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Archive for June 19, 2007

June 19, 2007 — LeMoyne, in purgatory

One of the great stories about the 2007 women’s lacrosse post-season was the fact that little LeMoyne College, a school of about 2,000 people located on the north side of Syracuse, N.Y., had made it into the NCAA Tournament field. The school’s baseball team also made it into the Division I tournament.

And coincidentally, the two teams are the only ones who play an NCAA Division I schedule; all the rest of the school’s teams are in Division II.

But over the weekend, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference made a move to require all athletic teams in its member schools to play Division I sports. It is a move, given LeMoyne’s size, that effectively kicks them out of the conference. LeMoyne had been an affiliate member in lacrosse since 1999, and in baseball since 1990.

I find this extremely odd, given the performance MAAC schools have had in NCAA Tournaments in the recent past. Aside from the Marist women’s basketball team and Rider’s baseball team, when was the last time you saw one of these small schools, cut in a curved ribbon from Buffalo to southern Connecticut to Baltimore, doing anything? (Loyola women’s lacrosse of 2003 doesn’t count; Diane Geppi-Aikens’ Greyhounds played an independent schedule that year after leaving the Colonial Athletic Association).

I wonder if another conference would like to take on LeMoyne as a member — even one as strong as, say, the American Lacrosse Conference?