/notables/2016/01/ecfc-gains-two-members

ECFC gains two members

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
Alfred State Hobart Becker Catholic Bridgewater
Anna Maria
Ithaca Curry
Coast Guard
Emory & Henry
Castleton
Rochester Endicott
MIT
Guilford
Dean *
RPI Nichols
Springfield
Hampden-Sydney
Gallaudet
Union Salve Regina
WPI
Randolph-Macon
Husson
St. Lawrence W. New England
Maine Maritime
Shenandoah
Mount Ida   UNE in 2018 Merchant Marine
Washington & Lee
SUNY-Maritime     Norwich  
No change
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       
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Sep. 20: All times Eastern
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Maryville (Tenn.) at Washington and Lee
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Muskingum at Wilmington
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Ohio Northern at Otterbein
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Rhodes at Birmingham-Southern
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Carroll at Elmhurst
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Cornell at Beloit
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Lawrence at Lake Forest
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UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
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Mount St. Joseph at Earlham
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Dean at Becker
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N.C. Wesleyan at Bridgewater
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Western Connecticut at Salve Regina
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Plymouth State at Mass-Dartmouth
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Wesleyan at Tufts
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TCNJ at Salisbury
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Manchester at Rose-Hulman
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Thiel at Case Western Reserve
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Baldwin Wallace at Heidelberg
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Berry at Centre
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Kenyon at Wittenberg
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Howard Payne at Hardin-Simmons
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Illinois Wesleyan at Augustana
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Sul Ross State at McMurry
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Millikin at Wheaton (Ill.)
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Grove City at Washington and Jefferson
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Rowan at Frostburg State
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Susquehanna at Franklin and Marshall
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John Carroll at Mount Union
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Ithaca at St. John Fisher
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Carleton at St. John's
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UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
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Kenyon at Wittenberg
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Berry at Centre
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Thiel at Case Western Reserve
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Mary Hardin-Baylor at Texas Lutheran
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Howard Payne at Hardin-Simmons
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Millikin at Wheaton (Ill.)
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Illinois Wesleyan at Augustana
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