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America East Conference adds UMass Lowell as member
February 14, 2013
Contact: John Hartrick (firstname.lastname@example.org)
VESTAL, N.Y.—The America East announced on Thursday that UMass Lowell will be joining the conference beginning in the fall. The announcement was made at a press conference at the Tsongas Center on the Lowell campus. The addition of the River Hawks will keep the conference membership at nine schools. Boston University departs for the Patriot League in the fall.
“We are excited to have UMass Lowell join the America east as a member Institution,” Binghamton Director of Athletics Patriot Elliott said. “Their demonstrated commitment to academic and athletic excellence and their plan for quality growth is quite impressive. They are a perfect partner to assist in moving our conference forward in the coming years.”
Lowell (16,300 enrollment) will officially enter the conference on July 1, 2013 and will begin competing in 14 sports for the 2013-14 academic year. The school won’t be eligible for postseason play until it completes the mandatory four-year NCAA reclassification from Division II to Division I. The River Hawks, who are currently members of the Northeast-10 Conference, will become full Division I members of America East for the 2017-18 year. The 17 sports sponsored by Lowell are baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, field hockey, men’s golf, men’s ice hockey, rowing, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track & field and volleyball. The school plans to add men’s and women’s lacrosse for the 2014-15 year.
It will mark the first America East league expansion since 2002, when UMBC was elected to membership. Binghamton, Albany and Stony Brook were added in 2001.
“I am thrilled to welcome UMass Lowell as the newest member of America East,” America East Commissioner Amy Huchthausen said. “All throughout the membership evaluation process, our conference’s leadership has stressed the importance of finding peer institutions with similar profiles and an infrastructure of strong academics, competitive athletics programs and outstanding facilities. UMass Lowell has those assets and will strengthen America East in all facets.”
The Bearcats share history with UMass Lowell, having played two years against the River Hawks when both schools were members of the Division II New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) from 1998-2000.