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Sunday, January 21, 2007

MU Football: NEC to add Duquesne as football member in 2008/official announcement due Monday

This from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Sunday, January 21, 2007

By Phil Axelrod, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Duquesne University is expected to announce tomorrow that its football team will move into the NCAA Division I-AA Northeast Conference, most likely beginning in 2008, and will offer athletic scholarships for the first time.

There also are plans to renovate Rooney Field to include a new office complex to house coaches for the football and soccer programs, locker rooms, permanent seating and improvements in the press box.

Duquesne athletic director Greg Amodio did not return phone calls.

Ron Ratner, the NEC associate commissioner of communications, refused to comment yesterday.

The schools in the NEC started to offer athletic scholarships in 2006, with a maximum of 30 allowed in the program at one time. Robert Morris, a member of the NEC, gave out the equivalent of 10 full scholarships to its freshman class.

Some I-AA schools, such as Youngstown State, offer the maximum of 63 permitted by the NCAA.

Though I-AA still is the most common term used by the media for schools right below Division I, the NCAA officially has re-named that level the Football Championship Sub-Division.

Robert Morris and Saint Francis, Pa., are in the NEC, along with Monmouth, Albany, Central Connecticut State, Sacred Heart and Wagner.

Monmouth was the 2006 champion of the NEC, which began in 1996. Pioneer League champion San Diego defeated Monmouth, 27-7, in the inaugural Gridiron Classic in December.

Robert Morris shared the NEC championship in 1996 and 1998 and won it outright in 1997, 1999 and 2000. Saint Francis never has won a title.

Duquesne will compete this upcoming season in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, a non-scholarship league reduced to five teams that provides financial aid based only on need. The Dukes shared the 2006 championship and have won or shared eight consecutive titles and 10 of the past 12. Their 39-game win streak against league opponents ended with a 17-13 loss to Iona this past season.

The Dukes have a 73-8 record in 13 seasons in the MAAC.

In addition to Duquesne, the MAAC is comprised of Marist, Iona, La Salle and St. Peter's.

Duquesne junior wide receiver Bruce Hocker was co-offensive player of the year this past season and senior defensive end Michael Hall defensive player of the year. The Dukes' Jerry Schmitt was coach of the year for the second consecutive season.

From me: it's a done deal!



Blogger muhawkfan said...

Hey Tony

Do you have an idea who we play this up coming season? Also who is still in the N.E.C. IF there is still an N.E.C.

12:49 PM, January 22, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

It appears there will be an NEC for the forseeable future (no one other than Stonybrook has left far as I know) as it strives to gain the D1-AA automatic qualifer for the post season.

I don't know about a MAAC!

MU has only three home games so far in 2007 ..ouch. Wagner, Albany, RMU..who they visited this year.

They are trying to work on another home game or two.

Supposedly they have road games at Lafayette, Delaware, and St. Peter's..though there seems to be some question (at least posted by a blogger) about whether they are playing Lafayette. I will be talking to KC this afternoon and will add any updates here.

12:57 PM, January 22, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

It doesn't look like they are playing Lafayette, according to that school's 2007 schedule anyway. Will check that out with KC.

1:24 PM, January 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Football plays such a tough schedule. Football fans insist football is better than hoops, but they play a cupckae schedule.

2:14 PM, January 22, 2007  
Blogger muhawkfan said...

The last post, could someone please try an break that down for me. Sorry but it don't make much sense.

7:35 PM, January 22, 2007  

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