Sun Belt commish credits CCU for league’s ascent

sunbelt-bensonAlthough Coastal Carolina won’t be eligible to compete for the Sun Belt Conference football title in 2016, the addition of the Chanticleers has already had a major impact on the mid-major league – both on the gridiron and in other sports.

CCU coach Joe Moglia spoke at the Sun Belt Media Days in New Orleans on Monday about the excitement of the Chants joining the league. Sun Belt commissioner Karl Benson said the feeling is mutual in his state of the conference address at the SuperDome.

“Coastal Carolina’s membership has had an immediate impact,” Benson said. “What that has said, and the message it has given to all Sun Belt teams and student-athletes, it is possible and will be possible for a Sun Belt team to play on the big stage and play for a national championship.”

Not only did Coastal make a big splash by winning the College World Series the day before officially joining the Sun Belt, but the addition of CCU was a big boost for the league. Benson said that Coastal Carolina’s addition to the league lineup, and the announcement that the conference would be comprised of 10 football members, was the final piece to the puzzle. The Chanticleer program begins competition in all Sun Belt sports except football this year, with CCU’s football program competing for conference honors in 2017 and becoming eligible for post-season bowl participation in 2018.

Monday’s Media Day was an opportunity to recap and review the league’s many advances since Benson took over as commissioner in July of 2012, and more importantly the league’s most recent moves. It is not just hyperbole to call the last 12 months the most significant since the Sun Belt began football competition in 2001 – and likely the most significant in the league’s 40-year history. The last year has seen:

* The establishment of a solid geographical footprint, with the Sun Belt locked into a path to a membership structure that benefits all sports;
* The announcement of a football championship game, one to begin in the 2018 season;
* The addition of a fifth bowl game tie-in, continuing an increase that has seen the Sun Belt more than double its bowl opportunities in the past four years;
* The completion of a stretch that has seen a 10-fold increase in conference revenues to member schools over the past three playing seasons, and
* Significant increases in both television and social media exposure.

“All our indicators are trending upward,” Benson said. “We have created a membership structure that is positioned for success. When I took this job in 2012, our goal was to build a model that would provide our members all they needed to maximize their own university goals and aspirations while under the Sun Belt umbrella. I believe that has been accomplished.

“All you have to do is look at the map now,” he said. “You see two teams from Texas, two from Arkansas, two from Louisiana, two from Alabama, two from Georgia and two from the Carolinas. It’s perfect, it works, and we believe in the long run it will allow the Sun Belt to grow and thrive and prosper.”

Photo courtesy of Sun Belt Conference

Comments

comments

Versatile Green means go for Seahawks' hot offense

Versatile Green means go for Seahawks' hot offenseDean Boyd knows what Jermani Green can do. Boyd, the Marlboro [more]

Field conditions a concern for Wilson-NMB playoff tilt

Field conditions a concern for Wilson-NMB playoff tiltMatt Reel’s North Myrtle Beach football team reached the second [more]

MB Invitational: WVU rolls; Coastal nets invite for 2019

MB Invitational: WVU rolls; Coastal nets invite for 2019The eight schools scheduled to compete in the 2019 Myrtle [more]

Local student-athletes take advantage of early signing

Local student-athletes take advantage of early signingThe early signing period opened in full force Tuesday on [more]

Green Wave surges past Chants in road-trip debut

Green Wave surges past Chants in road-trip debutZac Cuthbertson tied his career-high with 31 points, but it [more]

NMB rises to the top with Class 4A volleyball crown

NMB rises to the top with Class 4A volleyball crownAfter losing a hard-fought first set in Saturday's Class 4A [more]

Coastal will host inaugural Myrtle Beach Bowl in 2020

Coastal will host inaugural Myrtle Beach Bowl in 2020ESPN Events is adding a new bowl game to its [more]

Mohr brothers take major leap at Junior Olympic XC

Mohr brothers take major leap at Junior Olympic XCA pair of Grand Strand brothers made strong showings at [more]

National champs highlight Chants' baseball schedule

National champs highlight Chants' baseball scheduleThe Coastal Carolina baseball team and head coach Gary Gilmore [more]

Coast FA teams post solid showings in NC tourneys

Coast FA teams post solid showings in NC tourneysCoach Joel Banta’s Coast 07 Red first received high praise [more]

Chiefs charge back, claim Class 4A volleyball crown

Chiefs charge back, claim Class 4A volleyball crownThe North Myrtle Beach Chiefs went to the Class 4A [more]

Red Wolves leave Coastal one win short of bowl bid

Red Wolves leave Coastal one win short of bowl bidArkansas Red Wolves totaled 454 yards of offense on their [more]

Panthers' gamble pays off in OT win over Lexington

Panthers' gamble pays off in OT win over LexingtonMarc Morris had already showed his hand. The Carolina Forest coach [more]

Seahawks, Green ground, pound Devils in first round

Seahawks, Green ground, pound Devils in first roundIn what could have been the final home game of [more]

No. 10 NMB hits the road, runs past Thoroughbreds

No. 10 NMB hits the road, runs past ThoroughbredsThe No. 10-ranked North Myrtle Beach High football team had [more]

River Bluff pulls the plug on Conway's football season

River Bluff pulls the plug on Conway's football seasonAfter the lights went out, the Gators turned it on [more]

Coastal holds off Howard, loses to Panthers in semis

Coastal holds off Howard, loses to Panthers in semisA change in venue did not squelch the excitement in [more]

Seahawks, Chiefs may reap rewards of rigorous region

Seahawks, Chiefs may reap rewards of rigorous regionMickey Wilson didn’t use the term directly. But the Myrtle Beach [more]

Panthers prepare for tough first-round playoff test

Panthers prepare for tough first-round playoff testIn the last five years, Carolina Forest coach Marc Morris [more]

Chiefs dethrone Seahawks as Lower State champions

Chiefs dethrone Seahawks as Lower State champions The North Myrtle Beach High volleyball team had this date [more]

Clemson's Renfrow named semifinalist for top walk-on

Clemson's Renfrow named semifinalist for top walk-onThe Burlsworth Trophy selection committee announced today that Clemson wide [more]

Coastal men, women cruise to season-opening victories

Coastal men, women cruise to season-opening victoriesSenior forward Zac Cuthbertson scored 18 points to lead six [more]

Local runners make strides at state cross country meet

Local runners make strides at state cross country meetMissing a month of the high school cross country season [more]

Mountaineers top Chants; Norman makes donation

Mountaineers top Chants; Norman makes donationCoastal Carolina’s football team put up a strong fight, but [more]

College hoops hit Strand with CCU, MB Invitational

College hoops hit Strand with CCU, MB InvitationalThe college basketball season tips off in earnest this week [more]

Versatile Green means go for Seahawks' hot offense

Versatile Green means go for Seahawks' hot offenseDean Boyd knows what Jermani Green can do. Boyd, the Marlboro [more]

Field conditions a concern for Wilson-NMB playoff tilt

Field conditions a concern for Wilson-NMB playoff tiltMatt Reel’s North Myrtle Beach football team reached the second [more]

Comments are closed.

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