: Tigers, Saints fall, remain winless* Hartsville 35, Conway 0: The Tigers (0-4) remained winless [more]

Golf: Sharks top Seahawks; Panthers knock off Braves

Golf: Sharks top Seahawks; Panthers knock off BravesThe three-time reigning state champion St. James girls golf team [more]

Chants hungry for first win in home opener vs. Blazers

Chants hungry for first win in home opener vs. BlazersThe Coastal Carolina football team will open up its 2018 [more]

Volleyball: Tigers improve to 6-0 with win over Bruins

Volleyball: Tigers improve to 6-0 with win over BruinsThe Conway High volleyball team improved to 6-0 Thursday by [more]

Week 3 Previews & Picks: MB has old score to settle

Week 3 Previews & Picks: MB has old score to settleMyrtle Beach junior quarterback Luke Doty has had this week's [more]

Tennis: Lady Panthers open season with win over Aynor

Tennis: Lady Panthers open season with win over AynorThe Carolina Forest girls tennis team served up a victory [more]

Chants move up in polls after acing UAB tourney

Chants move up in polls after acing UAB tourneyAfter posting back-to-back shutouts, Coastal Carolina's Chris Datallo has been [more]

Golf: Sharks claim second place at Palmetto Preview

Golf: Sharks claim second place at Palmetto PreviewThe three-time defending state champion St. James girls golf team [more]

Braves, Lady Chiefs finish runners-up in XC openers

Braves, Lady Chiefs finish runners-up in XC openersMetrolina Christian Academy of Indian Trail (N.C.) swept the Chief [more]

Saints' season put on hold due to low numbers, youth

Saints' season put on hold due to low numbers, youthOne year after a breakthrough season, the Christian Academy of [more]

Close loss closes curtain on long season for Pelicans

Close loss closes curtain on long season for PelicansIn the final game of the 2018 season, the Myrtle [more]

CCU men, women score soccer shutouts on road

CCU men, women score soccer shutouts on roadThe Coastal Carolina men's soccer team had not played another [more]

Florence fallout again pulls plug on Friday night lights

Florence fallout again pulls plug on Friday night lightsHurricane Florence 2, Horry County Schools 0. That appears to be [more]

One response to “CCU outgrows Big South, mulls move to CAA, SoCon”

  1. MCChantFan says:

    PLEASE!!!! Let this happen! As the conference expands it only dilutes some of ours teams (i.e. baseball) with weaker opponents by turning respect getting out of conference games into creampuff conference ones.

    In football, the Big South Commish says “don’t fear losing teams”. We already know Liberty is on a plan to go fullblown Div I (FBS) soon. If Stony Brook ever comes to it’s senses and re-aligns back north, then the BS loses it’s auto-bid.

    We need to make this happens to ensure stability and growth before we’re stuck back in the stone ages.

© 2018 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach