New York -- Long Island University today announced its athletic programs will be unified into a single NCAA Division I program. The move, beginning in Fall 2019, is the next step in the university's vision to elevate its brand nationally. By uniting its athletic programs into a single NCAA Division I program, LIU's Post and Brooklyn campuses will be unified into "One LIU."
"Long Island University is a nationally recognized teaching and research institution," said LIU President Kimberly R. Cline. "We understand the importance of athletics in enhancing our brand nationwide by unifying our university community and our 200,000 alumni around the world. Our student-athletes competing at the highest-level plays a major role in this. We are extremely pleased that the NCAA has embraced this vision for our university's future."
The university made the announcement at the historic New York Athletic Club in front of an enthusiastic audience that included LIU student-athletes, coaches, administrators, faculty, alumni, and long-standing supporters of the university.
"This is an exciting step forward for Long Island University," LIU Board of Trustees Chairman Eric Krasnoff added. "Athletics plays such an important role in bringing people together and promoting educational values. As we elevate the LIU brand nationally through academic excellence and world-class research, our athletics program will unite our entire community and compete at the highest levels."
This effort elevates LIU's program and builds on its proud tradition of athletic excellence. In the university's history, the program has combined for 23 national championships, 215 conference titles, and 362 All-Americans.
In order to honor LIU's strong tradition of athletic excellence, the university announced the new program will combine the traditional colors of both campuses into a united blue and gold. LIU also announced that students and alumni will help choose the new mascot for the unified program.
"As a longtime partner of LIU, I applaud President Cline and the University for their efforts to advance both the academic and athletic programs," lauded Brett Yormark, CEO of BSE Global. "Barclays Center is a neighbor to the Brooklyn campus and we have enjoyed hosting many of the University's college basketball games over the years. We are looking forward to continuing our role in helping to elevate the student-athlete experience."
All of LIU's teams will continue competing in their current conferences for the 2018-19 academic year, honoring schedules with opponents. The unification will be effective for competition beginning in Fall 2019. The university will elevate seven current Post programs to Division I, including expanding its membership in the Northeast Conference with men's cross country, men's lacrosse and football, which will make the transition to the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).
This initiative will put students first by providing additional opportunities and the university will honor current scholarships to student-athletes. LIU is committed, first and foremost, to all of its student-athletes graduating on time, with a LIU diploma.
"The Northeast Conference looks forward to the growth and enhancement of the league through the unification of the LIU athletic departments into a more robust Division I program with the addition of LIU's football, men's lacrosse, and men's cross country teams to the conference," noted Northeast Conference Commissioner Noreen Morris. "With the announcement of the LIU unification, we are excited about the future of LIU Athletics and the NEC."
"Today's announcement regarding our athletic program's enhancements will allow us to focus our resources on improving opportunities for our students while continuing the tradition of excellence of our university," LIU Director of Athletics Debbie DeJong said. "This is an exciting beginning to the next chapter in LIU Athletics.
Further information and updates about the unification can be found at one.liu.edu.
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