FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
SYRACUSE, NY – LeMoyne College has announced its intention to reclassify its baseball program from Division I to Division II effective August 1, 2011. The College will follow the defined NCAA reclassification process, with the intent to compete alongside its 16 other programs as a member of the Division II Northeast-10 Conference.
Le Moyne has a strong history of success as a Division II program. As a Division II member for 15 years beginning in 1973, Le Moyne compiled an overall record of 340-103-1 (.766) and appeared in 11 NCAA tournaments over that time period. Under the direction of former head coach Dick Rockwell, 11 Dolphins who participated on the Division II level were selected in the Major League Baseball draft and four players — Tom Browning, Jim Deshaies, Jim Wessinger and Pete Hoy — reached the majors.
"Reclassifying the baseball program to Division II is the final major step in the strategic alignment process for Le Moyne athletics," said Athletic Director Matt Bassett. "Despite our best efforts to identify a Division I conference for our baseball program, the existing landscape is just not favorable for associate memberships. However, by reclassifying to Division II our student-athletes will once again benefit from direct access to NCAA Championship competition and it further illustrates our commitment to achieving national prominence at the Division II level."
"I firmly believe that the baseball program is very solid and much thought is being given by very qualified leadership to best shape the future," said former Le Moyne head coach Steve Owens.
The women’s lacrosse program successfully completed the identical reclassification process earlier this year and secured a waiver from the NCAA to give the team eligibility to compete in NCAA post season championships immediately. Generally colleges and universities seeking reclassification from one division to another must satisfy a two-year waiting period before they are eligible for NCAA post season competition. Le Moyne will file an application to the NCAA in July of 2011 seeking a waiver of the standard two-year reclassifying period.
For the spring 2011 season, the Dolphins will compete as an ‘Independent’ member of Division I. Its schedule will feature Texas A&M, James Madison, Missouri, Penn State, Louisiana-Lafayette and Boston College.
Due to the recent resignation of head coach Steve Owens to accept the head coaching position at Division I Bryant University, Le Moyne will immediately begin a national search to identify their next head baseball coach.