It's official: Bard and RIT to the Liberty League

Bard and Rochester Tech will join the Liberty League as full members, beginning in the 2011-12 season. The announcement was made official today by Jim McLaughlin, Liberty League president.

“We’re delighted to welcome Bard and RIT into the Liberty League,” said McLaughlin. “Both of these outstanding institutions share the ideals of the Liberty League in terms of student-first philosophy and approaching intercollegiate athletics as an integral part of the overall educational experience. We look forward to the contributions that Bard and RIT will make to the league, both academically and athletically.”

Bard is currently a member of the Skyline Conference, while RIT is in the Empire 8. Bard’s five-year record in men’s basketball is 25-101, 29-87 in women’s basketball and it will be the Raptors’ third conference affiliation in five seasons, after the school left the NEAC. Both Bard head coaching positions are currently open. RIT is 75-57 over the same period in men’s basketball, 43-73 in women’s basketball.

“Bard is very pleased to accept membership into the Liberty League, a long and well respected conference with a clear focus on the balance of the student-athlete experience,” said athletic director Kristen Hall. “Our academic profile blends nicely with that of the league’s membership and we look forward to the future experiences that our student-athletes will have with our peer institutions.”

“We are very pleased and honored to have gained acceptance in to the Liberty League,” said RIT athletic director Lou Spiotti. “The Liberty League is a premier NCAA Division III conference composed of colleges and universities with values and aspirations similar to those of RIT. This is a historic move for RIT and for our intercollegiate athletics programs and we look forward with great anticipation to our new association."

Rochester Tech sponsors Division I men’s ice hockey, as do several other Liberty League schools, and will maintain its Atlantic Hockey affiliation.