Should Wofford be in the SoCon

Southern Conference Champions - 2007

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Postby GoldandBlack on Tue May 15, 2007 10:19 am

What the heck- since this discussion is all over the board anyway, why not take another tack?

Since Wofford has the smallest student enrollment in the NCAA, therefore the smallest alumi base of support, and light community support in relation to many of the other schools in the SoCon, was a mistake made in moving to the Southern Conference?

We keep talking about being a joke in sports other than football, and Eyes has indicated that except for football, in many ways, Furman is out of our league, so at this point, I think it's a reasonable question to ask.

I have my own opinion, but I'll defer until I hear some other responses.
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Postby TURKEYCREEK on Tue May 15, 2007 11:00 am

I dont think it was a mistake moving to the SOCON. If we werent in the SOCON, then where would we be now? The Big South? I dont think so. A decision was made to move to D-1 and you have to have conference affiliaton. The SOCON was the best fit, maybe the only fit Wofford was willing to make.

Of course no one envisioned Wofford only being competitive in one sport. But I know we are headed in the right direction by increasing scholarships, but this takes time. All of us want this to happen much sooner than later.

I have to be optimistic about what's happening now with the push to increase scholarships across the board, but we have to be practical as well.
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Postby GoldandBlack on Wed May 16, 2007 10:54 am

It appears that no one thinks moving to the SoCon was a mistake, and neither do I...

The increased national exposure we've received (yes, mainly due to football) has been a huge boost to Wofford, and I'm not sure we'd be seeing new student housing and discussion of increasing enrollment to 1,450 students if the NCAA FCS move had not been made. I think it's much more in our long-term interest to be a smaller fish in a larger pond than being a more athletically competitive Div. II school.

That being said- what has been accomplished in football is, in my opinion, nothing short of a miracle, and I'm afraid that relative level of success has ruined our perspective of reasonable expectations. We're still a relative newcomer at this level of competition.

I am not qualified to say whether Coach Traylor is the right man for the job at Wofford. A better utilization of the arms we have very well could be needed, but I do know that if our scholarships don't increase, it will be tough to get the kind of arms, in the depth we need, to compete on a day-today basis in the SoCon.

Bottom line is that, statistically speaking, our size and support base would indicate that we should be at or near the bottom in athletic competition in this conference, which is where we happen to be in baseball. Like it or not, the chances of our having competitive teams across the board are extremely small, given our limited resources. If we're going to increase funding for baseball, or basketball, where will it come from, or which of our other teams are considered less worthy of those dollars?
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Postby Eyes of Old Main on Thu May 17, 2007 10:01 am

As far as I'm concerned, Wofford being able to move up to D-I and get in the SoCon at one shot would be similar to Georgia Southern moving up an instantly being invited to join the SEC.

I think we got lucky that the SoCon needed a team right at the time we appeared and since we had some exciting things cranking up with the Panthers and had storng support from Furman and The Citadel we were able to get in. I consider that a major turning point for Wofford. Had we joined the Big South, I don't think we'd be where we are today and I certainly don't think we fit with those schools as well as we do in the SoCon.

Despite the fact that we get smoked in most sports we play, I would not be in favor of a move to an easier conference (ie: the Big South) a la what VMI did. If tat were to occur, I think it would send a strong message to the alumni and I would expect donaitons and interest to wane. In my opinion, Wofford has found it's athletic home, now it just needs to work a bit harder to be more competitive.

In many ways, Wofford is a throwback in the SoCon when you consider all the schools that were in the league that have moved on. Furman and The Citadel are still there, but looking back you had William & Mary, Richmond, and many others that would be considered our peers. It actually makes me wonder why we didn't join back in the 30's, 40's or 50's.
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Postby TDOG21 on Thu May 17, 2007 1:18 pm

I think we are really improving in the minor sports. This spring we have held our own in everything except baseball. We have seen great improvement in women's baseketball as well. I think we belong and compete. It is just a matter of finding the right coaches.
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Postby Ruckus on Fri May 18, 2007 8:50 am

We have to remember that of all our sports SoCon baseball is the strongest. The SoCon is probably the 6th or 7th strongest baseball conference in the country so naturally we will have the toughest time competeing at our size and financial situation. That said, we should be more competitive in the other non-football sports. It takes time and money.
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Postby walliver on Sun May 20, 2007 10:50 pm

I had always assumed that we would be hard-pressed to win in football, but would do very well in the "lesser sports" like golf and tennis where attendance and game-day atmosphere are unimportant. I'm glad I didn't bet any money on that.
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Postby Eyes of Old Main on Mon May 21, 2007 10:37 pm

walliver wrote:I had always assumed that we would be hard-pressed to win in football, but would do very well in the "lesser sports" like golf and tennis where attendance and game-day atmosphere are unimportant. I'm glad I didn't bet any money on that.


That was kind of my feeling at the time too, but what did I know.
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