DELHI, NY (11/17/2016)(readMedia)-- SUNY Delhi has joined institutions across New York and New England to form the Northeastern Intercollegiate Athletics Conference (NIAC). The formation of this new conference has become a reality following nearly two years of discussions between more than a dozen institutions.
The NIAC's charter members include SUNY Delhi, Fisher College of Boston, Mass., University of Maine at Fort Kent, Villa Maria College of Buffalo, N.Y., and College of St. Joseph in Rutland, Vt.
SUNY Delhi Director of Athletics Bob Backus, who has been appointed president of the newly-formed NIAC, sees great benefits coming from the new conference. "On behalf of the institutions that worked collectively to form this new and unique athletics alliance, this is an exciting venture that will benefit and expand opportunities for our student athletes," said Backus. "The Northeastern Intercollegiate Athletics Conference inaugural members are looking forward to starting official conference play in the Fall of 2017."
Backus explains that due to the changing landscape of college athletics conference and association affiliations over the past several years, many small college athletics programs throughout New York and New England were without a conference in which to compete. He adds, "Typically, athletic conferences are made up of institutions that all hold the same association affiliation, so the NIAC represents a creative and unique endeavor on the part of the member institutions."
CSJ, Villa Maria, and UMFK are all members of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA), while Fisher College is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). SUNY Delhi holds dual affiliation in the USCAA and the NAIA. It is expected that all member institutions will move towards holding dual affiliation in the NAIA and USCAA in the future.
Member institutions coordinated with the national offices of the NAIA and USCAA with facilitation from Comprehensive Athletics Consulting. The conference hopes to grow its membership to at least eight institutions within the next two years.
Conference tournament dates and locations have been set:
• SUNY Delhi will host the NIAC Championships for Men's and Women's Golf (October 1-3, 2017), Men's and Women's Cross Country (October 28, 2017), Volleyball (October 28-29, 2017), Men's and Women's Tennis (April 21-22, 2018) and Men's and Women's Track and Field (April 28, 2018)
• UMFK will host championships for Men's and Women's Soccer (October 28-29, 2017)
• College of St. Joseph will host championships for Men's and Women's Basketball (February 17-18, 2018)
• Fisher College will host conference championships for Baseball and Softball (April 28-29, 2018)
• Villa Maria College will host the conference championship for Bowling at a date to be determined
For more information about the Northeastern Intercollegiate Athletics Conference, contact Bob Backus at 607-746-4677, firstname.lastname@example.org