Northeast Conference Campus Tour (June 29, 2012) – A quick trip across the campuses of the NEC’s 12 member institutions

Bryant – The NEC Baseball Rookie of the Year is strutting his stuff in the NECBL.  Bryant right-handed starting pitcher Kevin McAvoy is spending the summer as a member of the Keene Swamp Bats’ rotation and recently threw 6.2 innings of no-hit ball. McAvoy’s second start of the summer season ended with the Swamp Bats’ bullpen completing the no-hit bid. The effort landed McAvoy the NECBL Pitcher of the Week award. Read more.

Central Connecticut – It’s no surprise that CCSU head football coach Jeff McInerney is “fired up” for another season on the gridiron.  After all, his Twitter handle is “JmFireUp_” for a reason.  McInerney and the Blue Devils have released season ticket packages for purchase via the athletic department’s official website.   CCSU kicks off the 2012 campaign against defending Big South champion Stony Brook on Sept. 1. Read more.



Fairleigh Dickinson – With the season’s start two months away, Stacey Recanati announced the addition of five freshmen for the upcoming campaign.  Jordon Collis, Allison Butler, Corey Lostetter, Maddie Gibbons and Grace Hong comprise Recanati’s latest recruiting class and will likely all be in uniform when the Knights open the season against UC Riverside on Aug. 24. Read more.

LIU Brooklyn – The borough’s newest head men’s basketball coach made an appearance at Brooklyn’s MCU Park earlier this week.  The top assistant coach for the LIU Brooklyn teams that captured the past two NEC Tournament titles, Jack Perri moved over to the head of the bench when Jim Ferry left for Duquesne.  On June 25, Perri was introduced to the local community when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Brooklyn Cyclones’ game against Hudson Valley.  Read more.


Monmouth – Head football coach Kevin Callahan undoubtedly cracked a smile when he caught a glimpse of the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association’s (FCS ADA) list of APR honorees.  The Hawks received recognition from the FCS ADA for compiling the highest APR score amongst the NEC’s nine football members.  The APR Award recognizes one institution at each of the 14 FCS conferences that has the highest APR score. In addition, the Association also recognizes one institution from each conference that has improved the most from the previous year. Read more.

Mount St. Mary’s – Ashton Eaton is only days removed from his world record-setting performance in the Decathlon at the US Olympic Trails in Eugene, OR.  No, Eaton is not a Mount alumunus, but his coach IS.  Harry Marra competed for the Mountaineers’ track and field squad before graduating from the Mount in 1969.  Read more.

Quinnipiac – The Quinnipiac University Department of Athletics and Recreation placed 57 student-athletes on the Northeast Conference 2012 Spring Academic Honor Roll. Of the 57 student-athletes, 13 were also named to the Commissioner’s Honor Roll with women’s track & field placing a department-best seven student-athletes into that elite category. Read more.

Robert Morris – The Colonials combined for the highest collective grade-point average is the Northeast Conference during the 2011-12 academic year.  As a result, RMU is the recipient of the Institutional Academic Award.  Read more.

Sacred Heart – The number of Pioneers playing in collegiate baseball summer leagues swelled to nine earlier this week when Kody Kerski joined the Holyoke Blue Sox of the NECBL. Kerski has been the starting pitcher in each of Sacred Heart’s two NEC Tournament title-clinching contests.  Read More.


St. Francis (NY) – The countdown has begun.  St. Francis Athletics is counting down its Top 20 moments of the 2011-12 academic year in a feature on its official website.  The first moment (No. 20) went to the women’s basketball program and head coach John Thurston. Read more.


Saint Francis (PA) – Carlin Chesick was a key contributor to the unprecedented run that Red Flash women’s basketball enjoyed in the late 1990s and early 2000s.  Competing for the Flash right in the middle of their string of nine NEC Tournament titles over a 10-year span, Chesick was an all-NEC player prior to her graduation in 2003 and is still involved in collegiate athletics today.  An assistant commissioner at the NCAA Division II PSAC, Chesick was recently profiled in a special Title IX 40th anniversary series.  Read more.

Wagner – The Seahawks continue to reach out even further into the community. A partnership was formed between Wagner athletics and Lifestyles For the Disabled earlier this spring, whereby members of the Lifestyles program visit with and interview a Wagner coach, athlete, or group of athletes, for approximately 30 minutes on a bi-weekly basis.  Read more.

Talkin’ Title IX: 40 Years of Progress Evident in Northeast Conference

With the 40th anniversary of the legislation’s signing upon us, it is only right to recognize a number of the wonderful women who have made the Northeast Conference, and athletics as a whole, what it is today.

From Joan Martin to Susan Hofacre to Brenda Weare, numerous influential women have made unforgettable contributions to the NEC.

Two of those women found themselves in the spotlight on this Monday, June 25.

Gearing up for another go-round in the Olympics, NEC Hall of Famer Christie Pearce Rampone (Monmouth) joined a pair of her US Women’s National Soccer Team teammates on NBC’s Today Show.  The US captain, and four-time World Cup participant, is living proof that women can be wonderful mothers and world-class athletes at the same time.


Here’s the video link for Rampone’s visit to NBC’s Today Show…

During the Fall of 2011, NortheastConference.TV had the opportunity to conduct an exclusive interview with Rampone at her alma mater. View that footage below.


While Rampone was being featured in Midtown Manhattan, another one of the NEC’s most influential women was telling her story to ESPN Deportes down in Brooklyn Heights. 

In 2007, longtime St. Francis (NY) Terrier Irma Garica became the first-ever Hispanic woman to attain the position of Athletic Director at the NCAA Division I level.

Garcia has spent nearly a quarter-century at the Brooklyn-based institution that has billed itself “The Small College of Big Dreams.” Garcia spent her undergraduate years there as a basketball player and later returned to the take over as the head women’s basketball coach.


As part of its Title IX 40th anniversary celebration, the Women’s Sports Foundation  honored Garcia in the nation’s capital on June 21. Women’s Sports Foundation ‘40 for 40’ Press Release.

Link to ESPN Deportes Feature on Irma Garcia:


Top Title IX Tweet
@SFC_CoachD – “If you let me play…” thank you Title IX


Other Title IX Tweets
@karalawson20 – Wow, 40 years! Thank you TITLE IX! Thank you to all who support women’s sports at every level! #maketherules cc @NikeWomen #fb

@jessmendoza – Happy BIRThDAY Title IX!!!! If it wasn’t for you, millions of girls & women would not b as strong, confident and successful. Thank you!!

‏@Lives2Inspire – Senator Bayh on why he pushed Title IX..his late wife had a dream to pursue a degree & her application was returned..”women need not apply”


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Related Stories
40 years later, women’s sports still climbingBoston Herald (Jennifer Roes)

Title IX needed now more than everUSA Today (Christine Brennan)

Five myths about Title IXespnW (Kate Fagan and Luke Cyphers)


– June 26, 2012 –

What Do NEC Student-Athletes Do on Summer Weekends?

Summer weekends have historically been a time when people flock to beaches, parks, and ballgames to enjoy some fun in the sun. 

NEC student-athletes are people, too, and just like much of the population, they partake in summertime weekend excursions and activities.  To find out how a number of the 4,800-plus NEC student-athletes are spending their time this summer, Overtime! Blog turned to Twitter, and here’s some of what we found…


NEC Weekend Tweet-cap
Whether they compete on the gridiron or the diamond, a number of NEC athletes were engaged by MLB’s Subway Series on Sunday when the Mets sent RA Dickey up against the Yankees’ CC Sabathia.


@rmucoop44 – I have to go to a Subway Series game soon.

This starting linebacker’s longtime allegiance to the Metropolitans dates back beyond the 2000 World Series.  Can someone please help him get a ticket for the 2013 matchup?

Meanwhile, This FDU right-handed hurler had no problem finding a ticket to Sunday night’s game.

‏@bbuttts23 – Game 3 #SubwaySeries


Not everyone was tuned into baseball, or at the beach though…

@abbym_45 – Lion King #nevergetsold

While Monmouth’s power forward was watching a Disney Classic, a Mount mid-distance runner stumbled upon Overtime!’s favorite J-Lo flick…

@shananagins28 – Today I randomly thought about wanting to watch the wedding planner and wished I had it and now it’s on TV #yesss #loveit


– June 25, 2012 –

Northeast Conference Campus Tour (June 21, 2012) – A quick trip across the campuses of the NEC’s 12 member institutions

Bryant – Fifteen members of the 2012 NEC baseball regular season champion Bulldogs are scattered in summer leagues throughout the region.  Outfielder Kevin Brown, a former NEC Rookie of the Year and NECBL All-Star, along with hurler Craig Schlitter are playing in the famed Cape Cod Baseball League.  Meanwhile, 2012 NEC Pitcher of the Year Peter Kelich, who was recently tabbed an ABCA All-Region selection, is spending his summer in the NECBL. Read more.

Central Connecticut – Skipper Charlie Hickey has placed 11 Blue Devils in baseball summer leagues and has been tracking their progress.  All-NEC outfielder JP Sportman is one of four CCSU players to appear on a NECBL roster.  Read more.

Fairleigh Dickinson – Both the men’s and women’s golf teams from FDU settled for second-place finishes at the 2012 NEC Golf Championships.  There is no doubt the perennial title contenders will look to return atop NEC golf next season, which will begin with a fall tournament at Towson on Sept. 7.  Head coach Rob Warren released the Knights’ fall schedule on June 21.  Read more.

LIU Brooklyn – Mark Calzonetti is coming back to the Northeast Conference.  The long-time assistant for Monmouth men’s basketball, who most recently helped Iona to the 2012 NCAA Tournament, is set to join Jack Perri’s staff at LIU. Chuck Bridge also agreed to come aboard as the Blackbirds aim for a third straight NEC Tournament title in 2013.  Read more.

Monmouth – Khari Bowen found out what it is what like to be a NEC All-Rookie selection on the track this year, and now the Hawk knows how it feels to be a national champion. Bowen won the 5k at the 2012 Jamaican National Junior Championships at Kingston’s National Stadium last weekend.  It’s just another honor on a long list for Monmouth Track & Field, which swept the men’s and women’s team titles at the conference’s outdoor championship meet this past May. Read more

Mount St. Mary’s – In addition to welcoming his newborn son into the world (congrats Coach!), men’s basketball head coach Jamion Christian welcomed Dave Matturro onto his staff as the Director of Basketball Operations.  Matturro most recently spent three seasons at MAAC power Siena before making the move to Emmitsburg to join Christian in his first season at the helm. Read more.

Quinnipiac – There are still a few months until the TD Bank Sports Center opens its doors for another academic year, but now Bobcats fans know what will be in store for them come the fall.  Quinnipiac announced its schedule for all home events at the first-class facility.  The men’s hoops team will play five non-conference home games, one of which comes against Patriot League champion Lehigh.  Meanwhile, a tussle with Big East member St. John’s highlights the women’s non-league home slate. Read more.

Robert Morris – Olivia Netzler is excited about what the upcoming field hockey season may hold for her Colonials.  The young women who made for a program-best eight wins last season will be back in 2012 and will play six games in front of their home crowd at Joe Walton Stadium. Netzler officially unveiled the team’s fall schedule on Read more.

Sacred Heart – Following their second consecutive trip to the NCAA Baseball Regionals, numerous SHU players will spend their summer on the diamond.  Randy Brochu, the voice of SHU baseball, has vowed to keep tabs on each of these Pioneers while providing periodic updates on the school’s official athletic  website.  Read more.

St. Francis (NY) – Former Terrier hoopster Allan Sheppard has remained connected to his local community. Sheppard had an opportunity to speak at the 2012 Sports Awards Banquet at Randolph Campus High School, his alma-mater, this past spring in Harlem. Sheppard, who is the all-time leading scorer at Randolph with over 3,000 points, was proud to interact with the students and talk about his experiences as a Division I athlete, professional athlete overseas, and his current Team Nike squad. Read more.

Saint Francis (PA) – The Red Flash made a huge leap forward, in terms of wins and losses, during their second-ever season on the lanes.  Head coach Tom Falbo has already recruited a number a first-class bowlers to Loretto and is looking to continue that trend with Sarah Ross. The western Pennsylvania product, who will enroll at SFU for the fall, has been selected to the prestigious Dexter/USBC High School All-American Team. Read more.

Wagner – Quintin Anderson is one of three Wagner gridders to have signed a NFL free agent contract this offseason.  The Seahawks’ former defensive end has the opportunity to prove himself worthy of a spot on the Tampa Bay Bucs’ 53-man roster. recently caught up with Anderson about postgrad life. Read more.


NEC Hall of Famer Jim Phelan Doesn’t Need Letterman’s Top 10

David Letterman has never invited him onto the Late Night Show, but even so, Hall of Fame basketball coach Jim Phelan has made a number of “Top Ten” lists during his life.

Other than his current seventh-place standing on the all-time NCAA Division I coaching wins list, Overtime! doesn’t know exactly how many “Top Ten” lists, Phelan has made.  Whatever that number may be though, Yahoo! Sports writer Jeff Eisenberg just increased it by one.

Being the college hoops junkie that he is, Eisenberg was apparently becoming a bit restless during the offseason. Hence, the creation of The Untouchables,” a 10-part series that is sure to make fans yearn for the start of another season on the hardwood.

In Eisenberg’s words, “The Untouchables is a 10-part series spotlighting college basketball’s most unbreakable records.”

One of those 10 records, No. 5 to be exact, belongs to Phelan.

Sure, Phelan’s 1962 national championship and 830 overall wins are quite impressive, but it’s the 49-year long tenure that is sure to raise eyebrows.


Phelan spent nearly 18,000 days as the head men’s basketball coach at Mount St. Mary’s.

To put it in perspective, no current NEC staff member has even been alive for 18,000 days or 49 years!

Imagine having your dream job at the same place for 49 years! Such was the career of Jim Phelan. (We know it’s hard, but try not to be jealous!)

According to Eisenberg, however, there may never be another man quite as lucky.

Read Eisenberg’s The Untouchables on Yahoo!


From the Tweet Deck
Overtime! would like to thank former Mount St. Mary’s slugger Eric Smith for dropping some NEC baseball knowledge on Twitter last week…

@esmitty29 – 2 current players from the little old NEC currently on the 25 man mlb roster. Slowly waiting for @AndrewBailey40 to return to make it 3!


– June 18, 2012 –

Northeast Conference Campus Tour (June 14, 2012) – A quick trip across the campuses of the NEC’s 12 member institutions

Bryant – It’s mid-June and that means tip-off time for Bryant’s first women’s basketball season as a full-fledged Division I member is only five months away.  Having led the Bulldogs to a 14-15 campaign during their final season of the four-year NCAA-mandated reclassification period, head coach Mary Burke is busy preparing her team for its first season of postseason eligibility.  To that end, she officially introduced six recently-signed Bulldogs who will suit up this fall.  The class contains six members, three guard and three forwards, all of whom are from different states. Read more.

Central Connecticut – The NEC baseball season is over, but Charlie Hickey’s Blue Devils are still making news. Only weeks removed from a sophomore season during which he led CCSU in hitting and earned a spot on the All-NEC First Team, JP Sportman contributed two hits to a winning effort in the NEIBL All-Star Game.  Sportman drove in a run and scored another in the University side’s 5-3 win over the College side.  Read more. While Sportman was busy raking, CCSU alumnus Evan Scribner was making the trip from Sacramento to Oakland.  Scribner, a former all-NEC hurler, received a promotion from the A’s Triple A affiliate to the 25-man MLB roster.  The righty was last in the big leagues in 2011 when he was a member of the San Diego Padres. Read more.

Fairleigh Dickinson – Not a bad way to follow up a trip to the NCAA Tournament.  Elmine Botes(pitcured below), who helped FDU to the NEC title this past April, put an exclamation point of her memorable spring by earning the NEC Women’s Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year award for the second year in a row. Read more.


LIU Brooklyn – The Blackbirds have announced a 30-match regular season volleyball schedule that will open on August 24.  LIU, the runner-up at the 2011 NEC Tournament, will lift the lid off Kyle Robinson’s fifth season at the helm by playing a pair of tournaments on back-to-back weekends.  First up is a trip to UNC–Wilmington followed by a trek to the University of Minnesota. Read more.

Monmouth – The highest Major League Baseball Draft pick in Northeast Conference history is a Monmouth Hawk. Not long after logging a complete-game victory at the 2012 NEC Tournament in Norwich, CT, Monmouth junior RHP Pat Light became the 37th overall selection in the MLB Draft.  Selected in the supplemental round, which is sandwiched in between Rounds 1 and 2, Light surpassed former LIU Brooklyn Blackbird James Jones who went in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB Draft. Read more. Video

Here’s an post-game interview and highlights from Light’s NEC Tournament win on May 17…


Mount St. Mary’s – The Mount’s athletics communications department has used new media to profile a number of the school’s student-athletes throughout the 2011-12 academic year, and recently released a piece on baseball player Josh Winter. Read more.

MSM Senior Spotlight on Josh Winter…


Quinnipiac – Becca Main’s Bobcats have been to the NEC Field Hockey Tournament each of the past four seasons, but have been unable to end their title drought during that time.  When it opens another season at Holy Cross on Aug. 24, Quinnipiac will begin a quest for its first conference crown since 2003 and will have a trio of captains spearheading the effort.  Main announced the selection of three captains for the upcoming campaign.  Read more.

Robert Morris – There has been no shortage of good news for Robert Morris softball lately.  Senior Jacki Timko captured the NEC Softball Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, marking the third year in a row that honor went to a Colonial. Read more.  Meanwhile, head coach Dr. Craig Coleman officially announced the completion of his latest recruiting class with the signing of Australian-born Rachel Sechi.  Read more.

Sacred Heart – The Pioneers topped the NEC men’s soccer regular season standings in 2011 and will officially begin their repeat quest at home against Robert Morris on Sept. 28.  Sacred Heart will have already played seven matches prior to its NEC opener against the Colonials.  SHU lifts the lid off the fall campaign on Aug 30 at Saint Peter’s. Read more.

St. Francis (NY) – John Thurston is putting the pieces in place for what will be his first season at the helm of Terriers’ women’s basketball.  After elevating Dionne Dodson to the top assistant position, Thurston added Nettie Respondek (pictured below) to his coaching staff.  The former Vanderbilt player, who has made coaching stop at NYC-based programs Fordham and Columbia, will make the move to Brooklyn Heights. Read more.


Saint Francis (PA) – Mary Kate Williams is coming home to Loretto. The Red Flash alumnae has agreed to return to Saint Francis to serve as the women’s golf head coach.  Williams, a New Jersey native, was an all-NEC performer for the Flash in 2004 and went to the NCAA Regionals during three of her four collegiate campaigns.  Read more.


Wagner – The baseball season isn’t over for Chris Smith and Ryan Casey.  The two Seahawks are playing summer ball for the North Jersey Eagles of the ACBL.  Smith and Casey, along with their head college coach, were the subject of a recent feature on New York 1.  Read more

NEC Overtime! Blog Exclusive: Visit By NCAA President Mark Emmert Highlights NEC Council of Presidents Meeting

The setting was the famed New York Times building on a gorgeous June morning in the Big Apple.  With a floor to ceiling view offering a panoramic view of the West Side and Hudson River, NEC Presidents convened on Monday for their semi-annual meeting with Commissioner Noreen Morris and Conference staff.

While there were a number of hot topics on the agenda, it was the arrival of NCAA President Mark Emmert just before noon that had the room buzzing.  Emmert, who assumed his role at the national office in November, 2010 following six years as President of the University of Washington, addressed the CEOs on a number of national issues before engaging in an informative Q&A with the group.


“This is a dynamic moment in intercollegiate athletics.”
                                                                                   – Mark Emmert’s opening remark to the group

The last year has witnessed seismic changes in the college landscape, with conference expansion and changes in league affiliation among BCS football powers sparking a trickle-down effect that has ultimately reached basketball-centric mid-major conferences such as the Atlantic 10, CAA and Horizon League.  Through it all, Emmert has remained upbeat about the current state of the NCAA and its future.

He was quick to point out academic success and graduation rates are up across all three NCAA divisions, but has devoted much of his time to reinforcing the “student” aspect of student-athletes.  As such, Emmert has championed the strengthening of APR standards and initial eligibility requirements.

“Academic reform will have a sea change impact on intercollegiate athletics,” he noted.

Emmert also focused on his quest to reinforce ethics and integrity in intercollegiate athletics, which includes a two-pronged approach of reinventing the NCAA penalty structure and ridding the extensive NCAA manual of what he considers “background noise.”

Though the popularity and interest in college sports has never been higher, Emmert is also committed to changing the public perception of Division I athletics, and not let isolated problems paint the picture of the entire NCAA membership.

“Most ADs and coaches will say the integrity of intercollegiate athletics has never been higher, though there are still issues we need to address.”

“We need to stay on message across the board and focus on providing opportunities for student-athletes to lead a better life.”


The group went on to engage Emmert on a variety of topics, most notably, the NEC’s desire for each conference to have a representative on the NCAA Board of Directors.  The President indicated that NCAA representation and governance issues are at the top of his agenda, and that membership concerns with the decision making process will be reviewed in depth by the national office.

Wrapped around Emmert’s brief New York City visit – which included this Q&A with the New York Times – the NEC Council of Presidents met on a wide range of topics. 

The group was updated on the progress of the league’s new Strategic Plan, currently in development by the Commissioner and Strategic Planning Committee.  The Presidents spent considerable time formulating language related to the Core Values, Vision Statement, NEC Profile and New Member Considerations sections of the Strategic Plan.  The CEOs also approved the six goals that will serve as the Strategic Plan’s foundation.

Morris led a detailed discussion on the current state of conference realignment.  The Presidents offered unanimous support on the current direction of the NEC under its present alignment and emphasized a “value added” approach when considering expansion in the future.

The Presidents approved a recommendation to furnish all 12 member institutions with LED signage for their basketball arenas in time for the 2012-13 season.  The group also affirmed an Athletic Director proposal to reduce the conference schedule in men’s basketball from 18 to 16 games beginning in 2013-14.

Robert Morris President Greg Dell’Omo was named the new chair of the NEC Presidents Council.  Dell’Omo will assume the role held by Tom Powell of Mount St. Mary’s, who completed his two-year term.  The Council presented Powell with an NEC commemorative basketball, thanking him for his service to the Conference.  Bryant’s Ron Machtley, who now takes on Dell’Omo’s role as Vice Chair, was also presented with a keepsake from the group, officially welcoming Bryant to the NEC upon the completion of its five-year NCAA reclassification process this summer.


Dr. John Petillo of Sacred Heart was awarded the 2012 Brenda Weare Commissioner’s Cup, Joan Martin Commissioner’s Cup and NEC Building Communities award.  Vice Admiral Paul Gaffney of Monmouth accepted the Men’s Commissioner Cup award.


The Presidents of the NEC football schools met as well and reviewed a variety of topics.

Morris happily reported that FCS bracket expansion from 20 to 24 teams could become a reality as early as August, needing to clear one last review by the NCAA Executive Committee.  If approved, the expansion ensures all eligible conferences – the NEC included – will receive automatic qualification to the FCS playoffs.

The group also discussed the NEC’s current football scholarship limits, which will cap at 40 athletic-related equivalencies in the 2013 season.  There were no proposals made to change the current financial aid structure at this time, but the Presidents will continue to evaluate and assess this area at both the institutional and national levels.

The Presidents next meet formally in January at St. Francis (NY) College.

June 13, 2012