August 29, 2012 at 1:48 pm #6523
I like the pick-up. Obviously huge for lacrosse, which seems destined like it could easily become the PL’s marquee sport nationally. Also a very solid pick up in hoops and soccer, but I’m not very familiar with the rest of their athletic teams. No football however.
In the perfect range as far as enrollment, and academic standards that are respectable. Again, I think its a great addition.August 29, 2012 at 4:19 pm #6525
I am pretty shocked by this pickup. Doesn’t seem to make a ton of sense. More dilution of the academic brand, and another non football playing school. I am not thrilled with BU or Loyola for the PL. And, Loyola being a Catholic school is also surprising to me. They were in with a bunch of other Catholic universities in the Metro, and now they will be the only one. All you really get in my opinion with this is great lacrosse (men and women), and not much else. Shorter drives for American and Navy to play some games. Basketball wise, they have been good of late, but not a long tradition to speak of. It’s a good move for Loyola, but not sure if great for PL. They need more full member football schools. But, moving forward the NCAA basketball bid has gotten tougher with the addition of BU and Loyola.August 29, 2012 at 5:19 pm #6526
I hear you comment on brand dilution but think this is a good pick up for PL. I can’t think of any viable candidate to join that would not have similar dilution. Gets PL to even # of full members, strengthens LAX immensely and BB some. League can’t sit still.
Does not address Football, where another member is very desirable in my opinion. Don’t see any football schools beating down the door to join all sports. Sure wish Nova would consider us for football.August 29, 2012 at 6:05 pm #6527
Great strategic move. Great for lax and good for Bball. Most importantly unties footnall from full membership. No Fball school wanted to mobe all sports to us. PL now a more attractive league. Fball may be mre attractive for some as assoc member.August 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm #6528
LU 77, 85, 88, 15Participant
Fordham is a Catholic schoolAugust 29, 2012 at 7:47 pm #6529
And, Loyola being a Catholic school is also surprising to me. They were in with a bunch of other Catholic universities in the Metro, and now they will be the only one.
Ummmm. I think you’re forgetting someone. Founded by the same order of priests that founded Loyola. Wear purple. Call themselves the Crusaders. .
Ring any bells?
Seriously. It’s a good move. Have long felt that the pool of candiates that currently meet the general profile of the PL – small, top academics, generally undergraduate – is so shallow that in order to expand the PL would have to use it’s brand to improve the profile of the new school rather than the new school significantly raising the PL brand.
The addition of Loyola fits that. they are small, primarily undergrad but a step below the original PL schools academically. They give the league additional stability, bring a few excellent athletic programs to the league and the PL helps them raise their academic profile.
They are not perfect, but I like the addition.August 29, 2012 at 8:04 pm #6530
Sorry, forgot about Holy Cross, and Fordham as well, even though not full member.
I just don’t see a need to expand with lesser academic schools. The conference was founded and built on academics, non-scholarship athletes and true student-athletes, and fed of the interplay with the Ivy League. Now you are going to toss that aside, go full scholarship and take lesser academic schools? If you are going to let lesser academic schools in, what is the point? You are not going to build a powerhouse sports league, so why compromise what you had the market in … academics. You might as well go to the Colonial Conference and woo schools there if academics are not the primary focus. You would at least find some football schools to fill out the schedule. Or, if you want to play bigger time sports go to a conference where that is the priority, not academics.August 29, 2012 at 8:12 pm #6531
So ’90, where do you see these high quality academic schools coming from? Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Penn, Cornell, Dartmouth, Columbia, and Brown are already taken.August 29, 2012 at 8:45 pm #6532
For starters, Richmond and William & Mary. Both are better academically than BU and Loyola, and both play a game with an oblong ball. Not too mention, they don’t just play football but play it at a high level in the FCS. William and Mary has more prestige than all of the PL already (perhaps service academies notwithstanding). They are the second oldest school in the country to Harvard, they educated several presidents, educated 16 signers of the Declaration of Independence, founded Phi Beta Kappa and had the first honor system in the country. They are a perfect size (6,000) and they have a strong graduate program. And, geographically they fit with natural rivals in American and Navy. Richmond is also strong in academics, with a really good undergrad business program and a decent law school. 4500 students and a natural fit with W&M and the DC schools. They won the FCS championship in football less than 5 years ago, and have a basketball team who has been ranked in the Top 20 in the nation less than 10 years ago.
If you can’t get them, GW makes more sense to me (although they don’t play football). Fordham back in all sports, if they would leave A10 another probably better option.August 29, 2012 at 9:22 pm #6533
I don’t think that anyone would argue that W&M and Richmond aren’t at the top of the PL’s wishlist, probably followed closely by Fordham’s return. Only problem is that those schools have no desire to leave their current situations and we can’t make them. Maybe if more drastic changes to the college conference landscape continue, those schools would be a possibility. However, the PL’s policy on redshirting is said to be a major turn off for W&M football and I can’t envision any scenario in which Richmond or GW would downgrade their A10 hoops programs to the PL. GW just hired a new AD and is pouring major resources into athletics, they have their sights set on increasing their emphasis on sports if anything.
I think the PL brass has done an outstanding job handling the situation and have managed to strengthen the conference in very tumultous times. Imagine being a Georgetown or Villanova fan and watching the Big East be ripped apart? Trading a traditional rival like Syracuse with SMU? Conferences are never perfect, and I think the PL has done very well for itself all things considered.
August 30, 2012 at 12:28 am #6535
- This reply was modified 8 years, 1 month ago by StablerBum.
I like the fact that there is finally some ongoing conversation on this board again and a few new faces. I welcome everyone lurking out there to contribute.
I spent the last few years hanging around the A-10 boards and if there is two things that are evident it’s that it is a basketball driven league with large payouts at tournament time and they all consider the Patriot League to be a big step backwards.
William and Mary was the perfect reach school since the CAA is in such disaray in basketball. It would have been a perfect match but so would a 6-10 center with amazing skills. I’t’s easy to pomder, much harder to succeed.
I welcome Loyola with open arms. They will immediately put the Patriot League in a position to be the #2 conference in the country for lacrosse.August 30, 2012 at 4:14 am #6536
Here is an interesting article on Loyola’s impact in basketballAugust 30, 2012 at 10:43 am #6537
Catching up on this, but yes, very big news. I won’t have anything new to say, so I should stop now, but my 2 cents is as follows: 1.) We took a slight step back in academics profile with latest two additions, that can’t be argued. 2.) Other good matches from both academics/sports perspectives didn’t want to join, that we know, W&M or a Richmond both obviously were happy were they were. 3.) College conference game right now is a land grab, survival is of most importance, now while I think the PL would have survived as is with many schools so identical to one another taht it would have been hard to see one go and see this crumble, I would rather be on offensive then defensive, and that is what the PL did. Our core is intact, but the conference has changed. 4.) We are a lax conference now, wow, defending champs are in the PL – added with us, navy, army, colgate and bucknell certainly brings us to right behind the ACC in terms of lax prowess and depth….lax is our marquee sport nationally. 5.) Hoops auto bid just got tougher.August 30, 2012 at 3:06 pm #6538
I don’t doubt that overtures were probably made to schools like W&M, Richmond, GW, Fordham, and maybe even schools like Fairfield. At least I hope those avenues were pursued. I think all of those schools would see the academic benefits, but would realize going from a Colonial in football or an A-10 in basketball would be a step backwards. What I wonder is why the need to expand if you don’t get the right schools coming in? The PL is not the Big East. There are not other bigger conferences coming in to pick off our members. And, not sure the current members really have anywhere else to go. So, I don’t see the rush on something like this. I understand in current day college sports it is better to be proactive (SEC, Big 10, Pac 10) then reactive (ACC, Big 12, Big East), but at the PL level not sure this really applies. If somebody said to me, look we need more football teams in the conference I could understand that. But, this move, adds 2 non football schools, so you haven’t really solved that problem. You have diluted the league, for what, to say you’re bigger? I can’t see why the current member schools would really push for this.
The only reason I see this makes any sense is if you fear the loss of current members. I think it is clear that Lafayette, Bucknell, Colgate, and Lehigh are tied together for eternity. So, that core of 4 isn’t going anywhere. That leaves your potential defectors at American, Holy Cross, Army and Navy. Army and Navy already don’t play football in the PL, and are independent, with Navy going to the Big East in football only in 2015. So, I don’t think you need to fear them leaving, as they are already non-football, and Navy could have taken all sports to the Big East and chose not to. Holy Cross, I think, would love to be included in a conference of Catholic primarily basketball schools if the Big East implodes. They would probably die to be included with St. John’s, Villanova, Seton Hall, Depaul, Marquette, Providence and Georgetown. If that happened, which I would say is highly unlikely (it is not the Bob Cousy led Holy Cross), then they would still need a place to play football, so you probably could retain them in football, unless they tried to move into the Colonial to join Villanova and potentially Georgetown, if they too, left PL football. But, I think the loss of HC is unlikely. American, again, no football, probably unlikely to go anywhere. So, the only potential football loss would be HC, and to a lesser extent Gtown, and that scenario highly unlikely. I don’t see losses on the horizon for the PL. In any scenario, you still need football teams.
Does the addition of BU and Loyola strengthen the PL? In shear numbers, obviously, yes. In quality of membership, probably no. BU’s best sport (hockey), PL doesn’t play. Football, obviously no upgrade. Basketball, a slight upgrade. I saw somewhere else this pushed PL strength up a couple slots from say 22nd to 20th (somewhere along those lines, not exact). If you want to say it is a big upgrade in lacrosse and soccer, I guess it is, but does anybody really care about those sports? In the PL and Ivy, maybe yes. I can’t think of another conference that really cares. Even the ACC which is a powerhouse in both, has over half the teams who don’t even field teams. So, the thought of building a powerhouse lacrosse or soccer league is sort of far-fetched. Although maybe in a non-revenue generating conference like the PL, it is not so far-fetched.
I’m on record in the past saying I would like to see Lehigh try to increase their level of competition and conference quality. I would love to see a jump up long-term to a true Division I, FBS level. Use a UConn or now UMass type model. Or, short of that, build a powerhouse program in a sport like basketball in a model like Butler or Gonzaga. When I mentioned that on this board, all I got in return was numerous people telling me that notion is ridiculous (I know it’s a pipedream), it is all about academics and that is why the PL is so great for Lehigh. Well, you can’t have it both ways. Either you want academics or better sports. But, diluting the academics for the same sports make no sense to me. I say either try to upgrade, or decide that is not in your long-term future, and stick to academics, and true student-athletes, but don’t dilute with lesser schools for no apparent reason.August 30, 2012 at 4:20 pm #6540
I admire your passion Lehigh90 but disagree with your conclusions.
1.) I don’t think there is any iminent danger of losing teams in football or the PL would have likely pursued colleges that would help in that arena. There have been efforts to recruit Navy to other conferences and if that were ever to take place, Army would surely follow. I would prefer having a 10 team conference that would shrink to 8 rather than an 8 team conference that would shrink to 6 and leave us scrambling to find members. I love the pro-active stance.
2.)Who cares about lacrosse or soccer? You should. I attended several lacrosse matches last year including Bucknell and Maryland and the crowds wer as big if not bigger than basketball and the atmosphere was electric. Add the current national champs and an upgraded schedule that will certainly happen and you have some real excitement.
3.)Fordham shared your dreams many years ago and I wonder if there is any regret. Sure, some very good basketball teams come to their arena but they have been a perennial doormat ever since. Losing ain’t fun. Remember we are a school of only 4,800 students with very high academic standards and no real history in any sport other than wrestling. I like the idea that the PL is getting stronger and more stable.
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