PRESQUE ISLE, Me (WAGM) - The University of Maine Presque Isle and six other schools have formed a new NCAA Division 3 Conference.
The American Collegiate Athletic Conference has been approved by the NCAA and will begin official operation on September 1st, 2017.
Holmes:" We got the official go ahead to proceed forward. It was good news for us with the hurdle that we cleared. We are excited that our brand is recognized by the NCAA and can move forward."
This conference has several regional teams but also has a couple of schools from other parts of the Country. . Alfred State SUNY College of Technology, SUNY Canton, Finlandia University out of Michigan, , Mills College out of California, Pine Manor College, and the University of Valley Forge join the Owls. The Conference will have playoffs in many sports, the hope is that down the road once the conference is fully established with at least seven teams competing in each spor That would mean that the Conference winner will get an automatic bid into the NCAA Division 3 Regionals.
Holmes:"We are still looking at several years of turn around to make this an automatic qualifier. The ball is now rolling and the University of Maine Presque Isle is going to be involved in this. It really helps us as far as getting some games scheduled and having a tournament in our very near future."
Holmes says they are hopeful that other schools who are not currently in NCAA Division 3 conferences might petition to join the new conference. Holmes knows there is still a lot of work to be done, but this is a step in the right direction
Holmes:" You are not going to build Rome in a day. It is going to take some time. You are going to have to take it step by step. This was the key step we had to have. The recognition was very big. As far as our athletes going forward this was a huge step in the right direction."