The Mountain East Conference announced today that Frostburg State University has accepted an offer of membership from the conference following a unanimous vote of approval by the MEC Board of Directors on June 30. Provisional member status for Frostburg State in the MEC is contingent upon acceptance into the NCAA Division II membership process.
If accepted into the NCAA Division II member pipeline, Frostburg State would be slated to begin competition in the MEC beginning with the 2019-20 academic year. Full membership in the MEC will ultimately be contingent upon Frostburg State achieving active membership status in NCAA Division II.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Mountain East Conference, we are very pleased to announce our new association with Frostburg State,” said Dr. Kendra Boggess, Concord University president and chair of the MEC board of directors. “Frostburg State will be a great fit for our league in every way, and we are confident that Frostburg is well positioned to meet the rigors of the NCAA Division II membership process as they begin their efforts to transition from NCAA Division III.”
Frostburg State is the third Division III school in the past year to announce its pursuit of NCAA Division II membership. Benedictine achieved an offer of membership from the Great Lakes Valley Conference, while Texas-Tyler has been granted a spot in the Gulf South Conference.
The pending departure, and the debut of the Atlantic East Confernce this fall, leaves the Capital Athletic Conference with just seven members in the fall of 2019, barring other changes: Christopher Newport, Mary Washington, Penn State-Harrisburg, St. Mary's (Md.), Salisbury, Southern Virginia and York (Pa.). Marymount and Wesley joined in forming the Atlantic East, and Frostburg's departure takes a 10-team conference and leaves it with the minimum to qualify for an automatic bid in most sports.
“We are excited that Frostburg State University has accepted our offer of future Mountain East membership as an important step in its pursuit of NCAA Division II membership,” said MEC commissioner Reid Amos. “Upon visiting their campus and meeting their leadership, their coaches, and many of their student-athletes, it became clear that Frostburg State not only fits within our geographic footprint, but also aligns well with the values, the goals, and the mission of the Mountain East Conference and its members. Additionally, we expect them to be a highly competitive member of the MEC.”
Frostburg State is located in western Maryland just 30 miles from the West Virginia border, and is a public, four-year university that has 4,725 undergraduate students.
“We at Frostburg State believe this opportunity to align with the Mountain East Conference in conjunction with our application to NCAA Division II will allow us to enhance our focus on the student-athlete experience. We were impressed with the quality of competition and attention that would be afforded them in the Mountain East Conference,” said FSU president Ronald Nowaczyk. “We see the MEC and the prospect of a move to Division II as means to ensure that Frostburg State is keeping pace with the changing landscape around us, and it demonstrates our commitment to striking the appropriate level of balance between the student and the athlete.”
The Bobcats currently sponsor 17 of the MEC’s 19 championship sports with eight men’s sports (baseball, basketball, cross country, football, outdoor track and field, soccer, swimming and tennis) and nine women’s sports (basketball, cross country, lacrosse, outdoor track and field, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis and volleyball). The Mountain East does not sponsor men's lacrosse, which Frostburg State sponsors.