Hartwick will join the Mid-American Conference as an affiliate member in men's soccer only, beginning with the 2007 season.
The MAC needed to add another team to keep its automatic bid to
the NCAA Division I Men's Tournament.
The NCAA mandates that at least six members of the league must sponsor the sport to receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. IPFW, which was
an affiliate member of the MAC in 2005 and 2006, left after the 2006 season as all of its athletics programs joined the Summit League (former Mid-Continent).
With the loss of IPFW, that
left just Akron, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Northern Illinois and Western Michigan as MAC members with men's soccer programs.
Eight other MAC schools don't sponsor men's soccer. Illinois
State, Central Michigan Miami (Ohio) and Eastern Michigan have all dropped men's soccer since 1994.
"The entire conference is delighted to have a team with the reputation and tradition
of Hartwick joining the MAC," said Akron coach Caleb Porter
. "This addition is a positive step in helping to strengthen the future of our conference and
ultimately our program's ability to be nationally competitive."
Hartwick had a 8-10-2 record in 2006 and finished second in the Atlantic Soccer Conference. It's 2007 recruiting classes
is one of the best in the country.
Hartwick's only D1 programs are men's soccer and women's water polo. Remaining Atlantic Soccer members are 2006 champion Adelphi, Florida Atlantic,
Philadelphia, Longwood, NJIT and Howard.