South Easton, Mass. – The Northeast-10 Conference has announced the formation of a championship game in the sport of football, which will go into effect beginning with the 2012 season. The football championship will become the 23rd Conference Championship and provide an opportunity for an additional 175 student-athletes to experience an NE-10 postseason contest.
Its creation generates a championship game atmosphere at the end of the regular season and provides an additional Division II opponent for all but one of the conference's football programs.
Following the completion of the regular season, the top seed will play host to the second seed in the conference championship game on the weekend immediately preceding the start of the NCAA Division II Championship.
"This is an exciting step forward for Northeast-10 football," said American International College Director of Athletics Richard Bedard. "This will provide a truly wonderful experience for the conference's student-athletes, and provide tremendous exposure for football programs in the Northeast-10 Conference."
To adhere to the new championship format, the conference schedule for all nine conference football has been adjusted in order to meet the needs of the championship structure.
As mentioned, the top seed will play host to the second seed in the championship matchup, however, that won't be the only game on that date. The team that finishes third during the regular season will play host to the team that finishes sixth, the fourth-place finisher will host the seventh-place finisher, and the fifth-place squad will take on the eighth-place team. The team finishing ninth will not be involved in the championship weekend.
"The NE-10 Directors of Athletics have had extensive discussions about how the Conference can assist our membership in scheduling Division II football contests," said Commissioner Julie Ruppert. "The creation of this slate of weekend games not only accomplishes that goal but also enhances the student-athlete experience by providing a postseason opportunity in the only sport that hadn't been included in the past. I commend the ADs in this league for developing a great opportunity for our football student-athletes that at the same time offers a cost-effective solution to scheduling."
The Northeast-10 is an association of 16 NCAA Division II colleges and universities located in New England and New York that is committed to supporting balanced academic and athletic opportunities for more than 5,500 student-athletes. Each year, 4,000 of those student-athletes compete in Conference championships in 23 sports, making the NE-10 the largest DII conference in the country. Leading the way in the classroom, on the field and within the community, the Northeast-10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.