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Thread: UNCP, MEC reach Associate Membership agreement!!

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    Default UNCP, MEC reach Associate Membership agreement!!

    Just announced. UNCP, Mountain East Conference reach Associate Membership agreement!!

    Congratulations and good luck Braves!

    UNCP will end the SAC scheduling agreement after next season.


    "BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Officials at the Mountain East Conference (MEC) announced Thursday that they have unanimously approved an associate membership agreement with The University of North Carolina at Pembroke that will affect the sports of football, swimming & diving, men’s and women’s indoor track & field and wrestling.

    As part of the partnership, all five teams will now be eligible to receive conference awards associated with those sports, including conference team and individual championships, all-conference and conference weekly awards and recognition on their respective sport’s all-academic team. The Braves will compete as early as the 2019-20 season in swimming & diving, as well as indoor track & field and wrestling, while football will begin MEC competition in Fall 2020.

    The MEC’s proposed football scheduling format will allow UNCP to preserve a Non-Conference Week 1 format for local in-state rivalries. UNCP will continue with its South Atlantic scheduling agreement in football through the 2019 season." Quote Robesonian
    Last edited by Eagle74; 08-30-2018 at 03:37 PM.

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    Default Re: UNCP, MEC reach Associate Membership agreement!!

    Man! Somebody is going to have to donate a plane to Notre Dame for a regular conference game.

  3. #3

    Default Re: UNCP, MEC reach Associate Membership agreement!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Clydes 'N Rams View Post
    Man! Somebody is going to have to donate a plane to Notre Dame for a regular conference game.
    I mean, they are the Falcons.

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    Default Re: UNCP, MEC reach Associate Membership agreement!!

    While I question to logistics of this move, from an on field football standpoint, what is the MEC getting in UNCP? Short answer is a feast or famine program that can be VERY good one year then VERY bad the next. Three times they have been playoff selectees and the next season they have backed those selections up with 2-8 records (twice) and 5-5 (once). School has three different playoff appearances in the much more difficult SR2 so they immediately move to the head of the MEC from a number of playoff selections standpoint. The are 11-6 historically against MEC schools over their 11 year history. Lifetime 603 winning % so they do know how to win.

    They definitely make the MEC better in football.
    Last edited by boatcapt; 09-01-2018 at 09:53 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: UNCP, MEC reach Associate Membership agreement!!

    Quote Originally Posted by boatcapt View Post
    While I question to logistics of this move, from an on field football standpoint, what is the MEC getting in UNCP? Short answer is a feast or famine program that can be VERY good one year then VERY bad the next. Three times they have been playoff selectees and the next season they have backed those selections up with 2-8 records (twice) and 5-5 (once). School has three different playoff appearances in the much more difficult SR2 so they immediately move to the head of the MEC from a number of playoff selections standpoint. The are 11-6 historically against MEC schools over their 11 year history. Lifetime 603 winning % so they do know how to win.

    They definitely make the MEC better in football.
    Will they be SR1 or SR2 when they join the MEC as an associate member?

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    Default Re: UNCP, MEC reach Associate Membership agreement!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dozsa2 View Post
    Will they be SR1 or SR2 when they join the MEC as an associate member?
    SR1

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    Default Re: UNCP, MEC reach Associate Membership agreement!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Clydes 'N Rams View Post
    Man! Somebody is going to have to donate a plane to Notre Dame for a regular conference game.
    According to Google Maps, it's ~ 9.0 hours for Urbana and 9.5-10.5 hours for Notre Dame College. Hopefully the conference doesn't have UNC-Pembroke playing both Urbana and Notre Dame on the road in the same year.
    I can be reached at raymond.franze@d2football.com.

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    Default Re: UNCP, MEC reach Associate Membership agreement!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Franze View Post
    According to Google Maps, it's ~ 9.0 hours for Urbana and 9.5-10.5 hours for Notre Dame College. Hopefully the conference doesn't have UNC-Pembroke playing both Urbana and Notre Dame on the road in the same year.
    I note that in the UNCP press release it mentions that UNCP will be maintaining one game per year open to play a local game. Don't know who or when that will be but it COULD be the weeks the Ohio teams were to travel to UNCP. The year NDC was to travel to UNCP, UNCP (and NDC) have "open" then the following year when Urbana was to travel to UNCP, THEY (and UNCP) have the week "open." The other sports that UNCP is in are not really "head to head" on campus sports so meeting at "tri-meets" at a third location or in multi team track or swimming meets is a viable work around.

    I do like what the MEC is doing with regard to swimming and wrestling. Danger close to being able to sponsor both independently.

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    Default Re: UNCP, MEC reach Associate Membership agreement!!

    Quote Originally Posted by boatcapt View Post
    I note that in the UNCP press release it mentions that UNCP will be maintaining one game per year open to play a local game. Don't know who or when that will be but it COULD be the weeks the Ohio teams were to travel to UNCP. The year NDC was to travel to UNCP, UNCP (and NDC) have "open" then the following year when Urbana was to travel to UNCP, THEY (and UNCP) have the week "open." The other sports that UNCP is in are not really "head to head" on campus sports so meeting at "tri-meets" at a third location or in multi team track or swimming meets is a viable work around.

    I do like what the MEC is doing with regard to swimming and wrestling. Danger close to being able to sponsor both independently.
    UNCP has been opening their football season against in-state rival WSSU, and this is traditionally one of the highest attended D2 games in the region (unless the weather is a factor). I believe that the Braves wanted to keep this big traditional season opening rival game on their schedule in the future.

  10. #10

    Default Re: UNCP, MEC reach Associate Membership agreement!!

    Obviously, this is a geographic stretch. Realistically though, its only a road trip for NDC every other year. The other sports are "Championship" sports which probably only require UNCP to travel north once for a neutral site conference tournament or maybe one extra time for a multi-school event.

    The idea of a D&E/UNCP combo replacing Shepherd seems a little clunky to me, but I guess it is creative. AB seems like it would have been a more traditional and fluid choice.

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    Default Re: UNCP, MEC reach Associate Membership agreement!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Stea1th View Post
    Obviously, this is a geographic stretch. Realistically though, its only a road trip for NDC every other year. The other sports are "Championship" sports which probably only require UNCP to travel north once for a neutral site conference tournament or maybe one extra time for a multi-school event.

    The idea of a D&E/UNCP combo replacing Shepherd seems a little clunky to me, but I guess it is creative. AB seems like it would have been a more traditional and fluid choice.
    I'd say at WORST it would represent a road trip to UNCP every other year. I would imagine that the MEC will do everything in their power to schedule the one "out of conference" game they agreed to allow UNCP to have every year to be the week NDC and probably Urbana were to travel to UNCP.

    From a performance standpoint, UNCP is a really good addition and not just in football. The addition of swimming and wrestling put the MEC REALLY close (if not over the line) to being able to sponsor both sports without having to partner with another conference. For swimming they would have:

    Fairmont
    WV Wesleyan
    NDC
    Urbana
    UNCP
    Frostburg
    D&E

    For Wrestling, the MEC would have:

    NDC
    WLU
    WJU
    Urbana
    UNCP
    D&E

    One or two good strategic Associate Members would round out both programs.

  12. #12

    Default Re: UNCP, MEC reach Associate Membership agreement!!

    Quote Originally Posted by boatcapt View Post
    For Wrestling, the MEC would have:

    NDC
    WLU
    WJU
    Urbana
    UNCP
    D&E

    One or two good strategic Associate Members would round out both programs.
    D&E does not have wrestling. If they are adding it, they are keeping it very quiet.

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    Default Re: UNCP, MEC reach Associate Membership agreement!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tech Boys View Post
    D&E does not have wrestling. If they are adding it, they are keeping it very quiet.
    You are correct. They do NOT have wrestling. Even LESS reason to have them in the conference!!

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    Default Re: UNCP, MEC reach Associate Membership agreement!!

    As posted on the SAC thread:

    Boatcapt,

    I finally had a chance to catch up with my ole UNCP Brave's bud today, and I asked what his thoughts were about UNCP joining the MEC, and he didn't hold back words. First of all he said "he's elated that his Braves will now be part of a quality conference, and he admires the MEC which has had several of their teams on UNCP's schedules over the years, plus the Braves players always enjoyed the road trips up there."

    I asked if this somewhat quick decision was based on Virginia Wise (a Public School) recently being asked to join the SAC? He said, "so you're asking if some of us feel jilted by this move? Some may, but I've always knew that some of the SAC presidents have always felt that we were 'to big', and the fact that we will more than likely surpass 7,000 students by next year, may have made them turn to a smaller school for expansion, but in adding Virginia Wise, they're getting a football program that's only had one winning season this decade. Maybe they were looking for a Brevard replacement"

    I then asked if he's talked with other supporters of the football program about being a football conference member of the MEC, and are they too on board with this decision? He said "absolutely, and if possible, they hope to go ahead and start changing up the schedule for next year, because they don't really care if they play another SAC team after next season."

    So, it sounds as though they are more than ready to move on. Frankly, not quite the reaction and answers I thought I would get from him (maybe I just caught him at a bad time);)

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    Default Re: UNCP, MEC reach Associate Membership agreement!!

    From a football perspective, UNCP is a big step up from Wise. Are they as good as Shepherd? Sometimes yes and then sometimes no. It is largely believed by self appointed DII football experts that SR2 is much better than SR1 so I guess we'll get a real world gauge. I personally think that UNCP will be a top tier (top 3) MEC team year 1...do they win the conf title and ultimately the SR1 crown? Don't know but I believe they will be in the hunt for the MEC crown many (most?) years.

    All in all, getting a regular playoff performer from SR2 and a top tier D3 performer as replacements for Shepherd (a very good, albeit in SR1, program) and Wise (a team that struggled to get to 500) is pretty good. Not like "getting" Seton Hill and Brevard as replacements!! I'd really like to see another team added down south and another in Ohio to give UNCP/Concord and NDC/Urbana some travel distance relief but for now, I'm pretty happy with what we've done (minus conference bottom feeder D&E).
    Last edited by boatcapt; 09-04-2018 at 01:02 PM.

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    Default Re: UNCP, MEC reach Associate Membership agreement!!

    Quote Originally Posted by boatcapt View Post
    I'd say at WORST it would represent a road trip to UNCP every other year. I would imagine that the MEC will do everything in their power to schedule the one "out of conference" game they agreed to allow UNCP to have every year to be the week NDC and probably Urbana were to travel to UNCP.

    From a performance standpoint, UNCP is a really good addition and not just in football. The addition of swimming and wrestling put the MEC REALLY close (if not over the line) to being able to sponsor both sports without having to partner with another conference. For swimming they would have:

    Fairmont
    WV Wesleyan
    NDC
    Urbana
    UNCP
    Frostburg
    D&E

    For Wrestling, the MEC would have:

    NDC
    WLU
    WJU
    Urbana
    UNCP
    D&E

    One or two good strategic Associate Members would round out both programs.
    The threshold for a conference "officially" sponsoring a sport in D2 is six*, the last time I checked. Swimming will be at that mark while wrestling would be close if they get another member. The GMAC, for what it's worth, has six members which sponsor wrestling.

    * - The GNAC has a five school football league - three full members and two associate members - and award a conference championship, but are not eligible for Earned Access for playoff purposes.
    Cal U (Pa.) Class of 2014

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    Default Re: UNCP, MEC reach Associate Membership agreement!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eagle74 View Post
    As posted on the SAC thread:

    Boatcapt,

    I finally had a chance to catch up with my ole UNCP Brave's bud today, and I asked what his thoughts were about UNCP joining the MEC, and he didn't hold back words. First of all he said "he's elated that his Braves will now be part of a quality conference, and he admires the MEC which has had several of their teams on UNCP's schedules over the years, plus the Braves players always enjoyed the road trips up there."

    I asked if this somewhat quick decision was based on Virginia Wise (a Public School) recently being asked to join the SAC? He said, "so you're asking if some of us feel jilted by this move? Some may, but I've always knew that some of the SAC presidents have always felt that we were 'to big', and the fact that we will more than likely surpass 7,000 students by next year, may have made them turn to a smaller school for expansion, but in adding Virginia Wise, they're getting a football program that's only had one winning season this decade. Maybe they were looking for a Brevard replacement"

    I then asked if he's talked with other supporters of the football program about being a football conference member of the MEC, and are they too on board with this decision? He said "absolutely, and if possible, they hope to go ahead and start changing up the schedule for next year, because they don't really care if they play another SAC team after next season."

    So, it sounds as though they are more than ready to move on. Frankly, not quite the reaction and answers I thought I would get from him (maybe I just caught him at a bad time);)
    Always interesting to hear what people from other regions think about the MEC because fans of the PSAC and GMAC seem to have a different opinion on the quality of the MEC.

    So I guess there is no truth to the opining I've read about this move being "short term" and designed only to get the SAC to take UNCP.

  18. #18

    Default Re: UNCP, MEC reach Associate Membership agreement!!

    I've had more time to ponder this move. This still seems like a geographic stretch and a little cobbled together. However, I do understand that by doing the 2-for-1 exchange, we add more Olympic/lower-profile sports than if we only added a single school to replace Shepherd.

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