North Atlantic Conference to sponsor football in 2009
North Atlantic Conference Commissioner Julie Muller has announced that the NAC will add football as a conference sport beginning in fall 2009. Joining full conference member Husson College (Bangor, Maine) are five associate members: Becker College (Leicester, Mass.), Gallaudet University (Washington, D.C.), Maritime College State University of New York (Throggs Neck, N.Y.), Mount Ida College (Newton, Mass.), and Norwich University (Northfield, Vt.).
“The NAC is delighted that student athletes will soon have the opportunity to participate in non-scholarship intercollegiate football at the NCAA Division III level,” said Castleton State College President Dave Wolk.
“The unanimous vote of the Presidents of the Conference signifies the wide acceptance of long established as well as recently organized football programs, with the brand of strong competition, academic focus and good sportsmanship that has characterized our other NAC programs."
The conference, which currently sponsors 14 sports and has been an NCAA Division III conference since 1996, will sponsor a full, round robin schedule with a season concluding playoff game. With six playing members, the conference will not immediately be eligible for an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Football Championship.
Five of the six institutions are playing an independent schedule this season and next, with Norwich competing in the Empire 8, until all six institutions come together in 2009. In addition to scheduling benefits, the conference will provide a full awards program including weekly and post-season honors.
“As with each of our conference sponsored sports, the NAC is committed to providing positive and competitive opportunities for our football student-athletes,” said Commissioner Julie Muller. “We look forward to a positive affiliation with each of our new associate members and welcome them to the North Atlantic Conference.”