The world of college athletics is ever-changing. Conferences and schools seem to be making moves every spring and summer for a variety of reasons. The Northeast Conference is no exception. As the spring season comes to an end, the league has had to add a school to its roster because one had to drop out based on financial reasons. Let’s welcome Le Moyne College to the league while saying goodbye to St. Francis of Brooklyn.
The Le Moyne College Dolphins will be making the jump from Division II to Division I. They will do so with 21 sports in tow. The school is hoping that the jump up a division will help the school get some notice in some bigger markets, not only along the northeast but also along the eastern seaboard. All this while providing their student-athletes with a more challenging schedule to compete in.
According to the school, this decision comes after a 15-month feasibility study that was done by an outside consultant firm. In June of 2022, an ad hoc committee was formed. It was made up of members of the school’s leadership team. Faculty and trustees members were brought together and met on a regular basis to discuss the move. In the end, the committee voted to recommend the move up from D II to D I. The board of trustees did the same. Thus, on July 1 Le Moyne College will begin their stay in the Northeast Conference and also start their four-year reclassification process.
The school has been associated with the Northeast-10 Conference in Division II for the past 27 years. During that time, the Dolphins have won 44 league championships in nine different sports. The school boasts eight National Championships, with seven of them in Men’s Lacrosse (6 titles) and Women’s Lacrosse (one title). Overall, Le Moyne has earned an impressive 135 bids. In the last five years, they have earned 26 of those bids. The school enrolls 2,500 full-time students with another 800 part-time students. For the last 39 years, the grade point average of the student body has been at 3.0 or higher.
While the arrival of Le Moyne College is good news for the Northeast Conference. The loss of St. Francis of Brooklyn is not. Back in late March, athletic director Irma Garcia made the announcement. The decision was made in part due to the lingering effects of Covid-19 on the school. The Terriers sports teams ended up being caught in a numbers game that the school was losing. The revenue stream was flattening out and the cost of running athletic programs was on the rise to go along with enrollment numbers that were shrinking.
The school is not without its highlight moments. The men’s soccer team won the league championship nine times, a league record. They made the NCAA tournament 10 times. The men’s Water Polo team won the ECAC championship seven times and the Collegiate Water Polo Association title 10 times. They also have four Eastern championships and made the NCAA Tournament five times.
The men’s basketball program is the oldest in NY and is one of the four original programs to never make an appearance in March Madness. The Terriers did make the Northeast Conference title game in 2015 losing to Robert Morris. Students have been given the option of staying in school or entering the transfer portal of their sports to find a new place to play and continue their education.
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