If you haven’t already read my previous article, I submitted a FOIA request for conference realignment related documents from both Appalachian State & Georgia Southern. I received Georgia Southern’s documents today.
But after receiving the documents, I got an e-mail from Georgia Southern with additional documents that were not discovered in time to physically mail. There is a time limit associated with responding to a FOIA request in the state of GA, thus why they didn’t wait. Since my FOIA request specified that digital copies were acceptable, they e-mailed these additional documents.
In this e-mail, Georgia Southern’s AD Thomas Kleinlein received a “SBC EADA Fact Sheet” (Sun Belt Conference – Equity in Athletics Data Analysis - Fact Sheet) from Karl Benson the Sun Belt’s Commissioner. It basically compares financial numbers of a bunch of schools.
Kleinlein then forwarded it to someone named Jeff (within the athletics department?) asking for amplifying info on each school. It seems a bunch of the text of the e-mail was withheld by the school, unless Karl Benson’s email really did just say “and the sport expense data” and that’s it.
The fact sheet itself is the real jewel here, because it comes from Karl Benson and lists every Sun Belt school, then has the words “Potential Members” followed by a collection of school names. Note that I have no idea if these schools are SERIOUS candidates, but at the very least, these are schools that being somewhat considered.
This is the original copy of the attachment: SBC EADA Fact Sheet.PDF
Note that the date of the attachment is only today’s date because it was forwarded to me today from their lawyers. The date of the email was Dec 21, 2012 @ 11:31AM.
The schools it lists are:
New Mexico State
Sam Houston State
I follow Sun Belt expansion as close as anyone in the game. Most of these are the usual suspects. Some of these are schools, like UT-Chattanooga and Illinois State, I thought only people on message boards were talking about. But apparently the Sun Belt is actually considering them as well. Other schools like Richmond & Towson seemed to come out of left field for me, but make sense in a way.
For those of you that wanted some kind of smoking gun/official invite, I’m sorry. I just requested the FOIA and this is what they gave me. I hope you find it interesting. Check back soon for more documents from my FOIA request.
For all the latest conference realignment news follow me on Twitter: @AppStateNation