Le Moyne Jumping to DI

(Photo Courtesy of Le Moyne Athletics)

Le Moyne college announced on Wednesday afternoon that it will be jumping from DII to DI and joining the NEC, effective July 1, 2023.

The school will have a formal announcement on Thursday at 1pm.

“The move to Division I and the Northeast Conference is a milestone event for Le Moyne College,” said President Linda LeMura in a press release. “Since the College’s founding in 1946, athletics has been a vital component of our Jesuit ideal of cura personalis — care for the mind, body and soul. By making this move, we are building on a strong foundation of excellence that has been a hallmark of our student-athletes and our programs.”

The Dolphins men’s team is currently amidst a tremendous season as they enter the NCAA DII tournament with a perfect 16-0 record and as the No. 1 overall seed. The Dolphins will play the winner of the play-in game between Bentley and Adelphi in the first round on Sunday.

In moving from DII to DI, Le Moyne will have to follow a four-year grace period in which they can’t participate in the NCAA Tournament.

Le Moyne will be joining the NEC which currently only sponsors women’s lacrosse. It shuttered its men’s lacrosse sponsorship last year in wake of massive conference realignment that left the league with just four men’s lacrosse playing full-time members: LIU, Merrimack, Sacred Heart, Wagner. A conference needs six teams to get an automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Tournament.

With Le Moyne joining the league, it helps set the NEC on the path towards reinstating men’s lacrosse. The league now just needs one more member (affiliate or full).

The announcement that Le Moyne is reviewing options to play as an affiliate member in a conference next season before the NEC brings back men’s lacrosse in 2024-25. It also stated that playing as an independent is possible.

Le Moyne will be the eighth team to join the DI ranks in men’s lacrosse since 2019. They follow the same path as LIU, Merrimack, Lindenwood, and Queens in jumping from DII to DI. The latter two programs did so this past spring while LIU, which merged its two campuses into one athletic department, and Merrimack made the jump ahead of the 2020 season.


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