Boston University will be barred from the 2013 America East tournament, following its announcement that it will be moving to the Patriot League next summer, the Albany Times-Union is reporting.
“We are extremely disappointed in this decision, especially since it impacts our student-athletes,” Boston University athletic director Mike Lynch told the paper. “However, as we always do, we will face this challenge head on, band together, and make this a memorable year for BU athletics.”
According to an update from the report, though, the league says Boston was aware of the sanction when it announced its move to the Patriot League.
“While this situation presents unfortunate circumstances for all involved, the Board of Presidents believes it must act in the best interests of the remaining eight institutions who are committed to advancing the league, including the thousands of student-athletes that compete for those schools today and in the future,” America East spokesman Sean Tainsh told the Times-Union in an e-mail.
“The remaining institutions deserve to be given every opportunity to be crowned America East champions as the league moves forward together.”
The winner of the America East tournament gets an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament, which means that BU would have to qualify for an at-large spot to take part in the 2013 NCAA tournament.
Though the move may seem purely reactive, it’s a sort of insurance that a league can have for departing members, and we’ve seen it done before.
The CAA, losing Georgia State to the Sun Belt and Old Dominion to Conference USA next season, has barred those two schools from its conference tournament for this upcoming season.
As the Times-Union notes, Northeastern was allowed to take part in the league’s conference tournament in 2005 after announcing it would be leaving for the CAA, but a league spokesperson says the bylaw was changed as a reaction to Northeastern’s move.