Release courtesy of Janelle Zera, Assistant Commissioner - Empire 8
ROCHESTER, NY - The Empire 8 Athletic Conference and the Liberty League Athletic Conference are proud to announce that they are partnering for a postseason football game between member institutions. The Inaugural New York State Bowl Game will involve the top team from each conference that are not selected for the NCAA Division III championship tournament.
On an annual basis, the top Liberty League team, which did not make NCAAs, will play the top E8 team, which did not make NCAAs. The host institution would alternate by year. In year one, the Liberty League rep would serve as host. The bowl game for 2017 is scheduled for Saturday, November 18.
"This collaborative effort between the Empire 8 and Liberty League athletic conferences is yet another way for us to support the development of our scholar athletes," said Hartwick College President and outgoing Empire 8 President Margaret Drugovich. "On behalf of the Presidents of the Empire 8 member colleges and universities, I applaud this effort to create a new platform for DIII football competition."
Respective conference by-laws would be used to determine which participant earns the bid into the NYS Bowl Game. For example, if two or more teams are tied to serve as the league representative, the normal tie-breaking procedures of that league will determine which team earns the bid.
"The New York State Bowl Game will be an exceptional event for institutions, student-athletes, football fans and our campus communities," said Empire 8 Commissioner Chuck Mitrano. "It's the beginning of what will be an unrivaled football tradition between two of the best football conferences in the country."
There are many benefits to this relationship for both leagues with the biggest being a quality game on a member campus that will be well attended and provide a culminating experience for student-athletes and institutions.
The Liberty League is pleased to partner with the Empire 8 to provide a postseason championship opportunity for our student-athletes," said Liberty League Commissioner Tracy King. "This unique experience will provide our football student-athletes with a postseason experience that many of our student-athletes in other sports receive through conference tournament participation. We look forward to this great competitive opportunity."
NCAA rules permit a conference-sponsored postseason tournament – one between teams that are not identified until the end of the preceding regular season – not to exceed one contest for any one institution.
More information will be available throughout the season and following the announcement of the 32-team NCAA Division III championship field. Check back at the conference websites – empire8.com and libertyleagueathletics.com – for all the details.