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BREAKING: United East, CSAC Officially Merge

Merged conference will retain the United East Conference name and brand

JUNE 22, 2023 | written by STEVE ULRICH

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We interrupt your Thursday with important news in Division III!

1. United East, CSAC Officially Merge

“Following an initial announcement of an intent to merge in December, the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) and the United East Conference will officially merge and begin operating as one entity, effective July 1, 2023.

In a critical and volatile time for higher education, conference leaders see a merger of the two conferences as a forward-thinking solution to the ongoing membership shuffle in NCAA Division III as well as a proactive step to address the challenges anticipated for institutions and conferences in the coming years.

The merged conference will retain the United East Conference name and brand. The accelerated timeline of this endeavor led conference leaders to evaluate retaining one of the two current conference names to ensure completion of the merger by the desired deadline. With some reservations around the continued use of the term "colonial", moving forward with the United East Conference name and brand helps reflect a message of inclusivity throughout the league. This also allows the merged conference to capitalize on the United East's comprehensive rebrand in 2021, which includes a full suite of institutional and sport-specific championship marks.”

» What’s Next: “The United East Presidents’ Council will be led by Dr. Todd Williams of Cairn University, who will begin serving as Chair on July 1 for a two-year term. He will be joined by Dr. Tommy Kiedis of Lancaster Bible College as Vice Chair. For the Board of Athletic Directors, Crystal Gibson from St. Mary’s College of Maryland will step into the Chair role and Ashley Hodges from Notre Dame of Maryland University will serve as Vice Chair.”

» Of Note: “The conference will be led by Stephanie Dutton, who has served as the United East Commissioner since August 2019. Assistant Commissioners Jake Ayers, Sam Carges, and Tone Cockrell will round out the conference office staff. Marie Stroman has decided to pursue other opportunities outside the CSAC/United East. Her last day with the conference will be July 31.”

» Worth Noting:The conference will sponsor 20 sports in the 2023-24 academic year, which will serve as a transition year as the two current conferences work towards full integration. Conference leaders agreed to utilize previously approved league schedules for widely sponsored sports with the following sports playing in a divisional model: men’s soccer, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, baseball, softball, and women’s tennis. The aforementioned sports will play a regular season schedule in divisions that are composed of former conference members before crowning a division champion. The division champions will meet in a crossover championship to determine the recipient of the conference’s automatic qualifier for the NCAA Tournament.”

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