The College of Charleston will be heading to the Colonial Athletic Association if all goes well. The Board of Trustees voted 12-5 Friday morning to essentially leave the Southern Conference for the CAA.
There was the assumption that this was a final vote, an acceptance of a secret invitation that the board had been issued by the CAA. But this was only a vote to say yes to talking; the moving truck isn't quite in the driveway yet.
The only time this didn't seem like a forgone conclusion was the point in the proceedings where the discussion turned to money. It won't be cheap for the Cougars to make this move, with exit fees and higher travel costs to consider.
Unlike in the Southern Conference, the Cougars are going to be spending quite a bit of time north of the Mason-Dixon line.
This was one of the reasons Jeff Eisenberg gave for supporting Davidson's decision not to make the same jump.
Since the CAA's footprint extends to the Northeast with Drexel and Northeastern, travel for league games would be much more arduous for Davidson than it is in a more regional league like the SoCon.
The travel will also be difficult for Charleston, with the closest school in its presumptive new league sitting in Wilmington, N.C. It doesn't even get the benefit of forming a Southern bloc with Georgia State on its way out, and the Davidson having said no already.
It is no doubt a win for the Colonial which picks up a solid basketball program, year in and year out. The Cougars won't contend for the title right away, but shouldn't need as long a ramp up as the former America East schools did before even sniffing their chances at a conference crown.