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Merrimack College Athletics to leave the NEC for the MAAC

Sean Mahon – Editor in Chief

Today, October 23, 2023, Merrimack College and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) have released a joint statement on Merrimack joining the MAAC effective July 1, 2024. Merrimack will join colleges like Canisius University, Fairfield University, Iona University (formally Iona College), Manhattan College, Marist College, Mount St. Mary’s University, Niagara University, Quinnipiac University, and Siena College. Sacred Heart University, which is a fellow Northeast Conference college, will also be joining the MAAC for the 2024-2025 academic year. 

This is great for Merrimack because they are elevating themselves to play bigger and better teams. The only issue I have with this is the Athletics offered in the MAAC vs what Merrimack Offers for Athletics. At the moment, for men’s sports, the MAAC offers baseball, basketball, cross country, esports, golf, indoor track & field, lacrosse, outdoor track & field, soccer, swimming & diving, and tennis. For women’s sports, the MAAC offers basketball, cross country, esports, golf, indoor track & field, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, volleyball, and water polo. As of today for men’s sports, Merrimack offers baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. For women’s sports, Merrimack offers basketball, bowling, cross country, dance, field hockey, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. Comparing the athletics offered by the MAAC and Merrimack, I have some questions about the future status of some of Merrimack’s sports teams. The teams that the MAAC does not offer but Merrimack has are as followed: football, men’s ice hockey, men’s volleyball, women’s bowling, dance, and women’s ice hockey. For Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey, Merrimack will remain in Hockey East. For the sports that are not offered by the MAAC and don’t have a confirmed conference does that mean they will remain in their current conferences or will they have to look for a new conference to play in? At the moment there has been no information on these athletics teams’ conference status, but as soon as the updates are released there will be an update given. Overall, the switch from the NEC to the MAAC is good for Merrimack, but there are many areas of uncertainty that need to be cleared up. 

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