Merrimack to NEC?

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Merrimack to NEC?

Post by J.J. » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:46 pm


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Skyhawkct
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Re: Merrimack to NEC?

Post by Skyhawkct » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:25 am

I guess we'll have to "Monitor" the situation. :lol:

(Sorry)

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Re: Merrimack to NEC?

Post by Larryl9797 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:55 am

“You can be as talented as you want, but if you don’t play together and as a team, you’re not going to win.” -Donyell Marshall 1-21-2019

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Re: Merrimack to NEC?

Post by Shoreline » Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:34 am

The more the Merrimack. From Chip Malafronte's column in today's NH Register:
"Merrimack, already Division I in hockey, is working hard to upgrade the rest of its sports, which would include FCS-level football. LIU Post has also long been interested in moving up to Division I."

The writer does not speculate on what conferences would be involved.

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Re: Merrimack to NEC?

Post by J.J. » Sun Sep 02, 2018 9:24 am

Interesting.

I'm surprised LIU would be willing to have 2 campuses compete in D-I in the same league. I'm hoping we are working hard to get out of this league if expansion is really the table.

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Re: Merrimack to NEC?

Post by BigBlue92 » Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:35 pm

Skyhawkct wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:25 am
I guess we'll have to "Monitor" the situation. :lol:

(Sorry)
Sky, your post didn't get the respect it deserves. Made me laugh at loud!!! :D =D>

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Re: Merrimack to NEC?

Post by Skyhawkct » Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:59 pm

American History 101 Big Blue! Then again, at my age, that was more recent history for me than the younger folks here. :D

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Re: Merrimack to NEC?

Post by J.J. » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:16 am

Well it is official now ...
Somerset, NJ -- Merrimack College has accepted an invitation from the Northeast Conference’s Council of Presidents to become the league’s 11th member, it was announced today by NEC Commissioner Noreen Morris.

Merrimack, located in Andover and North Andover, Massachusetts, will become a full member of the conference in 2023-24 upon completion of its four-year NCAA Division I reclassification period.

“We are thrilled to welcome Merrimack College to the Northeast Conference family!” Morris said. “From the outset it was extremely evident that President Hopey and the entire campus community had a clear vision to elevate the academic and athletic profile of Merrimack College. With increased investment in resources, capital improvements and personnel, that vision has become a reality with Merrimack’s most successful competitive season in 2017-18 and the college’s largest incoming freshman class ever entering in the Fall 2018. We are very excited that the NEC will be the future home of the Warriors!”

Twenty-two of Merrimack’s 24 teams currently compete at the NCAA Division II level. Men’s and women’s ice hockey currently compete as Division I programs and will remain in Hockey East.

“The College’s 2011 strategic plan, the Agenda for Distinction, called for Merrimack College to become a Division I institution to compete and excel at the highest level,” said college President Christopher E. Hopey, Ph.D. “We are pleased that our record of achievement and growth has resulted in this invitation to compete in the NEC and partner with its outstanding member institutions.”

Merrimack’s Director of Athletics, Jeremy Gibson, also expressed his excitement.

“Our student-athletes have enjoyed tremendous success academically and athletically. We are thrilled that they will have the opportunity to pursue excellence through membership in the Northeast Conference, and that our entire community will experience the excitement of Division I athletics across all of our program,” he said.

Nicknamed the Warriors for the college’s founding to educate World War II veterans, Merrimack has been a member of the Northeast-10 Conference since 1984. From a competitive standpoint, Merrimack enjoyed its most successful year ever in 2017-18, highlighted by winning the NCAA DII men’s lacrosse national championship and three NE10 championships (baseball, men’s lacrosse and men’s soccer). Likewise, seven teams qualified for the NCAA tournament (baseball, men’s basketball, men’s cross country, men’s lacrosse, men’s soccer, softball, men’s tennis) in their respective sports, a school record.

Merrimack won the 2017-18 NE10 Presidents’ Cup, awarded annually to the top athletics program among the 15 member institutions that make up the conference. The Warriors also finished 44th out of 268 schools in the Learfield Director’s Cup standings.

Merrimack offers a broad-based athletic program, fielding 10 men’s and 14 women’s sports teams. Sports sponsorship at Merrimack includes baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, football, women’s golf, men’s and women’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s lacrosse, women’s rowing, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, and women’s volleyball. Merrimack will sponsor 21 of the NEC’s 23 sports in 2019-20, the only exceptions being men’s golf and women’s bowling.

Merrimack will be incorporated as fully as possible into NEC athletic schedules beginning with the 2019-20 season. During its reclassification Merrimack will be able to participate in NEC championships in NCAA non-automatic qualifier sports (cross country, swimming and diving, and indoor and outdoor track and field) only.

“Congratulations to President Hopey and the entire Merrimack community on joining the Northeast Conference,” said Saint Francis University President and Chair of the NEC Presidents Council Fr. Malachi Van Tassell, T.O.R., Ph.D. “We are excited to welcome our newest member at this exciting time in conference history, and are very pleased they accepted our invitation. The Warriors will enhance the level of competition and bring a new dimension to the league. Merrimack is a perfect fit for the Northeast Conference.”

The NEC is expanding for the first time since 2012 when Bryant was added to the membership. Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU Brooklyn, Robert Morris, St. Francis Brooklyn, Saint Francis U and Wagner are charter NEC members. Mount St. Mary’s was admitted in 1989, Central Connecticut in 1997, Sacred Heart in 1999 and Bryant in 2012.

A formal media availability and campus celebration will be hosted by Merrimack College in its basketball arena at the Merrimack Athletics Complex at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 13.
http://northeastconference.org/news/201 ... EC_18.aspx

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Re: Merrimack to NEC?

Post by J.J. » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:17 am


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Re: Merrimack to NEC?

Post by J.J. » Mon Sep 10, 2018 11:47 am

Can't say I'm very excited about adding another small, private D-II school - but it is what it is. On a positive note, I guess this could help some of scheduling issues the league has been having, but will raise other issues.

Basketball will now have 11 teams, allowing the NEC to go to a 20-game conference schedule. However, with an odd number of teams, the league will have to be more creative in scheduling. We lose the balanced 9-week Thursday/Saturday model. Merrimack won't be eligible to play in the NEC Tourney during their reclassification period (4 seasons).

Football will now have 8 teams, which reduces the number of non-conference games we have to find - which is a positive. However, we will now have an unbalanced 7-game league slate. Annual 4-3 split between home and road games isn't ideal, but isn't unheard of.

I have to imagine the league has its eyes out for another member ...

Bentley
LIU-Post
Monmouth (football affiliate)
Delaware State

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Re: Merrimack to NEC?

Post by J.J. » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:27 pm

NEC Membership changes (since 1997):

Marist (1997) ---> MAAC
Rider (1997) ---> MAAC
UMBC (2003) ---> America East
Monmouth (2013) ---> MAAC
Quinnipiac (2013) ---> MAAC

Mid-Con ---> CCSU (1997)
Big South ---> UMBC (1998)
D-II/NE-10 ---> Quinnipiac (1998)
D-II/NECC ---> Sacred Heart (1999)
D-II/NE-10 ---> Bryant (2008)
D-II/NE-10 ---> Merrimack (2019)

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Re: Merrimack to NEC?

Post by J.J. » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:55 pm

Merrimack is certainly a good addition for the NEC. They fit the academic and athletic profile perfectly. They have done well in the NE-10 and will probably transition well to the NEC like Bryant did most recently. The NEC front office is well run, and they made a good decision here.

But let's be honest, CCSU remains the biggest outsider in this league. We don't look like anyone else here.

- We are the only public school in this league.
- We are much bigger (2x as large) than every school in the league, except LIU-Brooklyn.
- We are the only current expansion member that was already a D-I program.
- The only thing that keeps us here is our athletic budget :(

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Re: Merrimack to NEC?

Post by ccsuhoops » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:25 pm

Not exactly close. 2.5 from NB, I'm sure the PA schools are thrilled...

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Re: Merrimack to NEC?

Post by hilltopper » Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:44 pm

Eleven NEC teams? Maybe someone is leaving, i wish it were us!

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Re: Merrimack to NEC?

Post by J.J. » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:24 pm

Best case scenario for CCSU is we have an invite to America East for 2019-20 and we keep football parked in the NEC as an affiliate until we can work our way to CAA Football. I doubt that's happening, but we can hold out hope!

The last 4 additions to the NEC have come from New England (QU, SHU, Bryant, and MC). Most likely, that's where the most realistic new members exist. Bentley (NE-10) is probably on the NEC short list.

Not sure if RMU still has one foot out the door for the Horizon, but if they wanted to find another school in their neck of the woods Mercyhurst and maybe Gannon from the PSAC fit the small, private NEC profile.

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