We really haven’t seen any big moves, or a mass of moves in the College ranks in terms of Conference Realignment since the Big East split back in 2013. For now, it looks as if the Power Conferences are stabilized, but there is still plenty of work to do at the mid-to-low-major levels and we’ve seen two moves made this week.
Robert Morris to the Horizon League
Sources: Members of the NEC are expecting Robert Morris to officially join the Horizon League for the 20-21 season. Official announcement expected soon.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) June 11, 2020
This is a fascinating move. Robert Morris had long been one of the premier programs in the NEC with 14 Conference Tournament Title game appearances, 9 Championships (the most in NEC history), and 11 Regular Season Titles. Possibly the emergence of Merrimack made the move quicker? Who’s to say?
Northern Kentucky has been a really strong recent addition for the Horizon after they lost Valparaiso to the Missouri Valley. Purdue Fort Wayne is already on their way to joining and Robert Morris makes the Horizon a 12-team League, surely, one would have to expect that there will be East and West divisions added. Especially during the current Coronavirus Pandemic. All things told, I like this move for the Horizon.
NJIT leaves the Atlantic Sun for the America East
NJIT is joining the America East starting this season, source told @Stadium. NJIT was previously in the Atlantic Sun.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) June 11, 2020
This was first reported by Goodman and it just makes sense. NJIT was well away from the rest of the A-Sun geographically and I’m sure their travel costs will be cut significantly playing in the America East. NJIT would bring the League to 10 teams and give them a pretty competitive group. Vermont has obviously had tremendous success in the past few years, the one-off challengers have had their moment in the spotlight as well, highlighted by UMBC.
The Highlanders certainly were and could be competitive in the A-Sun, but I think keeping costs low is crucial at this time, especially for a school that is still fairly new to the Division 1 athletics ranks. Not to mention they will be better positioned to compete in the America East because it is a more top-heavy League.