Panthers will join new conference in 2013
BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. — A new era in gridiron excitement is set to begin shortly for the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) as football will become the league's newest championship sport beginning with the 2013-14 academic year.
MASCAC Commissioner Angela Baumann announced Thursday that six core conference member institutions: Bridgewater State University, Fitchburg State University, Framingham State University, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Westfield State University and Worcester State University will join with affiliate member institutions Plymouth State University, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Western Connecticut State University to form a nine-team playing league that will kick off conference competition for the 2013 season.
Eight of the nine MASCAC football playing institutions are current members of the New England Football Conference, while Western Connecticut is a current member of the New Jersey Athletic Conference. All nine schools will compete in their current respective conferences during the upcoming 2012 campaign before playing for the inaugural MASCAC title the following season.
"Tradition and competitive excellence have been hallmarks of the MASCAC for over four decades, and the addition of football as a championship sport will undoubtedly add to that tradition," Baumann said. "Our new football league will bring great excitement, enhanced visibility and most importantly, new opportunities for our student-athletes and member institutions going forward."
The MASCAC champion will receive the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Football Championships after the association's mandatory two-year waiting period expires, and all nine football playing institutions will remain eligible for at-large berths during that time.
The MASCAC becomes the sixth football playing conference for institutions competing in New England Division III play, joining the New England Football Conference, the New England Small College Athletic Conference, the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference, the Liberty League and the Empire 8. The MASCAC will now sponsor 17 championships for its member schools, a total which also includes the addition of women's lacrosse in the spring of 2013.
"I share in the great excitement and enthusiasm of our member schools, who have all enjoyed great success, tradition and camaraderie in their current football playing conferences," Baumann said. "I know we are all looking forward to establishing new traditions of success in the years to come."
(Courtesy MASCAC Media Relations)
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