By Andy Hirsch
LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Patriot League has its 10th full member and Bucknell's competitive position in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area just grew stronger with the announcement that Loyola University Maryland has accepted an invitation to join the conference at the start of the 2013-14 academic year. The move comes less than three months after Boston University announced its plans to join the league next year.
"The recent additions of Boston University and Loyola represent an exciting development for the league, and our student-athletes and coaches are looking forward to the challenge of competing against these outstanding programs," said John Hardt, Bucknell's director of athletics and recreation. "Loyola fits the profile of the Patriot League in terms of its academic profile and its commitment to developing true student-athletes. The addition of Loyola further strengthens and stabilizes the Patriot League moving forward. Another benefit of Loyola joining the league is that Bucknell has strong alumni presence in the Baltimore area, and we look forward to competing there on a regular basis."
The Loyola Greyhounds exemplify the Patriot League's commitment to the student-athlete model. Eight of the school's teams were in the top 10 percent of NCAA Division I schools in the multi-year tracking of the Academic Progress Rate (APR). In addition, Loyola recorded 100-percent graduation success rate scores for 11 of 14 sports, according to the NCAA report released in October 2011.
The Greyhounds are also coming off of one of the the school's best athletic seasons. The men's lacrosse team won the NCAA title, the women's lacrosse team advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament, the men's basketball team played in the NCAA Tournament and the men's golf team earned a spot in the NCAA Regional Tournament.
"Loyola University Maryland is an outstanding addition to our membership as a private institution with an excellent academic reputation and rich athletic history," said Daniel H. Weiss, chair of the Patriot League's Council of Presidents. "The decision to add Loyola reflects the presidents' commitment to the stability and long-term positioning of the League."
With the additions of Loyola and Boston University next year, the Patriot League will have 10 full members. The other institutions currently competing with the Bison in the Patriot League include American University, Colgate University, The College of the Holy Cross, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, United States Military Academy and United States Naval Academy. In addition, Fordham University and Georgetown University are associate members in the sport of football, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the sport of women's rowing.
Loyola will join the Patriot League in the following 17 sports: men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's golf, men's and women's lacrosse, women's rowing, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's tennis, women's indoor and outdoor track and field, and women's volleyball.
Bucknell Associate Director of Athletics Jon Terry
Patriot League Assistant Executive Director, Communications Matt Dougherty