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Thursday, September 27, 2007

NEW combo story on possible NEC football bid to FCS and expansion - with new info on NJIT/Bryant status - if accepted

This may run in Friday Press

Final NCAA approval of a 2008 automatic qualifying avenue to the FCS (formerly 1-AA)
football playoffs for a Northeast Conference football champion could take place next spring
according to Ron Ratner, NEC Associate Commissioner.

Ratner said football bracket expansion was one of the key issues tackled by the NCAA
Championships/Competition Cabinet last week.

""With near unanimous support, the Cabinet voted to place football bracket expansion from
16 to 18 teams as its number one funding priority,'' said Ratner.

""This would establish an opening round of competition featuring two games the week before
the first round of the playoffs.

""With additional conferences on the road to meeting AQ (automatic qualifier) requirements,
the door was also left open by the Cabinet for discussions on further expansion of the bracket
down the line.''

He said the recommendation now will receive further study and prioritization within the
full NCAA budget, and finally go to the NCAA Board of Directors for approval in its April

""If this goes though the NEC will have an automatic bid in some form in 2008, and one
additional at large berth will be added,'' said Ratner.

Until now the FCS had been locked into a 16-team playoff with eight automatic bids which
annually left the NEC waiting in vain for its champion to receive an at-large berth.

""The other question is how the playoff would be formatted and that's something that hasn't
ever really been tackled yet,'' said Ratner.

He said the two additional games would be construed as an opening round where the winners
would feed into the 16 team bracket.

"Off the top of my head, the NEC could be one of those four teams in the opening round or
be placed into the (16-team) field depending on how the playoff is structured,'' Ratner said.

''It's a huge step forward for the NEC,'' said Kevin Callahan, Monmouth coach. ""The fact
that the NEC will have an automatic bid in 2008 is tremendous for the conference.''

Possible NEC expansion (contains NEW info)

Ratner said NJIT in Newark and Bryant College, a Division II school in Smithfield, R.I.,
have applied for membership to the NEC and that league presidents ""could vote'' on the matter
at an Oct. 17 meeting.

NJIT's major sports include men's and women's basketball and soccer, as well as baseball,
while Bryant also has football and has been a Division II power in men's lacrosse which the
NEC would then sponsor.

Ratner said NJIT is already Division I in soccer.

this new info also from Ratner

If accepted, NJIT would begin competing in NEC regular season competition in 2008-09. Men's and women's soccer would be immediately eligible for NEC and NCAA Tournament competition. All other sports could compete in the postseason and be eligible for the NCAA Tournament in 2009-10.

If accepted, Bryant would have the option of competing in NEC regular season competition in 2008-09, or could choose to begin in 2009-10. Bryant would be eligible to for NEC and NCAA Tournament competition in 2012-13.

Football notes
When Monmouth running back David Sinsi tries to extend his current NCAA all divisions streak
of scoring a touchdown to 16 consecutive games Saturday at No. 12 Delaware (4-0) he'll be
facing the No. 4 ranked rushing defense in the FCS which is allowing 80 yards per game and has
yielded three rushing touchdowns. Ironcially, Monmouth is No. 22 in the nation in total
defense and Delaware No. 23 ....Wide receivers Troy Yudin and Steve Dowens (Middletown South)
set career marks in receptions last week at Stony Brook, with Yudin making four catches and
Dowens five.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you think Monmouth has to do Sat. against Delaware to win the game?

3:53 PM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Well...stay away from turnovers, capitalize on any Delaware makes, (unlike last week), and use the clock..and even with that it'll probably be tough..

6:05 PM, September 27, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well ,its just great to be playing Delaware !!!! No matter what happens Monmouth is moving forward and every game they play vs better , bigger programs will only help recruit better players in the long run. GO HAWKS

9:19 PM, September 27, 2007  

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