June 8, 2012
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The Patriot League Council of Presidents has approved women's golf as the 24th championship sport in the conference beginning in 2012-13, and also endorsed initiatives for football and basketball at their meeting on Monday and Tuesday at the University Club in New York City.
In addition, in a joint session with athletic directors on Monday, the Council discussed the national collegiate landscape and conference realignment, trends in intercollegiate athletics and positioning and advancement of the Patriot League.
The Patriot League will hold its first Women's Golf Championship in the spring of 2013, with the format and date for the event still to be determined. Bucknell University, Lehigh University and College of the Holy Cross are Patriot League members who currently field varsity women's golf programs.
The Council discussed a number of football initiatives, most notably the reinstatement of Fordham's eligibility for the Patriot League's automatic berth to the NCAA Division I Football Championship. The Rams will become eligible for the Patriot League Championship and NCAA automatic qualification spot beginning in the 2014 season. Fordham's games against Patriot League members will not count towards the final League standings for each of the next two seasons. The Rams have been ineligible for the Patriot League title since awarding athletic merit aid to the class entering in the fall of 2010, which was against Patriot League policy. The Council of Presidents approved in February a change in policy that allows athletic merit aid for football student-athletes beginning with the class entering in the fall of 2013.
While Fordham will remain ineligible for the Patriot League title, its student-athletes will be eligible for all Patriot League awards beginning with the 2012 season. This includes All-Patriot League, Academic All-Patriot League and weekly award honors as well as the inaugural Preseason All-Patriot League Team in the summer.
The Council of Presidents also acted on recommendations from the athletic directors related to football program management and roster size. The maximum team roster size for preseason camp and regular season will be set at 95 student-athletes in 2013, 92 for 2014 and 2015 and 90 beginning with the 2016 season.
The Patriot League will implement a basketball replay system that will be installed at each institution and used for all men and women's home games starting in the 2012-13 season. The Council of Presidents approved the funding from League resources for the basketball replay system.
In addition to passing Patriot League legislation, the Council of Presidents heard reports on a number of League items. Their discussions included the Patriot League Leadership Academy, sports medicine initiatives related to concussions and cognitive recovery, a report from a survey on missed class time for practice the day before competition and highlights of the outstanding achievements for Patriot League teams and student-athletes throughout the 2011-12 season.
"We had a very productive and action-oriented meeting at the conclusion of an outstanding year for the Patriot League," said Executive Director Carolyn Schlie Femovich. "The Council passed important initiatives to strengthen the Patriot League while engaging in earnest discussions on items involving the conference and collegiate athletics."
The Patriot League Council of Presidents holds two annual meetings, one in December and another in June.