UPDATE: ASU still pursuing FBS bid
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
The Burlington Times-News reported that the Colonial Athletic Association has contacted Appalachian State, Davidson and College of Charleston about becoming members of the FCS conference. Appalachian State spokesman Mike Flynn said Saturday that nothing has changed when it comes to ASU's commitment to finding an FBS conference.
“There are no new developments in Appalachian's ongoing pursuit of a conference that sponsors FBS football,” Flynn said Saturday.
The Mountaineers formed a feasibility committee in January 2011, which recommended in August that it make the move to the FBS later in the year. The ASU board of trustees gave its approval to have the university pursue a move to the FBS in September of 2011.
In May 2012, Conference USA left Appalachian State out of the league's most recent expansion, having instead taken Charlotte, North Texas State, Texas-San Antonio, Louisiana-Monroe and Florida International.
All five of those institutions are located near, or directly in, a major metropolitan area. Appalachian State athletic director Charlie Cobb has said that ASU is close to the Charlotte market, the Triad market and the Asheville market.
Soon after, Old Dominion agreed to join the league, giving Conference USA 14 teams.
Conference USA and the Sun Belt Conference have generally been thought as being the two FBS conferences that would be the best fit for Appalachian State. The NCAA requires that a school must have conference affiliation before making the move to the FBS.
The Western Athletic Conference, which will be down to just two football-playing programs by 2013, will likely try to expand.
Appalachian State's current home, the Southern Conference, requires a $600,000 exit fee for leaving the conference with less than two years' notice. The fee is $300,000 for notice after two years.
The Times-News reported that should Appalachian State move to the CAA, it would have to abandon its effort to play in an FBS conference.