Over the past two years the common trend amongst college athletic programs has been conference realignments.
A conference realignment is when an athletic program at a university or college goes from one National Collegiate Athletic Association athletic conference to another.
The most common changes covered by local sports networks usually deal only with big name football schools such as Boise State and West Virginia.
However commonly overlooked, this change is happening in the MAAC as well.
Starting in the 2013-2014 athletic season, Loyola University will be transferring form the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) and joining the Patriot League.
With the exit of Loyola, the MAAC will only be left with 9 schools. The Connecticut Post interviewed Gene Doris, the athletic director here at Fairfield about the possibility of adding a new school into the conference.
Doris commented: “Just to add someone doesn’t make sense. It has to be the right fit.” However, adding another team is not the only giant concern for the MAAC at this point.
A growing rumor surfaced that Fairfield was looking to leave the conference as well. However, in the same interview, Doris mentioned how he spoke to President Jeffrey von Arx, S.J., about the subject and he commented that our school is not seeking a new conference.
Fr. von Arx also stated that the main concern of athletics here at Fairfield is not the conference alignment, but “to become the number one mid-major school in both the state and the region.”
In contrast to the popular jumps in conferences for football related reasons, Loyola doesn’t quite fit that category considering they don’t have a football program. The Connecticut Post commented that the reason for transfer had been due to academic reasons because the Patriot League has one of the highest athlete graduation rates in the country.
Whatever the case may be, Loyola is no longer a part of our conference. Despite being one of our biggest rivals, Fairfield Athletics must still strive to be the best and rename a dominant force in the MAAC.