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Stony Brook appears committed as Big South member
Stony Brook has no designs on bolting from its associate membership in the Big South.
The Long Island, N.Y.-based school is under contract to compete in the league in football only through 2011. A new deal has not been reached, but the sides have started negotiations and could extend their marriage of convenience, which allowed the Big South to earn an automatic bid into the FCS playoffs.
“To be totally honest, I love the Big South,” Stony Brook Athletic Director Jim Fiore said at the NCAA Myrtle Beach Baseball Regional earlier this month. “I truly like and respect the people in the Big South. The conference is committing [resources] and getting harder and harder. … We’re a proud member of the conference.
“We’re committed to the Big South. I’m not waiting for anybody. The Big South is a good home for us.”
The Seawolves shared the Big South championship last season, beating Liberty in the season finale to clinch a share of the title with the Flames. Stony Brook is a member of the America East for other sports.
The school could play a large role in the future of the FCS landscape. After the dust settles on the realignment in the FBS power conferences, lesser-profile conference changes could occur on the FCS level.
The Colonial Athletic Association has lost two football-playing members in the last year and could look to replace Hofstra and Northeastern. Stony Brook could be an attractive option - especially now that Hofstra no longer plays football - since it is located in the shadow of New York City, a media market that any FCS conference would love to have.
But Fiore said Stony Brook enjoys its affiliation with the northern schools in the America East and doesn’t necessarily see itself being a good full-time fit in a conference that spans as far south as the Carolinas.
“We like our success, we like where we are going and we like what we have in the program,” Fiore said. “With that said, it’s all finances at the end of the day. … That said I don’t know what’s going to happen. We want to be talked about like the Michigans and Virginias: a large, state research institute. … We ultimately want to be aligned athletically with that. That’s my job.”