Thursday, December 13, 2012

MAAC adds 3 NEC Schools

In a move that has been expected since December 3, the MAAC will make it official on Friday in adding Quinnipiac, Monouth and Wagner. The schools will replace the departed Loyola (joining the Patriot League) and further expand the conference to 12 members.
The loss of the three schools from the Northeast Conference will drop their membership from 12 to 9 members. They will likely opt to remain at 9 or add a single school to expand to 10. N.J.I.T. is the only current Division 1 candidate that could instantly fill that position. The NEC might also consider potential regional Division 2 upgrades as candidates.
For the MAAC, the move to 12 should provide some security in the even that through conference realignment in other conferences, that they would lose too many future members. MAAC schools could always be future A10 replacements depending on what happens with the Big East non-football schools.
For the NEC, at their current 9 or with a new addition like NJIT at 10 members, their likely only fear would come if the America East conference were to opt to expand. But unless that were to happen with more than 2 schools leaving the NEC, the conference would likely be able to remain stable.
Monmouth and Wagner are expected to remain in the NEC for football as associate members. The NEC already includes associate member Duquesne, which is in the Atlantic 10 for other sports. With the loss of Albany football to the CAA and with Rhode Island opting to remain in the CAA rather than join the NEC, NEC football would still remain at 8 members.