It was confirmed this week that the Tigers are eligible for the playoffs as a D2 team this spring. The “Tournament Conference” was formed and includes the Tigers. Other conference members are West Carolina, East Carolina and Murray State. Murray has opted out of the tournament, so the Tigers are scheduled to play a round robin tournament on, or around, March 31, 2012 at Western Carolina in Chandler, North Carolina. If the Tigers win the tournament, they progress to the South tournament on April 14 and 15 in Columbus Georgia. The winner will represent the South in a national tournament.
Coach Cole discussed this development over the past 4 days with Justin Bourgeois, player for East Carolina and Tournament Conference Director and Michelle Yarbrough, newly appointed South Collegiate Coordinator. Here is the link to the Rugby South page where the Tigers are listed.
If the Tigers are to compete, the team has some structural issues to work through very quickly. We must ensure that all are properly registered and need to apply for waivers for our players who are beyond 5 years from their freshman year. We need confirmation from the registrar of player academic status and must confirm that we all players are committed to the project. It will require a significant travel and time commitment.
Assessment of the Carolina teams leads to the conclusion that the Tigers have a shot at advancement.