(Photo via BUZZ Insider 2014)
On the final day of August, Coastal Carolina had announced their plan to move to the Sun Belt Conference, therefor removing themselves from the Big South. The recent announcement brought excitement to students all across the campus. All of Coastal’s sports teams will be making the move to the much improved Sun Belt conference, and the football team will be fully instated into the FBS by the start of the 2018 season. It is important to note that the Chants will be playing a Sun Belt schedule in 2017. They can play for a conference championship, however, they will not be Bowl eligible until the 2018 playoffs. The move up to the Sun Belt conference is a HUGE leap for Coastal Carolina, as the school continues to grow in more ways than one.
Just two weeks after Coastal had broken the news, Big South Conference commissioner Kyle B. Kallander announced that they would lose their ability to host Big South Tournaments in baseball, track and field, and most notably, basketball; all of which were to be on CCU’s campus this year. Commissioner Kallander stated that Coastal Carolina had broken conference bylaws, stating that teams can not host tournaments with less than 2 years notice of their departure from the conference.
Losing the ability to host the tournament does not hurt only Coastal by making them play away from their home court, but takes a giant spotlight off of a growing school needing as much exposure as possible. Coastal continues to grow not only in size, but also in recognition across the country; something largely attributed to the two previous tournaments hosted here on campus.
But most importantly, the students of Coastal Carolina and fans in the surrounding area will lose an event that they enjoyed very much. Coastal has won the Big South Tournament and clinched NCAA Tournament berths two consecutive years in front of the home crowd. These games had a great atmosphere where the HTC Center was louder than ever. It is truly a shame that this event among others is lost. So to all students, make sure you catch your Chants during the regular season.
– J. Horrigan & R. Ilardi