Archive For The “Conference Realignment” Category
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last five years, you’ve probably heard about “realignment”, or, as I like to call it, “realignmentageddon”, in Division I athletics.
Led by Nebraska’s departure from the Big XII to the Big 10, the dominoes have tumbles all through Division I, directly affecting pretty much every conference’s membership with the exception of the Ivy League.
Central to “realignmentageddon” is football, whose value to television executives is broadly accepted as the reasons why, say, Rutgers and Maryland abandoned decades-long relationships with their old conferences in order to get larger chunks of TV money.
But why is it only individual schools? Why wouldn’t a conference which currently sponsors FCS football just decide, one day, to become an FBS conference?
The short answer is: the NCAA rulebook is written than way.
But the long answer is that the NCAA rulebook, essentially, forces the current FCS and FBS conferences to stay the way things are.
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If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that sometime Lehigh opponent Monmouth recently made a move to leave the Northeast Conference (NEC) in all sports to join the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) in all the sports that they sponsor.
As it turns out, the MAAC does not sponsor three sports in which the Hawks compete: women’s field hockey, women’s bowling, and football, which meant that Monmouth president Paul G. Gaffney II needed to apply back to the NEC to become an associate member in all three sports to remain.
It didn’t seem impossible that Monmouth would remain in the league in these three sports.
But today, Monmouth got their reply from NEC commissioner Noreen Morris, returning the will of the NEC presidents: yes to field hockey, and no bowling and football.
With Monmouth’s “Plan A” going by the wayside, the Hawks are now certainly looking at their “Plan B”‘s – one of which could very well be the Patriot League.
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According to sportswriter Mark Blaudshun, a 30+ year beat veteran of college football now residing in New Jersey, a key move was made by two schools, Monmouth University and Wagner College, that affects the FCS football landscape next season.
“Conference reconfiguration continues on all levels,” the short blog post stated. “According to the sources familiar with the process, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference will add Quinnipiac, Wagner and Monmouth from the Northeast Conference. The announcement will be made on Friday.”
In and of itself the announcement doesn’t directly affect the Patriot League. But it might.
With their move to the MAAC, a conference which does not sponsor football, the Seahawks and Hawks now have to make a decision on their football programs.
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