June 5, 2009
Center Valley, Pa. - Fordham has notified the Patriot League that it will begin awarding athletic scholarships to its football class entering in the fall of 2010. As a result, the Patriot League Football Presidents have endorsed an agreement with Fordham wherein the Rams will continue their association with the League but will be ineligible for the Patriot League title and automatic playoff berth beginning that season, announced Patriot League Executive Director Carolyn Schlie Femovich on Friday.
Fordham will remain as an associate member in the Patriot League, and will continue to be eligible for the League title and automatic playoff berth in the 2009 season. The Rams will be included in the League schedule through 2012, though their games against Patriot League members will not count in the League standings. Fordham will still follow the same academic and eligibility requirements as other League members.
"There is strong desire both on the part of Fordham and the Patriot League to continue our long-standing relationship," said Bucknell President Brian C. Mitchell, the Chair of the Patriot League Council of Presidents. "The interim arrangement we have agreed to will allow Fordham to begin to award scholarships in football while affording the League time to address merit aid for football and broader issues related to membership expansion. This issue comes at a very difficult financial time on all of our campuses."
The Patriot League Council of Presidents will continue to discuss the competitive and financial implications of athletic merit aid for the League football membership as well as the long-term goals of the League. It is anticipated that a decision will be made no later than the end of 2010.
Fordham's eligibility for the League title and inclusion in the standings in future years will be evaluated pending the decision on athletic scholarships for all League members. Patriot League members are permitted to offer scholarships in the League's other 22 sports.