EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


February 16, 2013

UMass Lowell celebrates move to Div. 1

With several hundred students, faculty, staff, alumni and fans in attendance, the UMass Lowell announced all of its athletic teams will be Division I members as of July 1, 2013. With the move, the River Hawks will join America East, a conference featuring many of the University’s peer institutions.

“All throughout the membership evaluation process, our conference’s leadership has stressed the importance of finding peer institutions with similar profiles and an infrastructure of strong academics, competitive athletics programs and outstanding facilities,” says America East Commissioner Amy Huchthausen. “UMass Lowell has those assets and will strengthen America East in all facets.”

The university community, including the faculty and student govenment, as well as the UMass Board of Trustees all approved the action. According a study done by a 32-person committee, America East not only had the third-highest Academic Progress Rate in Div. 1 but it features schools similar to UMass Lowell’s size, teams and academic focus.

The America East Board of Presidents, the University Faculty Senate Executive Committee and Student Government Association all approved the shift unanimously.

“This is about the academics of this institution,” Chancellor Marty Meehan said. “This is about where we’ve been and where we’re going as an institution. You’re associated by those teams you play, and those universities that are a part of your league. And we belong in America East.”

The University will elevate 14 of its teams to Division I and add men’s and women’s lacrosse in the next few years. Men’s ice hockey will remain in Division I Hockey East. While the shifted teams will not be eligible for postseason play while they complete the four-year NCAA reclassification, student athletes and coaches are excited for the changes.

“At first I was nervous,” says Margaret McSpiritt, a junior civil engineering major on the women’s soccer team. “But I want to be a part of this change and now I’m excited to play in Division I. I’m looking forward to getting more practice time with the team, traveling, playing at different levels of competition and the challenging games ahead.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
Redskins show solidarity with Ferguson protesters Is Taney a team of destiny? Taney Dragons wins in walk-off comback fashion Coach Rice has full confidence in Davis vs. Nevada SNC Minute: Maclin tweaks hamstring; Phils lose Bottalico: Giles 'has the makings of a closer' McCarthy and Stairs recap Phils' 3rd straight loss Training Camp Central: Eagles brave the weather in Foxborough Shady and Chip on 2000 yard season 3 takeaways from Eagles' joint practice in Foxborough Checking for Charity Hockey Tournament begins August 14th What are Eagles' options if Maclin goes down again? Mosher: Maclin disappointed after tweaking hamstring Boomer: Johnny Manziel still has a lot to learn College Football Preview: Breaking down the ACC Boomer: Are training camp fights good for a team? Luis Suarez's 4-Month Ban Upheld ... Reality Bites! - @TheBuzzeronFOX Eagles react to joint practice with Patriots Phils lose to Angels after 6th-inning blowup Bottalico: 6th inning was 'flat out ugly'
Boston Sports
Redskins show solidarity with Ferguson protesters Farrell: Bradley, Jr. sent to ‘maintain adjustments’ Farrell: ‘A ‘neighborhood play’ is not a reviewable play’ Bogaerts: ‘I knew he was safe if they replayed it’ Fans Excited For Patriots Preseason Kickoff Curran: Brady, Mallett & Garoppolo expected to play tomorrow Pedro Martinez on Lester: “I would like to see him come back’ Greeting from Foxboro: What to look for in Patriots-Eagle preseason game Pedro, Clemens and Nomar on the honor of joining Red Sox Hall of Fame Boomer: Johnny Manziel still has a lot to learn College Football Preview: Breaking down the ACC Boomer: Are training camp fights good for a team? Luis Suarez's 4-Month Ban Upheld ... Reality Bites! - @TheBuzzeronFOX Volin: Eagles vs Patriots may be a Superbowl preview Curran: Breaking down the Patriots Camp battles McAdam: Predicting Red Sox potential 2015 starting rotation Shawn Thornton hosts annual ‘Putts and Punches’ for Parkinson’s Golf tournament ‘Crystal Ball’-Who will be the Red Sox best starter in 2015? Curran: Mallett missing from practice, Gronk returns to practice Americans in the English Premier League