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Monmouth, Quinnipiac leave NEC

| Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, 3:00 p.m.

The ever-changing landscape of college athletics finally hit the Northeast Conference on Friday.

That's when Monmouth and Quinnipiac announced they were leaving the NEC to join the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference next year.

That will leave the NEC with 10 teams, including Robert Morris and St. Francis (Pa.) in all sports and Duquesne in football.

The news hasn't changed anything for Robert Morris, according to athletic director Craig Coleman.

“The NEC is still a great conference,” he said from Fargo, N.D., where he attended Friday's FCS semifinal between Georgia Southern and North Dakota State. “The league remains strong. ... (But) this is a very chaotic time for fans of college athletics. It's a shame.”

Monmouth and Quinnipiac will expand MAAC membership to 11. CBSSports.com reported the MAAC eventually could expand to 12 teams and Wagner of the NEC also may be invited.

NEC commissioner Noreen Morris said in a statement that the conference will remain united.

“Next year, we will be 10 members strong, and all 10 members are fully committed to the league,” she said.

St. Francis (Pa.) athletic director Bob Krimmel reaffirmed his school's commitment to the conference.

“I believe we are well-positioned to continue our leadership and to help shape the Northeast Conference into a stronger entity moving forward,” he said.

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at pschofield@tribweb.com.

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