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."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A-10 tournament moves to Brooklyn

The Atlantic 10 made it official today: The league's men's basketball tournament will move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 2013.

The tournament moves to Brooklyn from Atlantic City, N.J., where it has been held since 2007. The Barclays Center, which is still under construction, is also the future home of the soon-to-be Brooklyn Nets.

"The opportunity to partner with the Barclays Center and bring the Atlantic 10 basketball championship to New York has unlimited possibilities," said conference commissioner Bernadette McGlade. "Our teams will compete in the newest state of the art facility within the Atlantic 10 footprint and the No. 1 media market in the country."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

49ers add Richmond to '16, '17 football schedules

The 49ers have added FCS power Richmond to their 2016 and '17 football schedules.

Charlotte -- which will play football for the first time in 2013 -- will play at Richmond Sept. 10, 2016, while the Spiders will come to Charlotte on Sept. 9, 2017.

The Spiders won the FCS national title in 2008.

“We are excited to have a team of the caliber of Richmond on our schedule,” said Charlotte coach Brad Lambert. “They have won the national championship and compete at the highest level of FCS football. Our fans are also familiar with the University of Richmond since we compete with them in the A-10.”

The Spiders compete in football in the Colonial Athletic Association, a league the 49ers are interested in joining.

-- The 49ers will play Belmont Abbey in a preseason men's basketball exhibition Nov. 3 at Halton Arena. The regular season opens Nov. 11 at home against N.C. Central.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Soccer America ranks 49ers 19th

The 49ers' men's soccer team is ranked 19th in this week's Soccer America magazine's men's poll.

Charlotte (5-1) had a big victory on Friday, winning at then-No. 17 Virginia. The 49ers' schedule doesn't get any easier. They play at Clemson tonight, then, after a home game Saturday against Campbell, play at top-ranked Maryland next Tuesday.

49ers midfielder Tyler Gibson was also named the Atlantic 10's player of the week. Gibson's penalty kick tied the game in the final minute of regulation against Virginia.

Soccer America's poll

Team (Record) Last week
1. Maryland (7-0-0) 1
2. Connecticut (6-0-0) 2
3. Creighton (5-0-0) 3
4. North Carolina (5-1-0) 5
5. Akron (4-0-2) 4
6. Louisville (5-1-0) 6
7. Indiana (5-0-2) 7
8. UCF (6-0-1) 8
9. UC Santa Barbara (4-1-1) 9
10. UC Irvine (7-1-0) 10
11. Old Dominion (4-0-0) 11
12. St. John's (5-1-1) 14
13. UCLA (4-2-1) 16
14. Boston College (5-1-0) 18
15. Notre Dame (4-1-2) 20
16. West Virginia (4-2-1) 22
17. New Mexico (5-0-2) 23
18. USF (4-2-1) 12
19. Charlotte (5-1-0) NR
20. UAB (5-0-2) NR
21. Santa Clara (4-1-1) NR
22. East Tennessee State (5-1-0) NR
23. Furman (6-1-1) NR
24. Northern Illinois (6-1-0) 13
25. Coastal Carolina (5-2-0) NR

Saturday, September 17, 2011

49ers-Panthers football tailgate

The 49ers will host a tailgate party before most Panthers home games this season, beginning Sunday with their home-opener against Green Bay.

The tailgate, which will be feature coach Brad Lambert and his staff, runs from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and will be held in The Observer's lower parking lot on the corner of South Mint and West Stonewall streets. Just look for the green Charlotte 49ers tent.

Available at the tailgate, along with the chance to meet the coaches and Norm the Niner: schedule posters, seat license information, 49ers koozies, cornhole games and chances to win T-shirts.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

49ers coaches visit Georgia recruit

Charlotte 49ers head men's basketball coach Alan Major and assistant Desmond Oliver made an in-home visit to one of their top recruiting targets Wednesday night.

Major and Oliver were in Thomasville, Ga., to visit Willie Clayton, a 6-8 power forward at Thomasville High.

Thomasville coach Ben Tillman met with Major and Oliver before they went to Clayton's house.

"They talked about Willie and how he might fit into their program, and the direction they were headed," said Tillman.

Tillman said Clayton has his choices narrowed to Charlotte, South Florida and Mercer. He said Clayton likely won't announce his decision before Oct. 1

The 49ers already have a verbal commitment from Mooresville High shooting guard Shawn Lester. Clayton made his official visit to Charlotte a few weeks ago with Lester.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

49ers open women's A10 schedule at Xavier

The Charlotte 49ers' women's basketball team gets a tough challenge for its Atlantic 10 opener when it travels to defending league champion Xavier on Jan. 7. The league announced the conference schedule on Thursday and the 49ers will face 14 teams overall that played in the postseason in 2010-11.

Charlotte has a new coach in Cara Consuegra and returns three starters from last season's WNIT semifinal team.

Nov. 11, Presbyterian; 13, Arkansas State; 16, at Virginia Tech; 19, Elon; 22, at Virginia Commonwealth; 25-26, at Long Island Turkey Classic (Long Island, Florida).

Dec. 4, at Florida State; 7, UNC Wilmington; 19, at Ohio State; 21, N.C. A&T; 29-20, Sun and Fun Classic, Miami (Auburn, Florida International/Albany).

Jan. 3, Furman; 7, at Xavier; 11, Saint Louis; 14, at George Washington; 18, La Salle; 21, St. Bonaventure; 25, at Fordham; 29, at Temple.

Feb. 1, Massachusetts; 4, Rhode Island; 8, at Dayton; 11, at Duquesne; 18, Saint Joseph's; 22, at Saint Louis; 26, Richmond.

March 2-5, Atlantic 10 tournament, Philadelphia.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Football walk-on meeting set

-- More tangible evidence of football at Charlotte comes Monday (Sept. 12) when the 49ers coaching staff holds an informational session for prospective walk-ons. The session will be at 5 p.m. in the After Hours Dining Area in the Cone Center on campus.

Walk-ons must be full-time students at Charlotte. Members of the 49ers coaching staff and the school's compliance office will be there. Dates for walk-on tryouts haven't been set.

-- 49ers women's basketball player Jessica Johnson tore the ACL in her right knee last week and will miss the season. Johnson, a junior guard who started six games last season, will redshirt. Also, sophomore guard Lanie Whitaker has left the program and will transfer.

-- The 49ers' men's soccer team controlled much of the game Tuesday in a 2-1 loss at South Carolina. The 49ers outshot the Gamecocks 17-7 and had more cornerkicks by a wide margin (9-2). Also, Aidan Kirkbride hit the post with a shot. Charlotte's next game is Friday at Elon.

Gamecocks top 49ers

Donnie Smith scored a goal for the second straight game for Charlotte (2-1-0), but the 49ers fell 2-1 in men's soccer at South Carolina.

Stephen Morrissey and Vance Benson scored for the Gamecocks (1-2-0).

Observer News Services

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

49ers open league play with Spiders

The Charlotte 49ers open their Atlantic 10 men's basketball season Jan. 4 at Halton Arena against Richmond.

The rest of the schedule:

Jan. 7, at Saint Joseph's; 11, at Massachusetts; 14, Saint Louis; 21, at George Washington; 25, Temple; 28, Xavier.

Feb. 1, at La Salle; 4, at Fordham; 11, Rhode Island; 15, at Dayton; 18, at Richmond; 21, George Washington; 25, St. Bonaventure; 29, Duquesne.

March 3, at Xavier; 6, Atlantic 10 tournament first round, at higher-seeded sites; 9-11, Atlantic 10 tournament, at Atlantic City, N.J.

Friday, September 2, 2011

49ers open with N.C. Central

The 49ers have released their 2011-12 nonconference men's basketball schedule:

Nov. 11, N.C. Central
Nov. 15, at Central Michigan
Nov. 19, at Lamar
Nov. 22, East Tennessee
Nov. 26, at Wright State
Dec. 3, at East Carolina
Dec. 6, at Radford
Dec. 10, Davidson
Dec, 19, Coppin State
Dec. 22,  Miami
Dec. 28, at Arkansas
Dec. 31, at Memphis
Jan. 18, Kennesaw State

Thursday, September 1, 2011

49ers women's basketball opens with Presbyterian

The 49ers women's basketball team will open its season at Halton Arena on Nov. 11 against Presbyterian. That will be part of a season-opening doubleheader with the men's team (which has yet to announce its schedule ... more on that below).

The rest of the women's nonconference schedule (the Atlantic 10 has yet to announce the league schedule), which features seven teams that played in the postseason in 2010-11:

Nov. 13, Arkansas State; 16, at Virginia Tech; 19, Elon; 22, at VCU; 25-26, Long Island Turkey Classic (Long Island, Florida).
Dec. 4, at Florida State; 7, UNC Wilmington; 19, at Ohio State; 21, N.C. A&T; 29-30, Sun and Fun Classic (Miami), Auburn, Florida International/Albany.
Jan. 3, Furman.

-- The men's schedule isn't ready yet (and the A10 also hasn't released conference games). But we know this much:

-- The season opener is Nov. 11 at Halton, against a MEAC team. Other nonconference games that are set: Nov. 15, at Central Michigan; Nov. 22 East Tennessee; Nov. 26, at Wright State; Dec. 3, at East Carolina; Dec. 6, at Radford, Dec. 10, Davidson; Dec. 19, Coppin State; Dec. 22, Miami; Dec. 28, at Arkansas; Dec. 31, at Memphis.