An unexpected participant in the saga that is conference realignment is America East, which found out during Stony Brook baseball’s run to the College World Series that Boston University was leaving for the Patriot League.
And with the CAA expected to add members at some point in the future to make up for their losses, it remains to be seen what the next move will be.
With that in mind realignment was one of the major topics of discussion at the recent meeting of America East administrators in Maryland.
The league and its members have been quiet about the nature of the discussions, but it’s likely a safe assumption that possible expansion options came up with America East dropping to eight members in 2013.
“Conference membership is front and center at every conference meeting that we are in and for every conference that competes in NCAA athletics at the Division I level, with the exception of the Ivy League,” said athletics director Steve Abbott of University of Maine.
“Every meeting, it is discussed. We live in a very tumultuous era,” Abbott said. “College athletics has never experienced anything like this, where longstanding relationships are not holding these conferences together.”
So where does America East look? That’s the question that remains to be answered (NEC?), and it may be one we don’t have an answer to until the CAA makes its move.
In America East news that’s far more concrete the league has decided to get rid of the scheduling guidelines that made it difficult on teams to fill out their schedules.
While there was some success in limiting the number of low RPI opponents (the league finish 16th in league RPI in 2008-09), America East has found itself in the mid- to high-20s in each of the last three seasons.
If something isn’t working why continue to do it? The league’s representative in the 2009 tournament, Binghamton, was a 15-seed in spite of the conference’s RPI ranking.
The move towards scheduling more in accordance to what the NCAA requires should help America East teams from a scheduling standpoint.