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Archive For The “Realignmentaggeddon” Category

Patriot League In "Division 4"?

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Patriot League In "Division 4"?

The talk around collegiate athletics is “Division 4”, after “Big 5” commissioners Mike Silve, John Swofford and Bob Bowlsby floated the idea of a new subdivision over the past few weeks.

Normally the talk of the big conferences breaking off from the rest of FBS would elicit so much yawning from the likes of Patriot League schools.

Unless, of course, you’re on the table for Division 4 membership.

No, this isn’t a typo, or a crazy theory.  Sportswriters are contemplating what Division 4 might look like, and the Patriot League is being contemplated as a possible league to be a part of that subdivision.
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Bill And Mary And Their Flirtation With The Patriot League

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Bill And Mary And Their Flirtation With The Patriot League

(Photo Credit: Lehigh Valley Live)

Over the years, the schools of the Patriot League have had a reputation as being slow, contemplative, and not exactly proactive when it comes to matters of expansion or conference movements.

A recent blog post from an odd source, however, shows how untrue this reputation is, at least in regards to the swirling winds around collegiate realignment the past few years.

From the Shades of 48 blog, comes detailed freedom-of-information act information from William and Mary that exposes quite a bit about the process that goes on when a school and a conference are mulling over a potential move.

It also shows how seriously William and Mary thought about leaving the CAA and joining the Patriot League.  In all sports.
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Know Your 2013 Opponents: Monmouth

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Know Your 2013 Opponents: Monmouth

(Photo Credit: Monmouth Athletics)

In a way, you really have to feel for the football players of the Monmouth football program.

A year ago today, Monmouth was preparing for a season where the Hawks were going to be in competition for the NEC title.

A challenging schedule beckoned, with a trip to nationally-ranked Lehigh and Rhode Island of the CAA heading to Kessler field, but there was a battle with teams like Albany, and nearby rival Wagner, for the NEC championship and an autobid to the FCS playoffs.

But many had no way of knowing that Realignmentaggeddon would hit the Hawks, having them leave their longtime home, the NEC, and in the process find the Hawks scrambling for a new conference home.

It might have even come about thanks to the Patriot League.
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"Special Privileges" For TV in Realignment? Absolutely.

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"Special Privileges" For TV in Realignment?  Absolutely.

Exactly when is a media entity not entitled to report on itself?

This is the question I frequently pose to myself when ESPN, Fox and CBS report on anything about college realignment issues in general.

It’s especially true about this report made by Jeremy Fowler of CBS Sports.Com, which purports to be an inside look at who has the “most say” in realignment – TV networks or the conferences themselves.

The good news is that there are a lot of revealing insights into the top men running the show in collegiate athletics, including media people and conference commissioners.  The bad news is that it reads like the writer is trying to snooker the reader into thinking that TV has no influence over realignment – when a keener, more independent look at the quotes reveals anything but.
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You Say Goodbye, But the Patriot League Says Hello

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You Say Goodbye, But the Patriot League Says Hello

It is July 1st, and around the world of college athletics, a lot of conferences are saying goodbye, and hello.

The Big East said goodbye to a whole lot of its founding members, and renamed itself the American Athletic Conference.  Those members moved on to their new offices, where they will call themselves… the Big East.

The CAA say goodbye to Georgia State, Old Dominion and VCU.  And they say hello to Albany (in football only), Stony Brook (in football only), the College of Charleston (with no football) and Elon.

The SoCon say goodbye to College of Charleston, Appalachian State, Elon and Georgia Southern, and say hello to one new member, Mercer and hello again to two old members, East Tennessee State and VMI.

The Patriot League, though, is not saying goodbye at all.  They’re saying hello to their two newest members: Loyola (MD) and Boston University.
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Why Can’t FCS Conferences Move As A Unit To FBS?

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Why Can’t FCS Conferences Move As A Unit To FBS?

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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Realignmentaggedon: Monmouth’s Bid NEC Associate Football Membership Denied

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Realignmentaggedon: Monmouth’s Bid NEC Associate Football Membership Denied

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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Wagner to Patriot League in Football Could Open Up Great Rivalry Opportunities

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Wagner to Patriot League in Football Could Open Up Great Rivalry Opportunities

(Photo Credit: Staten Island Live)

While the news has broken that Quinnipiac and Monmouth will be accepting bids to the MAAC conference and leaving the NEC in all sports, nothing is official just yet. 

The MAAC’s presidents will be conducting a formal vote on the matter tomorrow, and until then, it’s technically speculation.

So is the thought of Wagner and Monmouth headed to other football conferences – something that seems fairly logical, should their moves to the MAAC be confirmed.  The MAAC does not sponsor football, and while the Hawks and Seahawks could spend $250,000 in exit money and then re-apply for associate, non-voting membership in the NEC for next season, it’s far from clear whether either party would welcome the arrangement.

If Wagner is thinking about joining the Patriot League in football, what could that mean to them?

It could open up an interesting concept I’ve felt has been a missed opportunity for years – annual contests to see who’s the best FCS team of New York City.
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Realignmentaggedon: Monmouth, Quinnipiac and Wagner to the MAAC

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Realignmentaggedon: Monmouth, Quinnipiac and Wagner to the MAAC

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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Realignmentaggedon: Should The NCAA Intervene?

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Realignmentaggedon: Should The NCAA Intervene?

If you’ve been following collegiate athletics like I have, you’ve undoubtedly seen the latest news flying around this week as colleges have been dumping long-standing conferences like, apparently, top military brass have been dumping husbands and wives.

Maryland abandons the ACC, a conference which they’ve called home for 50 years, to join the Big 10, for little other reason than cash money to bail out their near-bankrupt athletics department.  Rutgers abandons the Big East, a conference which they’ve called home for more than 20 years, to join the Big 10, for little other reason than cash money to fund their struggling athletics department.

From there, all hell has broken loose, as Louisville has leapt to the ACC to replace Maryland, while the Big East seems convinced that East Carolina and Tulane are acceptable replacements for the Cardinals and Scarlet Knights, and the forgotten conferences of FBS, Conference USA and the Sun Belt, reshuffle their deck chairs to refill their conference with new members as the Big East poached Tulane and East Carolina.

From the perspective of this reporter who clings to academics when it comes athletics, it’s awfully depressing viewing to watch.
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