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12-Member NEAC to Begin Play in 2004-05 Season

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  • 12-Member NEAC to Begin Play in 2004-05 Season

    News Release

    Doug Lippincott, Director of Communications
    Office: (315) 279-5231 Home: (585) 346-2639
    FAX: (315) 279-5281 E-mail: [email protected]


    KEUKA PARK, N.Y.—Twelve NCAA Division III colleges from three states have joined to form a newlook North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC). David Sweet, athletic director at current NEAC member Keuka College and acting conference commissioner, said conference play will begin in the 2004-05 season.

    Joining NEAC holdovers Keuka (Keuka Park, N.Y.), Cazenovia College (Cazenovia, N.Y.), and D’Youville College (Buffalo, N.Y.) are:
    • Baptist Bible College (Clarks Summit, Pa.).
    • Bard College (Annadale-On-Hudson, N.Y.).
    • Chestnut Hill College (Philadelphia, Pa.).
    • Keystone College (La Plume, Pa.).
    • Pennsylvania State University-Berks (Reading, Pa.).
    • Philadelphia Biblical University (Langhorne, Pa.).
    • Polytechnic University (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
    • SUNY Purchase (Purchase, N.Y.).
    • Villa Julie College (Stevenson, Md.)

    Current NEAC members Medaille College and Hilbert College will join the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference next season.

    The defection of Hilbert and Medaille would have left the NEAC with just three
    schools—Keuka College, D’Youville College, and Cazenovia College—for the 2004-05 season. “The conference wouldn’t have existed with just three members,” said David Sweet, athletic director at Keuka College and acting NEAC commissioner.

    Pulling the plug on the NEAC would have left Keuka and the other two colleges with two alternatives: join another conference or become an independent.

    “We explored the possibility of joining another conference but none of the Division III conferences in New York state were looking to expand and the others just didn’t work geographically,” said Sweet.

    Returning to independent status, which Keuka held before it joined the NEAC in 2001, was “something we didn’t even want to consider,” said Sweet. “Scheduling is very difficult for independent schools, but most of all our kids want to play for championships and everything else that goes with being in a conference, such as player of the week, all-conference, and all-academic honors,” he said. “We joined the NEAC for the benefits it would provide our student athletes, and we wanted to stay in a conference for the same reasons.”

    So Sweet and his counterparts at D’Youville (Brian Miller) and Cazenovia (Pete Liddell), along with presidents Joseph G. Burke (Keuka), Sister Denise A. Roche (D’Youville), and Mark J. Tierno (Cazenovia) went to work to save the NEAC.

    Their work was worthy of an ER script. Not only is the NEAC still kicking, but it has grown.

    According to Keuka’s top administrators, the new NEAC will benefit the College in a number of ways. “We have aligned ourselves with a group of prestigious schools that share our desire to provide our student athletes with the best possible academic and athletic experience,” said President Joseph G. Burke.

    Said Dean of Students Jim Blackburn: “This conference not only will improve the quality of the student athlete’s experience at Keuka, but it will have a ripple effect throughout the student body. Competing for championships and perhaps an NCAA tournament berth in a viable, NCAA-sanctioned conference will create excitement across campus. It raises the bar and enhances our campus culture.”

    The new-look league will also draw the attention of prospective students, according to Vice President for College Advancement, Enrollment Management, and Marketing Carolanne Marquis.

    “The opportunity to compete against schools from around the Northeast and in NCAA Division III tournaments are things that appeal to students who plan to play sports in college,” she said.

    With nine full NCAA Division III members, the NEAC will be eligible for NCAA
    recognition immediately. Penn State-Berks began its provisional membership in Division III last fall. Keystone will do so this fall and SUNY Purchase will in the fall of 2005. The NEAC will be eligible to garner automatic Division III tournament qualifier status from the NCAA in 2006-07, according to Sweet.
    Sweet said the expanded NEAC will offer a full slate of championships in 12 sports in year one, including men’s soccer, women’s soccer, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, women’s volleyball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball, softball, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, and golf.

    “Discussions are under way to add more sports, including men’s volleyball, men’s and women’s lacrosse, and track and field,” said Sweet. He said the NEAC will be split into two, six-team divisions to reduce travel costs and the
    amount of time student athletes will be away from classrooms.

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  • DJRamFan
    SIAC to Expand
    by DJRamFan

    December 20, 2004

    ATLANTA – The Council of Presidents of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference has approved the provisional membership of Claflin University, Lincoln (MO) University, and Langston University to join the conference.

    The NCAA defines a provisional membership as a prerequisite for active membership. Before the institutions can become an active member, they are limited to a four-year period to prepare their school to officially join the conference. During this time, they make all of the necessary adjustments to administer their athletic programs in accordance with the SIAC constitution, bylaws, rules, and regulations.

    “We are delighted to give Claflin, Lincoln, and Langston the opportunity to become a part of the SIAC family,” Dr. William Lide, Commissioner of the SIAC said. “We also consider it an honor that these fine institutions would like to be a part of the growth and expansion of the conference.”

    Claflin and Lincoln are no strangers to the SIAC. Claflin’s basketball team will play SIAC members schools such as Benedict, Clark Atlanta, and Fort Valley State University during the basketball season this year. Lincoln University plays Miles College in a football classic every year. All three schools will be incorporated into the playing schedules of SIAC schools in Fall 2005 and be recorded as non-conference games.

    Currently, Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, AL is in its second year of provisional membership in the SIAC. The addition of three other schools will bring the conference’s institution total to 15. Once Stillman is activated, the conference plans to move forward with dividing the conference into east and west divisions.


    President: Dr. Henry Tisdale
    Location: Orangeburg, SC – 40 miles south of Columbia
    Founded: 1869 – Oldest HBCU in the state of South Carolina
    Enrollment: 1700
    Current Affiliation: NAIA – Eastern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
    Sports: Men: Basketball, Baseball, Tennis, Cross Country, Track and Field
    Women: Basketball, Softball, Volleyball, Tennis, Track and Field
    Colors: Orange and Maroon
    Nickname: Panthers
    Athletic Director: Dr. Leroy Durant

    President: David Henderson
    Location: Jefferson City, MO – Capital of Missouri
    Founded: 1866
    Enrollment: 2900
    Current Affiliation: NCAA Division II – Hartland Conference
    Sports: Men: Baseball, Basketball, Track, Football, Golf
    Women: Basketball, Cross Country, Track and Field, Softball, Tennis
    Colors: Navy and White
    Nickname: Blue Tigers
    Athletic Director: Tim Abney

    -12-30-2004, 01:45 PM
  • DJRamFan
    NCAA willing to bend rules in wake of hurricane
    by DJRamFan
    Aug. 31, 2005
    CBS wire reports

    INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA wants university officials and student-athletes to focus on recovery efforts from Hurricane Katrina rather than worry about infractions, schedule changes or travel restrictions.


    To help, college athletics' governing body may temporarily adjust some of its most restrictive rules.

    Steve Mallonee, the NCAA's managing director for membership services, said Wednesday the NCAA is willing to give athletes and universities more latitude to travel, provide more benefits to athletes' families and even allow students to compete without attending classes because of the storm that devastated the Gulf Coast.

    "Any rule that can negatively impact an institution or the student-athletes, I think we'll be proactive in," Mallonee told the Associated Press. "The message we'd like is that we have a process that can and will be flexible to any of our institutions that are impacted."

    Other potential changes include moving games to different venues, extending seasons, and possibly allowing athletes' families to stay on campuses.

    In past years, schools have postponed or canceled games because of hurricanes and other inclement weather. The NCAA allowed some games to be rescheduled, and after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the nation's college games were postponed -- and most were rescheduled.

    Still, the NCAA has a reputation for its rigid stances. The 2003 men's and women's basketball tournaments were not delayed by the start of the Iraq war, the 1981 NCAA championship was played the night President Reagan was shot and some people have complained the organization is prone to following the letter of its voluminous rule book rather than the intent.

    But, the NCAA has never faced anything like this.

    Experts predict it could take months for some areas, including New Orleans, to recover. Classes could be canceled -- making athletes at those schools ineligible under NCAA rules -- while other schools may want to use football stadiums or basketball arenas as relief centers.

    That could force games to be canceled or moved.

    The NCAA hopes a more flexible approach will give schools an opportunity to help communities, allow athletes to assist family and friends and compete on the playing field.

    "The first priority of those schools caught in Katrina's path is the students, staff and families who have been put in harm's way," president Myles Brand said in a statement. "It is too early to say what the exact solutions will be, but the national office will work to accommodate these unique and unfortunate circumstances."

    The impact of the rules changes could be felt from coast to coast. ...
    -09-01-2005, 07:30 PM
  • DJRamFan
    House panel hears from Bloom in probe of NCAA
    by DJRamFan
    Sept. 14, 2004 wire reports

    WASHINGTON -- Jeremy Bloom told a congressional panel Tuesday that the NCAA cut his college football career short without giving him a fair chance to argue his case.

    Bloom, who would have been a junior receiver at Colorado this year, lost his college eligibility because of endorsement deals he received as a professional skier. He is a world champion in freestyle moguls and a 2002 Olympian.

    Officials of the NCAA called Bloom's endorsements willful violations of the rules, unlike similar cases that were deemed misunderstandings. They insisted Bloom had a fair hearing and every opportunity to state his side.

    "In the NCAA, the judgment of the dispute is formed exclusively within the organization by their own members," Bloom told the House Judiciary Committee's panel on the Constitution. "They're the judge, the jury and the executioner."

    Bloom's two-year fight with the NCAA came to an end two weeks before the regular season, when an NCAA panel turned down his final appeal to play football. NCAA rules allow athletes to accept salaries as professionals in other sports, but they aren't allowed to accept money from sponsors.

    Jo Potuto, vice chairwoman of the NCAA's Committee on Infractions, said the organizing body for college sports gives student athletes due process as required by the Constitution. This is done, she said, despite court decisions that have rejected arguments that the NCAA is a "state actor" and therefore subject to these requirements.

    "An even playing field means more than an evenhanded and consistent application of the rules on the field," Potuto said. "It also means an evenhanded and consistent application of the rules off the field."

    Although Bloom's case got the most attention at the hearing, the larger question of whether Congress should tell the NCAA how it should investigate and adjudicate violations of association rules struck a personal chord with many members of the House panel.

    Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus called the hearing after the NCAA imposed sanctions against two major college athletic programs in his home state of Alabama.

    More than two years ago, the University of Alabama's football program was placed on probation, banned from bowl games and stripped of scholarships for recruiting violations.

    This year, Auburn's basketball program was slapped with probation and a loss of a scholarship amid charges that an AAU coach improperly acted as a representative of the university by arranging to wire money to one high school prospect and get a car for another.

    Bachus didn't bring up the Alabama or Auburn cases during questioning, but he accused the NCAA of trying to "poison the atmosphere" by citing the cases in an NCAA news...
    -09-15-2004, 10:10 AM
  • DJRamFan
    NCAA permits use of Seminoles nickname by Florida State
    by DJRamFan
    Aug. 23, 2005
    CBS wire reports

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The NCAA will allow Florida State to use its Seminoles nickname in postseason play, removing the school from a list of colleges with American Indian nicknames that were restricted by an NCAA decision earlier this month.

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    The NCAA said it was recognizing the relationship Florida State has long enjoyed with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which assists the university with its pageantry and celebration of its culture and supports the school's use of its name.

    "The staff review committee noted the unique relationship between the university and the Seminole Tribe of Florida as a significant factor," NCAA senior vice president Bernard Franklin said in a statement released Tuesday. "The decision of a namesake sovereign tribe, regarding when and how its name and imagery can be used, must be respected even when others may not agree."

    Florida State president T.K. Wetherell had threatened to sue the NCAA immediately after its Aug. 5 announcement that the school's highly visible nickname, "Seminoles," was defined as "hostile and abusive" by a committee.

    "The two things we requested in our appeal were granted," Wetherell said. "I'm ready to play football, start school and have classes begin and all that kind of stuff."

    Lee Hinkle, vice president for university relations, said the school e-mailed 250,000 alumni and friends of the NCAA decision.

    "I don't think anything has brought them together quite as much as this," said Wetherell. "Whether you're a Gator, Hurricane or Bulldog, those entities believe it's a Florida decision."

    Gov. Jeb Bush also applauded the NCAA's reversal.

    "When you make a mistake it's important to realize it and move on," Bush said. "They came to the right conclusion ... the Seminole mascot and the tradition at Florida State, is not offensive to anyone."

    The NCAA said it would handle reviews from other schools on a case-by-case basis. The Illinois Fighting Illini, Utah Utes and North Dakota Fighting Sioux are among other prominent school nicknames that remain affected by the edict.

    Utah athletic director Chris Hill said the school is expecting a similar ruling on its appeal. The university is working on its appeal with the Ute tribe and it should be filed within a week or two, he said.

    "We want to do it as fast as possible, but we want to do everything thorough," Hill said. "We felt all along that we would get a favorable...
    -08-24-2005, 08:05 PM
  • DJRamFan
    NCAA says it will review appeals of nickname policy
    by DJRamFan
    Aug. 19, 2005
    CBS wire reports

    INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA said Friday that approval from American Indian tribes would be a primary factor in deciding appeals from schools that want to use Native American nicknames and mascots in postseason play.


    The first review is scheduled to start next week.

    Two weeks ago, the NCAA announced that it would ban the use of American Indian imagery and nicknames by school representatives at postseason tournaments starting in February. Mascots will not be allowed to perform at tournament games, and band members and cheerleaders will also be barred from using Indian images on their uniforms beginning in 2008.

    The decision also prohibits schools with American Indian mascots from hosting future NCAA postseason events. Schools that have already been awarded postseason tournaments would have to cover any Indian depictions in their sports venues.

    Major college football will not be affected because there is no official NCAA tournament.

    All appeals will go through a staff committee chaired by Bernard Franklin, the NCAA's senior vice president for governance and membership. Decisions could then be reviewed by the NCAA's executive committee.

    "This is a complex issue and the circumstances surrounding each institution's use of Native American mascots and imagery is different," Franklin said in a written statement. "Each review will be considered on the unique aspects and circumstances as it relates to the specific use and practice at that college or university."

    One factor will be whether documentation exists from a "namesake" tribe that has approved use of Indian images or nicknames.

    The most outspoken university officials have been at Florida State, which uses the nickname Seminoles and has already threatened a lawsuit. The Seminole Tribe of Florida announced in June it supported the use of its tribal name by Florida State. And the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma recently stated that it does not condemn Florida State for its use of the Seminole nickname.

    But NCAA officials said Florida State was put on the list because otherJWe¼knole tribes were opposed.

    At least 18 schools face sanctions.

    "It is vitally important that we maintain a balance between the interests of a particular Native American tribe and the NCAA's responsibility to ensure an atmosphere of respect and sensitivity for all who attend and participate in our championships," NCAA President Myles Brand said in a written statement.

    "We recognize that there are many points of view associated with this issue and we also know that some Native American groups support the use of mascots and imagery and some do not; that is why...
    -08-19-2005, 03:23 PM