Thursday, September 29, 2011

49ers to play as FCS independent

It appears that the Charlotte 49ers will play football as an independent, at least for the foreseeable future.

Athletics director Judy Rose said Thursday that the Colonial Athletic Association -- which the 49ers had hoped to join as a football-only member when they begin playing in 2013 -- would only consider accepting Charlotte in all sports.

"It was all or nothing with the CAA," said Rose, who wants the remainder of Charlotte's athletic programs to remain affiliated with the non-football Atlantic 10. "So we're an independent in football for an indefinite period of time. It's not ideal, but we're fine with that."

The CAA was one of three Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) leagues the 49ers had been in contact with. In June, the Southern Conference and Big South both said they wouldn't extend invitations for the 49ers to join. Charlotte has been a dominant force in many sports in the Atlantic 10 since joining in 2005. The 49ers have won a league-high 30 conference championships (none in men's basketball) in those six years.

Playing as a football independent, as Rose said, isn't ideal. Scheduling difficulties and a lack of consistent natural rivalries that come with playing in a league are major problems an independent program faces. Charlotte has already completed its 11-game 2013 schedule (included is a game against the CAA's Old Dominion) and is looking to add another game to the 11 it already has scheduled for '14. The 49ers recently added the CAA's Richmond to their 2016 and '17 schedules.

Charlotte could be the FCS's only independent in 2013. Four schools are independent this season (Georgia State, South Alabama, Texas-San Antonio and Texas State), but they've found conference homes for 2012.

Rose has kept her eye on the realignment news in FBS recently. The 49ers would someday like to move up to that division.

"We haven't kicked a football yet and all this is football driven," said Rose. "Do I wish it had happened sooner and that we had started football 10 years ago? Sure. Then that might have allowed us some opportunities that we may or may not have now

"And it may still create some opportunities for us, we just don't know what they might be yet. Would somebody take a risk on us? It's a great market, a great city, there's lots of vision here."

49 comments:

Alex said...

The CAA would've been a step down in basketball, but a lateral move in a lot of sports and a step up in baseball. Kind of conflicted on this one.

Anonymous said...

We better have a plan in place behind closed doors. Without a conference, we have no shot at the playoffs or conference titles. We are just playing what boils down to be be exhibition games every year. How long will the fanbase be excited about that?

Ghoul said...

Join the Big East, they will soon be taking all requests just to stay alive.

Anonymous said...

"So we're an independent in football for an indefinite period of time. It's not ideal, but we're fine with that."

??????????? Who is fine with that???? I sure as hell am NOT....

Anonymous said...

And why didn't we start football 10 years ago Judy??? We were too busy riding the coat tails of Cincy, Louisville and Marquette in CUSA. USF created their program right in front of us, and we just sat back and watched.

Now look at us, stuck in the sorry A-10, a conference that our fanbase doesn't ever care about, much less the general public. now our football program will be an independent so we can 'protect' our basketball program. You say it yourself Judy, football should be driving these decisions, not hoops.

Anonymous said...

The CAA has won two national championships in football and made two Final Four appearances in basketball over the past five years. That speaks for itself.

49RFBN said...

This can go 1 of 2 ways. Either Judy played hardball with the CAA cause she has a few FBS conferences making promises behind closed doors.....Or she's insane. :-/

Stephen said...

Bingo! I know someone in her chain of command and there are FBS overtures being made.

Anonymous said...

Not a good start for an ambitious new sport, especially when the economy dictates low attendance for average to poor teams with no tradition/history.

Anonymous said...

Hey dont sweat it. That may be smart although this Charlotte 49ers name is not known unless they mean UNC 49ers or Carolina 49ers.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (not South Bend Fighting Irish) have been Independent for 100 yrs.

Also BYU, Army and Navy and U of New Mexico are big indies.

Carolina 49ers or UNC 49ers as an independent is a good idea.

Anonymous said...

A dose of reality,if you want respect in NCAA football,you have to EARN IT!!!

Anonymous said...

South Alabama started out two years ago as FCS independent and year after next they are moving up to FBS Sunbelt conference. Maybe that's Charlott's plan as well.

Anonymous said...

A dose of reality,if you want respect in NCAA football,you have to BUY IT!!!

FTFY

Anonymous said...

What the hell is fine with the A10? I've never liked that affiliation. What you got? A bunch of northeast Catholic schools UNCC has absolutely nothing in common with. Great move Judy. Idiot. Lastly, the CAA would have been fine. Some geographic synergy. Better than A10

par said...

Staying independent is a smart more for now. Unless someone like the Big East calls.

49RFBN said...

With conferences throughout Division I (both FBS and potentially FCS) in flux, now simply in not a good time to move all your sports to one conference when that conference may not even exist in its same form or at all in 6 months.

Anonymous said...

What are you people drinking? The big east shouldn't even be in your vocabulary. Uncc will NEVER be invited to join the big east. EVER.

Anonymous said...

Whoever said that they knew someone higher than Judy had a plan in place with other conferences please explain a little more at least. Judy Rose HATES mens sports, and she makes no qualms about it. As a graduate student I would love to take pride in sports at UNCC, but participating in the A10...they will be playing in Brooklyn for the mens basketball tourney...Brooklyn. Do we need to pay for extra security up there on the off chance UNCC makes it there?

Anonymous said...

Generic, Generic and Generic. You'll never me more. You'll never "measure up!"

Anonymous said...

Charlotte CAN win national championships in football as an independent.

Georgia Southern won FOUR 1-AA national championships in the mid to late '80s as an independent. (They were members of the Trans America Athletic Conference, now called Atlantic Sun, for everything else.)

In 1985, the first year they won it all, the Eagles were only in their fourth year of competition. It was the first year they played enough 1-AA teams to qualify for the playoffs.

What's changed since the '80s? Other than now it's called FCS, it's EVEN EASIER for an independent to make the playoffs, because the field has expanded from 12 to 20 teams.

Charlotte just needs to steadily build the team and beef up the schedule. Easier said than done, but doable.

Anonymous said...

I would say that now the CAA is a better option than the A-10. Wouldn't have said that a few years ago. Even the basketball is better.

Anonymous said...

The UTSA Roadrunners are Independent this year and will go to the Western Conference next year. In the teams first year they set record for the crowd at the inaugral home game for new team. The Athletic Director and coach are doing great job promoting team. It helps that UTSA hired a coach that has had a National Championship before

Anonymous said...

Might as well;it's not like the ACC or SEC wants them.

Anonymous said...

Rose's comments killed any further ticket sales. Now other schools' coaching staffs will use that as a recruiting tool against Charlotte.

Someone keep her quiet please. Remember the comments about the "fantasy dollars?" Or the recent "I wanted football 20 years ago." That's revisionist history, it was never a thought until the students got behind the idea a few years ago. Lastly, promising 5000 seats sold quickly yet only 70% taken at this point of the process.

I feel for those fans that the 49ers do have. They have the cards stacked against them; from the UNC suits, the legislature, no real conference home that fits rivalry and travel-wise, not to mention an administration that couldn't market Coke properly.

Anonymous said...

Again, I ask you, how or why does not going to UNCC qualify me as uneducated or not qualified to be admitted to UNCC? I STILL have not received an answer.

PT's Blog said...

Last time I checked, George Mason, VCU and Old Dominion were kicking butt in the NCAA men's basketball tournament. What's so shabby about being in a conference with those guys?

Anonymous said...

Recently the CAA has had a couple great teams, but historically both Charlotte and the A10 have been MUCH stronger......When considering football now, it is a tough call as to whether the Niners would be better off moving ALL sports to the CAA.

Anonymous said...

A couple of things are going to happen with the A-10/Big East. The Big East will hold on in a form resembling its current somewhat diminished self for the next couple of years and then implode when the ACC admits UConn and possibly Rutgers. The second rate football schools, which are also second rate academic institutions will looks for homes in some sort of Big 12, but might fall into the MAC or CUSA. It's not going to end well for them.

The remaining Big East basketball teams will raid the A-10 for its Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic schools. Not for UNCC.

UNCC will then no longer have a football conference or a basketball conference. Face it, nobody want UNCC. People in Charlotte don't even want UNCC. Judy Rose should have run to the SoCon with all sports and begged for a place and she shouldn't have turned down the CAA's offer.

The end game is already being played out for collegiate football at the highest level. It doesn't involve UNCC and it never will. Stop wasting your money.

And the idea of UNCC being like Georgia Southern 25 years ago is laughable. There were two Div 1-A schools in Georgia at the time. There are five FCS Schools in NC, plus App State. You will have nowhere near that kind of talent.

Anonymous said...

Judy is steering the whole Charlotte athletics department away from safe havens and towards a cliff. I'm for football and love the 49ers, but not at the expense of our other sports. I think she's putting off a conference decision on the misguided notion that everything is gongto go swimmingly with the football program and we're going to wind up in a major conference in five years. She's taking a huge risk and I don't think it's going to end well.

Anonymous said...

How about the Southern Conference with WCU, App , Wofford etc.. would fit perfect

Anonymous said...

niner dorks...reality check. youre not a good athletic school. you could put on as much face paint as you want or have little food promos to attract students or have a reeeeeally cool message board, but you'' always be second rate. in the caa, you would have at least been able to compete. i mean, you cant compete in the a10... wake up. hello world! hello reality!

6:31 PM


Wouldnt you just love to know who this piece of crap is who sounds hungry for a knuckle sandwich or thristy for some water boarding?

Anonymous said...

Independent is the best way to go at this stage of the game since there are no restrictions.

Tell coach whatever his name is to schedule only D1A teams. By playing D1A only big schools the UNC 49ers at Charlotte name will become known quickly and maybe even get a nationally televised game.

Stay away from smaller schools. Schedule only D1A. Just hold the score to 40-0 or less if possible for a couple yrs.

Anonymous said...

1:01, it's already been stated they don't want to play the FBS schools and take the paydays. Va Tech is the first big team announced and that isn't until 2017. My opinion is that they should've taken the CAA offer for all sports when they could've. Now there is no conference offer out there. Trying to scramble to fill out a complete schedule of "exhibition" games will set the program back years. No chance of a football playoff game by getting in as an at-large team without being in a league.

Can someone tell me if there is any person in the 49ers athletic department that has experience with a college football program other than the football coaching staff?

J said...

5:39 PM - I can't believe you just cited Notre Dame as an example that it's OK to be independent. I very seriously doubt NBC is going to come to Charlotte begging to pay UNC Charlotte tens of millions of dollars to broadcast their games. Not a fair comparison at all.

1:01 PM - Coach's name is Brad Lambert. It would have taken you exactly 15 seconds to find that out if you looked.

I am normally the lone voice here defending Judy Rose, but she has this all wrong.
* - She's wrong for her fundamental opposition to road games against FBS powerhouses; for some reason, she'd rather we raise funds the hard way instead of taking a $450k check in exchange for a 63-0 beating.
* - She's wrong for welding herself and the program to the A-10. She sees all those championship trophies in revenue-losing sports and thinks it's more important to have trophies than successful teams in the revenue-generating sports.
* - If she thinks we're going to FBS in 5 years, she's really wrong, especially given the financial approach she's taking in building the football program. If we were intent on making a quick move to FBS, we would schedule 2 or 3 of those FBS school beatings and the checks, recruit solid FCS talent and coach it up, and try to get off to a start like Old Dominion and Georgia State have. That's the only way we will pile up enough money to expand the stadium (remember, every member of the state legislature harbors a lifetime hatred for Charlotte and UNCC and will work 24/7 to ensure we never get a cent of public money for this effort). With the current plan of staying independent and staying in the crummy A-10, it will be 2030 at the absolute earliest before we can move to FBS.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:08: Your point (complete with factual error) about Georgia Southern applies whether they're independent or a member of a conference.

I never said they WOULD win a national championship, I just said they COULD, and that being an independent won't make it impossible.

I stand by everything I've written.

If it needs clarifying, fine, but there's no need for immature bashing.

Anonymous said...

The CAA offer is open ended - so no opportunity has been missed. The 49ers will be making its own bed.

John said...

Anon 2:42,

There is nothing factually inaccurate about my post about Ga Southern. GA had two Div1A programs at that time (UGA and GT). NC has 5 FBS teams (4 ACC = ECU) and also has App St. Those are tha only factual points that I made. The rest was opinion. And my opinion is that UNCC won't win a national championship in anything, ever, including FCS football.

Anonymous said...

Hey John, I agree with you. National championships take a some talent, some coaching and an administration that gets it. The 49ers have two of the three. I think you know which two they have.

If you want to be big time, you have to act big time. UNC Charlotte isn't big time and the athletic program certainly isn't big time.

MGM said...

@4:15 anon

I couldn't agree more. At least someone gets it.

Anonymous said...

UNCC has come a long way to have so many fans that hate them. Why should they want to drop backward and join the CAA or Southern Conference? The A10 is usually no worse than the 7th or 8th basketball conference and has been in the top 5 or 6 a few times, beating out some off the "power conferences".

Anonymous said...

We would be so much better off as a full-time CAA member than remain the A-10. The A-10 is about to lose Dayton, Xavier and Temple to the Basketball Big East.
Our fans would be able to identify with CAA teams and that league has proven it deserves more than one bid. We are in NO position to bargain.

49RFBN said...

Anon 6:58

We'll worry about losing X, Dayton and Temple when it actually happens. One of the reasons we're not jumping at the chance to join the CAA all-sports is because of the instability in the upper conferences. I have no issue waiting till the dominoes fall down to the A10 level to make decisions on movements. We have two years fully scheduled and have four years to schedule the 2015 season.

Anonymous said...

Great job Judy! The manner in which you're driving this program off a cliff is fantastic! Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

uncc football will fail.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte has the 5th best athletics program in North Carolina under the 4 ACC teams. The numbers just don't lie, neither do NCAA appearances. Whoever wants to argue this, send me your email and we'll chat.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:57, you are correct but only if you rule out football. I remember UNCC almost always having one of the top 3 or 4 basketball teams in the state between 1990 and 2005, ususally being better than one of the "big 4" teams.

Those UNCC top ranked golf teams and other successful "Olympic Sports" programs count very little when compared to some of the successful football programs like Wake, Duke, and UNC.

Anonymous said...

NE schools are too expensive and too far away for a SE school like UNCC to travel in bad economic times. Considering walk-ons only would be a winner too. Plenty of good academically qualified players within a 100 mile radius.
Save millions. Pay to play the right way.

Notre Dame has won more big school NCAA titles than any at 13 and is catholic and independent. Historically NDU Fighting Irish are the best football program in America.

Failing and losing are 2 different things and clearly any new football program will be easy prey for predators to pad their schedules but thats what UNCC needs.
Cedrick Maxwell also needs to be hired as basketball coach. Fire the mistake. Maxwell is the key to UNCC success.

Schedule only D1A big schools and that is possible as independent.


Think BIG.

Anonymous said...

"So we're an independent in football for an indefinite period of time. It's not ideal, but we're fine with that."

Someone PLEASE remove Judy Rose.... It took too many MEDIOCRE seasons to move on from Lutz (who I think is a good coach, but it was time for a change).... and now it's going to take too many MEDIOCRE moves by Judy (i.e. not pushing football sooner, and resigning Booby Lutz to 5 YEARS after a .500 season) until people realize she is NOT a reliable AD!

Judy Rose is the issue at Charlotte!

Jason said...

Reading these comments, Judy better call the CAA commish Yeager back up. He'll understand the 2nd thought.

BTW, CAA is better in every sport than the A10 except for basketball and they're even in that now. DUMB decision.