Old Westbury, N.Y. ‐ Roberts Wesleyan College of Rochester, N.Y., has been formally accepted into the East Coast Conference as a full‐time member beginning with the 2012‐13 academic year, said Edward Guiliano, Ph.D., chair of the East Coast Conference Presidents Council.
The Roberts Wesleyan College Raiders, currently a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), were included in the NCAA Division II membership process this past summer, beginning a three‐year transition period. All Raiders teams will continue as members of the NAIA for the 2011‐12 academic year and will then be "provisional members" of the NCAA and ECC during the 2012‐13 and 2013‐14 years.
Beginning with the fall 2012 season, Roberts Wesleyan will receive all ECC services and participate in ECC sports contests. The Raiders teams will not be eligible for conference or NCAA championships until becoming full Division II members.
"We are pleased to welcome Roberts Wesleyan College into the East Coast Conference," said Dr. Guiliano, president of New York Institute of Technology, on behalf of the ECC Presidents Council. "This is an excellent academic and athletic addition to our conference."
Dr. Guiliano noted that the ECC is committed to providing opportunities for the overall development of student‐athletes as they compete in an expanding, successful athletic conference.
The Raiders currently field 14 varsity athletic teams. Eleven of those – including men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis, and volleyball – will compete in ECC play. Roberts Wesleyan College also sponsors men's golf and men's and women's track and field teams.
"We are thrilled to be moving into this new arena of competition," said Roberts Wesleyan President Dr. John Martin. "We believe that this is a wonderful arrangement not only for us, but also for the other colleges of the East Coast Conference."
He called the move "a significant step forward for athletics at Roberts Wesleyan College."
Dr. Robert Dranoff, ECC commissioner, noted that the conference has been working closely with Roberts Wesleyan Director of Athletics Mike Faro and his staff members for many months.
"Roberts Wesleyan has a long, successful tradition in intercollegiate athletics in many of the sports we now sponsor. This move will help us create some new sport possibilities as well," Dranoff said. "In addition, Roberts Wesleyan has excellent athletic facilities that will provide a great venue for our visiting conference teams."
Faro added that Roberts Wesleyan's existing teams and new lacrosse program will be challenged by other teams in the strong conference. "We are excited about the opportunity we are giving our student‐athletes to compete at the NCAA Division II level in an established quality conference." Roberts Wesleyan is the only Division II program in the Rochester, N.Y. area. "We are hoping to attract talented student‐athletes who value the Christian college setting that Roberts is known for," Faro said.
The addition of Roberts Wesleyan College brings full‐time membership in the ECC to 10 institutions. Other full members include the University of Bridgeport (Bridgeport, Conn.); C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University (Brookville, N.Y.); University of the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.); Dowling College (Oakdale, N.Y.); Mercy College (Dobbs Ferry,
N.Y.); Molloy College (Rockville Centre, N.Y.); New York Institute of Technology (Old Westbury, N.Y.); Queens College (Flushing, N.Y.); and St. Thomas Aquinas College (Sparkill, N.Y.).
About the ECC
Founded as the New York Collegiate Athletic Conference in 1989 and rechristened the East Coast Conference in July2006, the ECC was formed to enhance intercollegiate athletic competition among member institutions and to assist themin integrating athletics into their academic program in a fiscally sound way. The ECC is committed to the highest
standards of scholarship, sportsmanship, teamwork, and citizenship. Its mission is to promote the total person concept in its student‐athletes, which stresses the abilities to excel in academic achievement, athletic competition, and positive character traits.
East Coast Conference members include: University of Bridgeport (Conn.); C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University (Brookville, N.Y.); University of the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.); Dowling College (Oakdale, N.Y.); Mercy College (Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.); Molloy College (Rockville Centre, N.Y.); New York Institute of Technology (Old Westbury, N.Y.); Queens College (Flushing, N.Y.); Roberts Wesleyan College (Rochester, N.Y.) and St. Thomas Aquinas College (Sparkill, N.Y.). Associate Members include: Chestnut Hill College (Philadelphia, Pa.); Dominican College (Orangeburg, N.Y.); Lake Erie College (Painesville, Ohio); Mercyhurst University (Erie, Pa.); Seton Hill University (Greensburg, Pa.); Wheeling Jesuit University (Wheeling, W. Va.).
The ECC sponsors the following championship sports: baseball; men's and women's basketball; men's and women's cross country; men's and women's lacrosse; softball; men's and women's tennis; men's and women's soccer; and women's volleyball.
The East Coast Conference is a proud member of the NCAA and Division II. Division II is a dynamic and engaging group of colleges, institutions and conferences of varying sizes and educational missions. Division II members encourage and support diversity; value sportsmanship, fairness and equity; and place the highest priority on the overall educational excellence of the student‐athlete.