Massachusetts Lowell will move up to Division I and join the America East Conference, representatives of both announced today at a rally at the Tsongas Center on campus.
The school, which is currently in Division II, will also add men's and women's lacrosse for the 2014-15 season, the Boston Herald reported on its website.
The America East Board of Presidents unanimously approved accepting UMass Lowell as a member of the conference effective July 1, 2013. The move also received the unanimous support of UMass Lowell's Faculty Senate Executive Committee and Student Government Association.
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After the 2014 season, there will be 67 men's lacrosse programs nationwide with with addition of Furman, Monmouth, Boston University and Richmond. UMass Lowell will become No. 68.
“UMass Lowell is an outstanding addition to our membership and an ideal fit for America East,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley, chairman of the America East Board of Presidents. “It is a public research university within our conference's geographic footprint that highly values academics while also excelling in athletics.”
The 16,300-student UMass Lowell will begin competing in 14 sports in the 2013-14 academic year but will not be eligible for postseason play while it completes the four-year NCAA reclassification from Division II to Division I. The River Hawks will be full Division I members of America East for the 2017-18 academic year.
As a full member of America East, UMass Lowell will join UMBC, Albany, Binghamton, Hartford, Maine, New Hampshire, Stony Brook and Vermont. In addition, Fairfield and Providence are associate members of America East in field hockey and volleyball, respectively. Boston University departs America East for the Patriot League after the 2012-13 academic year.