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Home arrow America East arrow UMass-Lowell joining America East
UMass-Lowell joining America East
Thursday, 14 February 2013
ImageBoston Globe: It took vision and hard work, but also a planets-are-aligning set of circumstances for the University of Massachusetts-Lowell to schedule a Thursday morning news conference at Tsongas Center, where school officials will announce that its athletic teams, starting this fall, will compete in Division 1 as a member of the America East Conference.

A driven, respected chancellor — former US congressman Marty Meehan — last spring established a strategic planning committee for athletics, which made the recommendation of bumping the River Hawks from Division 2 (they’ve been in the Northeast-10 Conference since 2000) to Division 1 in all sports. Except for men’s hockey, that is. UMass-Lowell has been a member of Division 1’s Hockey East since 1984.

The desire to join the more prestigious and visible Division 1 is one thing; nowadays a home is required. Opportunity presented itself, unexpectedly and nearly simultaneously, when Boston University decided to leave America East for the Patriot League, which it will do on July 1. Suddenly, a school that felt qualified and ready for the leap to Division 1 athletics had an interested conference — headquartered in nearby Cambridge, no less — seeking replacement options.

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