The CAA presidents, in a unanimous vote, upheld the rule prohibiting schools who have declared they are leaving the conference, from participating for CAA championships. For our purposes, that means Old Dominion and Georgia State will not be playing in the 2013 CAA tournament.
The decision unleashed a predictable barrage from each side, but it can be distilled into two very simple arguments.
The Jack McCoy side is very straightforward: the law is the law and the presidents made the right decision.
The Michael Leak group maintains that the CAA is being vindictive, spiteful, and acting in its own interests, not in the interests of the student-athletes. And I feel for the seniors in all the affected sports who will not compete for a collegiate championship in their last rodeo.
But as we’ve maintained from the start, the blood is on the hands of the Old Dominion and Georgia State administrators. They knew the rule going into their discussions about moving to a new conference. This was certainly a part of their internal discussions. They chose to move forward anyway with this risk known.
Patrick Stevens from the Washington Times (@d1scourse), who is an A+ student when it comes to perspective, summed up my feeling towards this entire situation in two tweets:
The world is filled with all sorts of lousy rules with unpleasant repercussions people agree to abide by for whatever reason.
You make decisions, weigh costs/benefits of rules provided & then live with the decision. Rule might stink, but ODU/GSU knew the score.
There you go. For the record, I agree with the presidents here. I’m generally a believer that there’s gray in a lot of issues. This one falls into black-and-white. This wasn’t a rule passed at a point in time that ODU and GSU could plausibly say was after they began looking for a new home. It predates Georgia State’s entry into the conference.
We’ve had 11 seasons that this could’ve been addressed, if it was indeed a big deal. There’s also something to be said for consistency. The CAA has driven right down Main Street with its decisions. Nobody can complain of any unfair treatment.
So where does that leave us?
First, the lesson: clearly VCU had the right idea. Go now. It will be interesting to see–despite what you are reading publicly today–if ODU and GSU pursue an immediate move. The end of this month matters as it’s the end of the fiscal year for almost everyone. Any late thrust would have to be completed by then.
And we have a seven-team CAA tournament. Without VCU, ODU, GSU, and the APR-addled UNCW and Towson squads, we will lose one round of games.
Percolating: a move to a different venue. The CAA presidents have also asked the conference to look at moving the 2013 CAA tournament.
As has been the case since, oh, early April, there’s more to come.
Kudos to Georgia State, who reacted quickly and sent the following note to its donors and posted on its website:
Dear Panther Fans:
The CAA office and Commissioner Tom Yeager conducted a media teleconference today regarding championship eligibility.
At last week’s meeting of the CAA Council of Presidents, President Becker, along with Old Dominion University President John Broderick, presented a comprehensive case on behalf of our teams and their right to compete for CAA Conference Championships.
Earlier today, Commissioner Yeager informed President Becker of the conference’s decision. Following a lengthy deliberation, the CAA Presidents have denied our request for our teams to be able to compete in conference championships in 2012-13. It goes without saying that we are incredibly disappointed in this decision.
Despite this setback, we hold strong to the belief that the future is bright for Georgia State Athletics. We have an amazing coaching staff, and our student-athletes are among the best and brightest young men and women. While our teams are not eligible to play in CAA Conference Championships, the door is not closed on postseason opportunities including NCAA at-large berths.
We appreciate your support and are looking forward to another successful year.
Georgia State Athletics