Patriot League

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Patriot League
Patriot League logo
Established 1986
Association NCAA
Division Division I FCS
Members 10 full, 3 associate
Sports fielded 24 (men's: 11; women's: 13)
Region Northeast
Former names Colonial League
Headquarters Center Valley, Pennsylvania
Commissioner Carolyn S. Femovich (since 1999)
Website patriotleague.org
Locations
Patriot League locations

The Patriot League is a collegiate athletic conference comprising private institutions of higher education and two United States service academies based in the Northeastern United States. Outside of the Ivy League, it is the most selective group of higher education institutions in NCAA Division I and has the highest student-athlete graduation rate for both the NCAA graduation success rate and the federal graduation rate.

The Patriot League consists of 10 core members:[1] American University, the United States Military Academy (Army), Boston University, Bucknell University, Colgate University, College of the Holy Cross, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, Loyola University Maryland and the United States Naval Academy (Navy).

All 10 core members participate in the NCAA's Division I for all Patriot League sports that they offer. Since not all schools sponsor every available NCAA sport, such as ice hockey and wrestling, most schools are affiliated with other collegiate conferences. Additionally, the Patriot League has a unique arrangement for football. Army and Navy are Independents in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), while Bucknell, Colgate, Holy Cross, Lafayette, and Lehigh are members of the Patriot League’s Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) conference. American, Boston University and Loyola Maryland do not sponsor football.

Three other private institutions are Patriot League members only for specific sports and are referred to as 'Patriot League associate members.' Fordham University and Georgetown University are associate members in football, while MIT is an associate member in women’s rowing.

About[edit]

Patriot League members are schools with very strong academic reputations that adhere strongly to the ideal of the "scholar-athlete", with the emphasis on "scholar". An academic index ensures that athletes are truly representative of and integrated with the rest of the student body. Out-of-league play for Patriot League schools is often with members of the Ivy League, which follow similar philosophies regarding academics and athletics.

Patriot League members have some of the oldest collegiate athletic programs in the country. In particular, The Rivalry between Lehigh University and Lafayette College is both the nation's most played and longest uninterrupted college football series.[2] Similarly, matchups between Army and Navy in any sport are always intense.

The winner of the Patriot League Basketball tournament receives an automatic invitation to the NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament every March. In recent years, Bucknell (twice) and Lehigh have both won NCAA tournament games. The Patriot League champion in a number of other sports also receives an automatic invitation to its respective NCAA tournaments.

History[edit]

Locations of current Patriot League full member institutions.

The origins of the Patriot League began after the eight Ivy League schools each expanded its football schedules to ten games starting in 1980. Needing opponents with a similar competitive level on a regular basis for each teams' three nonconference games, the league contacted two university presidents, the Reverend John E. Brooks, S.J. of Holy Cross and Peter Likins of Lehigh, about the formation of a new conference that also prohibited athletic scholarships.[3] The result was the Colonial League, a football-only circuit that began competition in 1986.[1][4] Its six charter members were Holy Cross, Lehigh, Bucknell, Colgate, Lafayette and Davidson, which dropped out after the 1988 season for reasons related to geography, lack of competitiveness, and a reluctance to relinquish its basketball scholarships in case the conference expanded into other sports.[3][5]

In 1990, the league changed its name to the Patriot League at the suggestion of Carl F. Ullrich,[3] who would go on to become the conference's first full-time administrator.. At the start of the 1990-91 academic year, the league became an all-sport conference, with 22 sports (11 for men and 11 for women), and now had seven full members, including Fordham and the United States Military Academy (Army) as new members. In 1991, the league gained an eighth full member — the United States Naval Academy (Navy).[4]

In 1993, the league hired Constance (Connie) H. Hurlbut as executive director. She was the first woman and youngest person to be the leader of an NCAA Division I conference.[4]

In 1995, Fordham resigned its full membership (leaving the league with seven full members) but continued as an associate member in football. In 1996, Fairfield and Ursinus joined as associate members in field hockey.[4] (Fairfield left after the 2003 fall season and is now an associate member of the America East Conference. Ursinus left after the 2001 fall season and is now a full member of the Centennial Conference.[6]) In 1997, Towson joined as an associate member in football. (Towson left after the 2003 fall season to join the Atlantic 10 Conference, whose football conference would be absorbed by the Colonial Athletic Association in 2007.) In 1999, Hobart joined as an associate member in men's lacrosse and Villanova joined as an associate member in women's lacrosse. (Hobart left after the 2004 spring season, to join the ECAC Lacrosse League, while Villanova left after the 2006 spring season.) In 2001, American University joined as the eighth full member and Georgetown University joined as an associate member in football.[4] Two schools announced in summer 2012 that they would join the league for the 2013–14 academic year, with Boston University making its announcement on June 15[7] and Loyola University Maryland doing so on August 29.[8]

Athletic scholarships[edit]

While need-based financial aid has always been available, athletic scholarships have only been allowed in recent years at Patriot League schools. Basketball scholarships were first allowed beginning with freshmen entering the league in the fall of 1998. In 2001, when American, which gave scholarships in all sports (AU does not play football) entered the league, the league began allowing all schools to do so in sports other than football. Lafayette, the last no athletic scholarships holdout, began granting full rides in basketball and other sports with freshmen entering the school in the fall of 2006. Most Patriot League schools do not give athletic scholarships in a number of sports, and Bucknell only granted them in basketball prior to the addition of football scholarships in 2012.

In the spring of 2009, Fordham University announced that it would start offering football scholarships effective with the fall of 2010. While this action made Fordham ineligible for the league championship, it did open up the question of football scholarships. On February 13, 2012, the Patriot League announced they would begin offering football scholarships. Starting with the 2013 academic year, each school will be allowed no more than the equivalent of 15 scholarships to incoming football players, according to the release. The total number of scholarships cannot exceed 60 in any season,[9] a total only slightly lower than the NCAA limit of 63 scholarship equivalents for FCS programs.

Presidents from six of the seven football schools indicated they would award scholarships in the fall of 2012. Georgetown University did not commit to offer scholarships.[10]

Member schools[edit]

Full members[edit]

There are ten "full" member schools:[1]

Institution Location Founded Joined Type Undergraduate
Enrollment
Endowment Nickname Colors U.S.News
Ranking
American University Washington, D.C. 1893 2001 Private 6,028 $455M Eagles American Red & Blue
         
75
(National)
United States Military Academy
(Army)
West Point, New York 1802 1990 Federal 4,487 N/A Black Knights Black, Gray & Gold
              
17
(National Liberal Arts)
Boston University Boston, MA 1839 2013 Private 15,803 $1,369M Terriers Scarlet & White
         
41
(National)
Bucknell University Lewisburg, Pennsylvania 1846 1986 Private 3,650 $599.2M Bison Orange & Blue
         
32
(National Liberal Arts)
Colgate University Hamilton, New York 1819 1986 Private 2,837 $739M Raiders Maroon & White
         
20
(National Liberal Arts)
College of the Holy Cross Worcester, Massachusetts 1843 1986 Private 2,817 $655M Crusaders Purple & White
         
25
(National Liberal Arts)
Lafayette College Easton, Pennsylvania 1826 1986 Private 2,382 $693.7M Leopards Maroon & White
         
36
(National Liberal Arts)
Lehigh University Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 1865 1986 Private 4,781 $1,103M Mountain Hawks Brown & White
         
41
(National)
Loyola University Maryland Baltimore, MD 1852 2013 Private 3,901 $166M Greyhounds Green & Gray
         
5
(Regional-North)
United States Naval Academy
(Navy)
Annapolis, Maryland 1845 1991 Federal 4,400 N/A Midshipmen Navy Blue & Gold
         
12
(National Liberal Arts)

Associate members[edit]

There are three associate-member schools:

Institution Location Founded Type Undergraduate
Enrollment
Nickname Colors Primary Conference Patriot Sport
Fordham University Bronx, New York 1841 Private 8,220 Rams Maroon & White
         
Atlantic 10 (A-10) football
Georgetown University Georgetown,
Washington, D.C.
1789 Private 7,433 Hoyas Blue & Gray
         
Big East football, women's rowing
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT)
Cambridge, Massachusetts 1861 Private 4,384 Engineers Cardinal Red & Steel Gray
         
NEWMAC
(NCAA Division III)
women's rowing

American does not play football, while Army and Navy participate as Independents in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A). Thus, Fordham and Georgetown replace them in the Patriot League for football only.

The Fordham Rams are ineligible for the Patriot League title in football from 2010 through 2013 because they offered athletic scholarships in that sport prior to the League implementation of limited scholarships in 2013.[11][12] Fordham was also a full member of the Patriot League from 1990 until 1995 when they moved all sports except football to the Atlantic 10 Conference.

Former full members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Joined Left Type Undergraduate
Enrollment
Nickname Current Conference
Fordham University Bronx, New York 1841 Private 1990 1995 8,220 Rams Atlantic 10 (A-10)

Former associate members[edit]

Institution Location Founded Joined Left Type Undergraduate
Enrollment
Nickname Primary Conference Patriot Sport
Davidson College Davidson, North Carolina 1837 1986–87 1988–89 Private 1,743 Wildcats A10 (all sports)
PFL (football)
football
Fairfield University Stags 1942 1996–97 2003–04 Private 4,991 Fairfield, Connecticut MAAC field hockey
Hobart College Geneva, New York 1822 1999–2000 2003–04 Private 2,110 Statesmen Liberty
(NCAA Division III)
men's lacrosse
Towson University Towson, Maryland 1866 1997–98 2003–04 Public 17,517 Tigers CAA football
Ursinus College Collegeville, Pennsylvania 1869 1996–97 2001–02 Private 1,750 Bears Centennial
(NCAA Division III)
field hockey
Villanova University Villanova, Pennsylvania 1842 1998–99 2005–06 Private 6,394 Wildcats Big East women's lacrosse

Membership timeline[edit]

Loyola University Maryland Boston University Massachusetts Institute of Technology Georgetown University American University Hobart and William Smith Colleges Villanova University Towson University Fairfield University Ursinus College United States Naval Academy United States Military Academy Fordham University Lehigh University Lafayette College College of the Holy Cross Colgate University Bucknell University Davidson College

Full members Full members (non-football) Assoc. members (football only) Associate member(some sports)

Sports[edit]

The Patriot League sponsors championship competition in twelve men's and thirteen women's NCAA sanctioned sports.[13] Georgetown and Fordham are Associate members for football, and Georgetown and MIT are Associate members for rowing.

American Army Boston Bucknell Colgate Holy Cross Lafayette Lehigh Loyola Navy Total
Men's Sports
Baseball Red XN Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY 6
Basketball Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 10
Cross Country Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 10
FCS Football Red XN Red XN Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Red XN 5
Golf Red XN Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 8
Lacrosse Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 9
Soccer Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 10
Swimming & Diving Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 10
Tennis Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 9
Track and Field (Indoor) Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY 9
Track and Field (Outdoor) Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY 9
Men's Totals 6 10 8 11 10 11 11 11 7 10 95
Women's Sports
Basketball Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 10
Cross Country Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 10
Field Hockey Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Red XN 7
Golf Red XN Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Red XN Green tickY 5
Lacrosse Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 9
Rowing Red XN Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 7
Soccer Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 10
Softball Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Red XN 7
Swimming & Diving Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 10
Tennis Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 9
Track and Field (Indoor) Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 10
Track and Field (Outdoor) Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 10
Volleyball Green tickY Green tickY Red XN Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 9
Women's Totals 9 9 12 13 12 13 11 13 10 11 113
Schools' Totals 15 19 20 24 22 24 22 24 17 21 208
  • † Army and Navy play FBS football.

President's Cup[edit]

The Patriot League Presidents' Cup is awarded to the member institution with the highest cumulative sports point total for their Patriot League standings in sponsored men's and women's sports. Points are awarded based upon a combination of an institution's regular-season and tournament finishes in each sport.

President's Cup Winners (combined men and women):

  • 1991 – Bucknell
  • 1992 – Bucknell
  • 1993 – Bucknell
  • 1994 – Army
  • 1995 – Army
  • 1996 – Bucknell
  • 1997 – Army
  • 1998 – Bucknell
  • 1999 – Bucknell
  • 2000 – Bucknell
  • 2001 – Bucknell
  • 2002 – Bucknell
  • 2003 – Bucknell
  • 2004 – Bucknell
  • 2005 – Army
  • 2006 – Bucknell
  • 2007 – Bucknell
  • 2008 – Bucknell
  • 2009 – Bucknell
  • 2010 – Bucknell
  • 2011 – Bucknell
  • 2012 – Navy
  • 2013 – Bucknell

Basketball[edit]

Men's tournament champion, runner-up, and MVP
See: Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament
Women's tournament champion
See: Patriot League Women's Basketball Tournament
NCAA

In NCAA basketball, Bucknell, Navy, Lehigh, and Holy Cross are the only teams in the conference ever to have recorded NCAA Tournament victories. Bucknell won tournament games in 2005 over Kansas and in 2006 over Arkansas. Lehigh won over Duke in the first round in the 2012 tournament.

The Bison and Mountain Hawks are the only teams to win in the NCAA Tournament while actually representing the Patriot League. A Navy team—then representing the Colonial Athletic Association—led by future Hall of Famer David Robinson won three tournament games while advancing to the regional finals in 1986. Holy Cross was among the best teams in the country in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and won the 1947 national championship with a team that included Hall of Famer Bob Cousy. Its combined record in the NCAA Tournament is 7–12. However, Holy Cross has not won a tournament game since 1953.

Field hockey[edit]

Tournament champion[14]
  • 2002 – Lafayette
  • 2003 – American
  • 2004 – American
  • 2005 – American
  • 2006 – American
  • 2007 – American
  • 2008 – American
  • 2009 – American
  • 2010 – American
  • 2011 – Lafayette
  • 2012 – Lafayette

Football[edit]

League champions
  • 1986 – Holy Cross
  • 1987 – Holy Cross
  • 1988 – Lafayette
  • 1989 – Holy Cross
  • 1990 – Holy Cross
  • 1991 – Holy Cross
  • 1992 – Lafayette
  • 1993 – Lehigh
  • 1994 – Lafayette
  • 1995 – Lehigh
  • 1996 – Bucknell
  • 1997 – Colgate
  • 1998 – Lehigh
  • 1999 – Colgate and Lehigh
  • 2000 – Lehigh
  • 2001 – Lehigh
  • 2002 – Colgate and Fordham
  • 2003 – Colgate
  • 2004 – Lafayette and Lehigh
  • 2005 – Lafayette and Colgate
  • 2006 – Lafayette and Lehigh
  • 2007 – Fordham
  • 2008 – Colgate
  • 2009 – Holy Cross
  • 2010 – Lehigh
  • 2011 – Lehigh
  • 2012 – Colgate
  • 2013 – Lafayette


Patriot League football was non-scholarship until the league presidents voted to approve football scholarships starting with the 2013 recruiting class. Each school will be allowed no more than the equivalent of 15 scholarships to incoming football players. Once the transition to scholarship football is complete in the 2016 season, the total number of scholarship equivalents cannot exceed 60 in any season, three short of the NCAA FCS maximum. However, Georgetown does not offer scholarships.

Until 1997, Patriot League teams did not participate in the NCAA Division I Football Championship playoffs. The policy was in step with the Ivy League's policy of not participating in the playoffs since the Patriot League was founded with the Ivy League's athletics philosophy. The league champion receives the automatic playoff berth. If there are co-champions, a tie-breaker determines the playoff participant.

Colgate was the first team to receive the league's automatic berth in 1997. The following year, Lehigh won the league's first playoff game. It is also the only year where a Patriot League team, Colgate, received a playoff invitation without being a league co-champion. The 2003 Colgate team advanced all the way to the National Championship game before falling to the University of Delaware. It is the only time a Patriot League team has advanced beyond the second round and played in a championship game.

Facilities[edit]

School Football stadium Capacity Basketball arena Capacity Baseball stadium Capacity Soccer venue Capacity
American Non-football school Bender Arena 3,044 Non-baseball school Reeves Field 700
Army Sponsors football as an FBS Independent Christl Arena 5,043 Johnson Stadium at Doubleday Field 880 Clinton Field 2,000
Boston U Non-football school Agganis Arena
Case Gym
7,200
1,800
Non-baseball school Nickerson Field 10,412
Bucknell Christy Mathewson–Memorial Stadium 13,100 Sojka Pavilion 4,000 Eugene B. Depew Field 500 Emmitt Field at Holmes Stadium 1,250
Colgate Andy Kerr Stadium 10,221 Cotterell Court 3,000 Non-baseball school Van Doren Field 2,000
Fordham Coffey Field 8,000 Football-only member
Georgetown Multi-Sport Field 2,500 Football-only member
Holy Cross Fitton Field 23,500 Hart Center 3,600 Hanover Insurance Park at Fitton Field 3,000 Linda Johnson Smith Soccer Stadium 1,320
Lafayette Fisher Field at Fisher Stadium 13,132 Kirby Sports Center 2,644 Kamine Stadium 1,000 Oaks Stadium 1,000
Lehigh Goodman Stadium 16,000 Stabler Arena 5,600 Lehigh Baseball Field N/A Ulrich Sports Complex 2,400
Loyola Non-football school Reitz Arena 3,000 Non-baseball school Ridley Athletic Complex 6,000
Navy Sponsors football as an FBS Independent Alumni Hall 5,710 Max Bishop Stadium 1,500 Glenn Warner Soccer Facility 2,500

Literature[edit]

The Patriot League was profiled in the John Feinstein book, The Last Amateurs. The title is derived from the belief that the Patriot League was the last Division I basketball league that plays a conference tournament (the Ivy League, which operates under the same model, albeit with no scholarships, has never had a conference tournament) and functions as a place for student-athletes, rather than functioning as a de facto minor professional league with players not representative of their student bodies. In it, Feinstein followed all the league's men's basketball teams during the 1999–2000 season.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c ""Who We Are" About the Patriot League". Patriot League. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  2. ^ The Brown and White, Lehigh University Student Newspaper
  3. ^ a b c d Feinstein, John (2000). The Last Amateurs. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 0-316-27842-4. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Patriot League History". Patriot League. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  5. ^ Patriot League 2011 Football Media Guide.
  6. ^ "2009 Field Hockey". Centennial Conference. Retrieved March 2, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Boston University accepts invitation to join Patriot League starting in 2013–14" (Press release). Patriot League. June 15, 2012. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Loyola University Maryland accepts invitation to join Patriot League starting with 2013-14 season" (Press release). Patriot League. August 29, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  9. ^ Novy-Williams, Eben (February 13, 2012). "Patriot League to Offer Football Scholarships for First Time Starting 2013". Bloomberg. 
  10. ^ http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/patr/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/2011-12/misc_non_event/PLpresidentCommentsFootballFA.pdf
  11. ^ Fordham to Add Athletic Scholarships in Football , FordhamSports.com
  12. ^ "Fordham ineligible for Patriot title until 2014". Fox News. June 8, 2012. 
  13. ^ http://www.patriotleague.org
  14. ^ "Patriot League Field Hockey Record Book". Patriot League Field Hockey Record Book. Patriot League. Retrieved June 15, 2012. 

External links[edit]