FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 9, 2017
MANSFIELD, Mass. - The Northeast-10 Conference is pleased to announce enhancements to its Men's Ice Hockey programs. The NE10 is the only NCAA DII Conference in the country to sponsor men's ice hockey and is proud to provide opportunities for over 150 student-athletes to continue their hockey-playing career on the intercollegiate level.
Beginning with the 2017-18 season, the NE10 regular season schedule is expanding to 18 games with the addition of scheduling partner Post University, located in Waterbury, Connecticut.
Post joins the Conference as a scheduling partner for the regular season only. With Post's inclusion on the schedule, each team will play a three-game series against each of the other six institutions. The NE10 schedule will annually commence in November and end in February. The Conference will continue to provide the only postseason opportunity for these programs with its annual NE10 Championship in late February.
"Our six member institutions with ice hockey have a rich history of sponsoring the sport. It is important to our membership, and to the full Conference, that the NE10 do whatever it can to support and advocate on behalf of its membership. The expansion of the regular season schedule to include Post and be comprised of a an equal 18-game round robin schedule will provide our teams with the security of knowing they have the majority of their games in place with their DII brethren", said Julie Ruppert, NE10 Commissioner.
Additionally, in October 2016 the NE10, with the full cooperation and support of its member institutions with men's ice hockey, successfully navigated the NCAA governance process to secure a change to NCAA DII pre-enrollment legislation for ice hockey that addressed one major recruiting disparity for the programs relative to Division III and Division I. This legislative change enables NE10 members to recruit all prospective student athletes from the junior hockey ranks in full alignment with their NCAA DI and DIII peers.
Prior to October, prospective student athletes who had participated in a full junior hockey experience had to sit out a year from participation and they lost a season of competition if they chose to attend an NE10 institution with DII hockey. With the change that will be effective with the 2017-18 entering classes, all prospective hockey student athletes who participate in three years of junior hockey can now choose an NE10 program and have their full four year playing career available to them immediately upon enrollment.
In response to this change, Commissioner Ruppert stated, "We are very pleased that our membership's efforts to amend this NCAA legislation was successful. Our Division II ice hockey programs deserve the same equal opportunity to recruit student athletes and fill their class as their DI and DIII peers do. The previous disadvantages were growing increasingly difficult to manage in an environment where their peers were using negative recruiting tactics surrounding the loss of a year of eligibility. These young men are great fits at our DII member institutions and it is great news that they are now given the same opportunity to compete for four years."
ABOUT THE NE10
The NE10 is an association of 15 NCAA Division II colleges and universities located in New England and New York that is committed to supporting balanced academic and athletic opportunities for more than 6,500 student-athletes.
Each year, 4,500 of those student-athletes compete in conference championships in 24 sports, making the NE10 the largest DII conference in the country in terms of sport sponsorship. Leading the way in the classroom, on the field and within the community, the NE10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.