/notables/2015/04/newmac-adds-football

New shuffle begins as NEWMAC adds football


By Pat Coleman
D3sports.com

The new-look New Jersey Athletic Conference and Empire 8 take the field this upcoming fall in Division III football. But before the rubber pellets settle, there will be a new set of conference changes coming.

The New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference, which has 11 members, eight of whom have undergraduate men's programs, has announced it will sponsor football starting with the 2017 season.

The current NEWMAC schools with football are Coast Guard, Springfield, MIT and WPI, which gives the conference the four core members necessary to even begin pursuing an automatic bid. The conference will be adding Maine Maritime, Merchant Marine and Norwich as affiliates in football in order to reach the seven necessary for an automatic bid.

"It gives me great pleasure to officially welcome Maine Maritime, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and Norwich University to the NEWMAC as associate members in the sport (of football)," NEWMAC Executive Director Patrick Summers said in a conference news release. "It has been a pleasure working with these institutions and the NEWMAC administrators to establish NEWMAC football. It was clear that their desire to uphold the NEWMAC's dedication to both academic and athletic excellence was sincere and made them ideal fit as pioneering members of this sport."

With those three affiliate members, and a two-year waiting period, the NEWMAC would be eligible for an automatic bid as soon as 2019.

Losing Merchant Marine, Springfield and WPI will leave the Liberty League short of the seven teams necessary to retain its automatic bid. Coast Guard, a former LL member, currently plays football in the New England Football Conference, as do Maine Maritime and MIT, and losing those two teams would drop the NEFC to five teams, two short of an automatic bid if nothing changes before 2019. Norwich leaving the ECFC leaves that conference with seven teams.

The NEFC had announced a split back in 2012, with its eyes on getting two automatic bids for its then-16 members. The NEFC's eight teams retained that automatic qualifier, while the nine teams that split off to form the MASCAC have finished their two-year waiting period and will get their first AQ this fall. 

The University of New England is adding football, with an announced startup date of "as early as the fall of 2017." The remaining five schools in the NEFC are all also members of the Commonwealth Coast Conference, and the CCC could do the same thing the NEWMAC has just announced.

The 2017 lineup, as it stands right now, for affected conferences:

ECFC Liberty League NEFC NEWMAC
Anna Maria Hobart Curry Coast Guard
Becker Rochester Endicott MIT
Castleton RPI Nichols Springfield
Gallaudet Union Salve Regina WPI
Husson St. Lawrence Western New England Maine Maritime
Mount Ida
  Merchant Marine
SUNY-Maritime     Norwich
No change in AQ status. Would lose AQ in 2019. Would lose AQ in 2019. Would gain AQ in 2019.
       

If no further changes occur, this lineup could actually slightly alleviate the automatic bid crunch that is beginning to hit Division III football. The MASCAC will get an automatic bid for the first time this fall, as will the Southern Athletic Association. That will mean 25 of the 32 teams in the playoff field will be automatic bids.

In 2019, however, the Liberty League and NEFC would each lose their football automatic bids when the NEWMAC receives its bid. However, they could retain access to the playoffs as at-large teams, or the conferences could cooperate to form a 10-team football league under the Liberty League, Commonwealth Coast Conference or New England Football Conference banner and retain an automatic bid.

Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, Norwich, Springfield and WPI have shared a conference in football before. They were members of the Freedom Football Conference (along with Plymouth State and Western Connecticut) up until the end of the 2003 season, when they split to join already-existing conferences. For Coast Guard, this will be its fourth football affiliation since the automatic bid era began in Division III football in 1999.

Nov. 17: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Western New England at Frostburg State
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Husson at RPI
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Lycoming at Franklin and Marshall
Video Preview Live stats
12:00 PM
MIT at Johns Hopkins
Video Video Live stats Live stats
12:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at John Carroll
Video Preview Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Denison at Mount Union
Video Preview Preview Live stats Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
St. Norbert at Trine
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Merchant Marine at Endicott
Video Preview Preview Live stats
12:00 PM
Wesley at Westminster (Pa.)
Video Preview Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Framingham State at Brockport
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Alfred at Salisbury
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Salve Regina at Bridgewater State
Video Preview Live stats
12:00 PM
Washington and Jefferson at Centre
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Delaware Valley
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Ursinus at Misericordia
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Stevenson at Susquehanna
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Bridgewater
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Allen at Brevard
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Geneva at Carnegie Mellon
Video Preview Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Hanover at North Central (Ill.)
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Springfield
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Morrisville State at Grove City
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Utica at Ithaca
@ Cornell University - Schoellkopf Field
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Audio
1:00 PM
Eureka at UW-Whitewater
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Wartburg at Bethel
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Martin Luther at St. John's
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Ferrum at Averett
Video Live stats
3:00 PM
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Whitworth
Video Live stats Audio
Nov. 17: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Western New England at Frostburg State
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
MIT at Johns Hopkins
Video Video Live stats Live stats
12:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at John Carroll
Video Preview Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Denison at Mount Union
Preview Preview Live stats Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
St. Norbert at Trine
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Framingham State at Brockport
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Washington and Jefferson at Centre
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Delaware Valley
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Hanover at North Central (Ill.)
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Audio
1:00 PM
Eureka at UW-Whitewater
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Wartburg at Bethel
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Martin Luther at St. John's
Video Live stats Audio
3:00 PM
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Whitworth
Video Live stats Audio