Monday, November 21, 2005
NEC Football Increases Scholarships; America East Football Birth?
The NEC announced that they will be expanding their scholarship limitations to 30, taking the league one step closer to the rest of I-AA football.
In other news, there are strong rumors that the America East Conference is discussing the possibility of potentially fielding it’s own football conference. Currently, America East football schools UNH and Maine participate in the Atlantic 10 which will be absorbed by the Colonial Athletic Association in the coming years. America East members Albany and Stony Brook currently participate in the NEC.
If the America East did decide to sponsor football, they would need Albany and Stony Brook to upgrade and would still need at least (2) other schools to join in order to reach the magic number 6 , the requirement to receive an automatic I-AA playoff bid. Soon-to-be CAA Football and Atlantic 10 members UMass and URI would be logical choices to join the new league.
Football membership would look as such:
* Rhode Island
The CAA would then look as such:
William & Mary
* Old Dominion (starting program in 2009)
There are also rumors that the America East is considering the creation of America East Hockey. The league would aim to absorb the current Hockey East conference name and sponsorship. Current members of Hockey East include:
America East Members:
Providence (Big East)
Boston College (ACC)
UMass (Atlantic 10)
Fearing the loss of quality top members Maine, UNH and Boston University, the remaining Hockey East members would have to consider the conference sponsorship change. If not, the America East could look towards other programs from the ECACHL for membership or targets could come from the Atlantic Hockey league:
Niagara in the CHA would also be an option.
The America East absorbing Hockey East is a pipe dream. The 6 other schools would resist the takeover (and demotion from a full member to an associate member of a conference with divergent goals).
The Atlantic Hockey schools are, for the most part, nonviable options. Atlantic Hockey is a limited scholarship league, and with Quinnipiac already in the ECAC, the only member who may want to upgrade is Mercyhurst, and that would pose travel problems.
As for the ECAC schools, the Ivies will not be broken up, Q just spent some cash to buy into the league, and Union is not allowed to add scholarships. The other 4 members (RPI, Clarkson, SLU, and Colgate) would be poor replacements for any lost Hockey East team besides Merrimack.
The CHA's Niagara poses similar concerns to Mercyhurst.
Personally, I chalk this story up to rumor mongering and bad reporting. If there is a nugget of truth, this move is likely being initiated by non-hockey schools, and the result is more likely to be an AEC schism, than a HEA schism. Follow the money, and for the schools that matter (UNH, UVM, BU, UMO) the answer is to do what's best for hockey. Proponents of the other AEC members may counter that a school woulnd't sabotage its entire department for one sport, but for hockey, these schools would. Div I hockey is the Div I-A football of northern New England.
Links to this post:
January 2000 May 2000 May 2003 January 2004 July 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]
You are currently reading an article on the old CollegeSportsinfo.com Blog as we've recently upgraded. Click on any of the "News" links on the site for the new address. Also be sure to update your RSS feeds with the new address below.
Looking for an opponents message board? We have them all in one handy directory.
Message Board Directory