The America East Conference issued the following statement yesterday morning regarding Stony Brook University’s eligibility to participate in Conference championships:
The America East Conference Board of Presidents has determined that in accordance with longstanding conference legislation, Stony Brook University is ineligible to participate in all America East Championships for the remainder of its tenure as a conference member, effective immediately.
At the request of Stony Brook, the Board of Presidents reconsidered this matter late last week but unanimously reaffirmed their decision to uphold Conference Constitution Article 3.4 (b), which states that upon notice of an institution’s intention to withdraw from America East, the institution’s teams become ineligible, on a date to be determined by the remaining members of the Board of Presidents, to compete for Conference championships.
Article 3.4 (b) was enacted in 2005, at which time Stony Brook was a conference member and supported the decision. It was enforced during the 2012-13 academic year when Boston University withdrew from the conference, the only other instance a member institution has departed for another Division I conference since the article was enacted. Stony Brook was aware of Article 3.4 (b) as it made its decision to announce its withdrawal, and such a provision is not unique to America East. Several other Division I conferences have similar provisions, including one that was recently upheld with a departing member.
This decision was not made lightly, and the Board of Presidents recognizes that some may disagree with it. The Conference has an obligation to prioritize the remaining members who are committed to the league’s advancement and the student-athletes who compete at those institutions, now and in the future.
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