|Alfred State has struggled in football since becoming a four-year school, and the athletic department had to repeat the first year of NCAA Division III provisional status. ASC is not currently eligible to count as a D-III member for purposes of securing an automatic bid, even under new legislation approved at the NCAA convention.
Alfred State athletics photo
The Eastern Collegiate Football Conference is pleased to announce the addition of Alfred State and Dean College as members beginning with the 2017 season.
Alfred State is a provisional member of Division III, transitioning from junor college ranks and following the path set forth by the NCAA for full membership status. Dean has yet to start its Division III provisional membership.
"We are thrilled to welcome Alfred State and Dean to the ECFC after unanimous approval from the conference presidents and athletic directors," chair of the ECFC Athletic Directors Council Matt Burke said. "The addition of these two programs helps the ECFC continue to be a competitive football conference with institutions committed to providing a high quality student-athlete experience."
The additions coincide with the departures of Becker, which will join the Commonwealth Coast Conference, and Norwich, which joins the New England Men's and Women's Athletic Conference for the 2017 season.
Alfred State has competed with ECFC members Castleton and Husson in previous seasons, and is slated to square off with Dean and Husson in 2016. "I want to thank the membership of the ECFC for their due diligence in this process," said Kelly Higgins, athletic director at Alfred State. "The ECFC is a great fit for us competitively; it gives our student-athletes an immediate opportunity to be recognized for their athletic, academic, and personal achievements on the conference level, and gives our team the opportunity to participate in NCAA championships."
Dean is slated to take on Alfred State as well as Husson in 2016, its expected first season of NCAA Division III competition. "Being accepted into a conference is a big step for the program and the college," said Dean athletic director Todd Vasey. "It stabilizes our schedule each year and creates some immediate rivalries in the region."
The ECFC will maintain its automatic qualifier to the NCAA playoffs, granted to the conference champion each season, presuming Alfred State or Dean are moved into the third year of NCAA provisional status by 2019. Alfred State was held back once already. New legislation approved at the NCAA convention earlier this month allows conferences to count provisional members toward the seven needed for an automatic bid.
Here's how the affected conferences in the East and South Region are tracking in terms of membership in 2017.
|ECFC||Liberty League||CCC (former NEFC)||NEWMAC||ODAC|
||Emory & Henry|
||St. Lawrence||W. New England
|Mount Ida||UNE in 2018||Merchant Marine
||Washington & Lee|
in AQ status. *
|Would lose AQ in 2019.||No change in AQ status.||Would gain AQ in 2019.||No change in AQ status.|
|* not yet provisional D3 member|