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  • New Haven to D1?

    Saw this on Twitter. Is this any more than a rumor?

    "Hearing the University of New Haven got final internal approval to jump to Division I. Not sure of conference, but NEC (currently at 11 teams) seems most likely option. Have solid football facilities, will need upgrades elsewhere."

  • #2
    At this point it's probably a speculative rumor that actually started in September with the hiring of an AD who was previously at Kansas. I'd like to hear the facts from the UNH posters here.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Tech Boys View Post
      At this point it's probably a speculative rumor that actually started in September with the hiring of an AD who was previously at Kansas. I'd like to hear the facts from the UNH posters here.
      That’s pretty much all I know. When NH hired Zenger to be the AD, it was with every intention to explore D1 membership. The university president said during the press conference announcing Zenger’s hire that they were a Division 1 school, and that made me cringe...they’ll be D1 when the truckloads of cash come in to rebuild and renovate many of the facilities. Of course, I wouldn’t put it past them though, they just raised over $100 million in a capital campaign and the one thing Zenger is known to do is raise money. I would rather they try to get to the level of the big D2 schools in the Midwest and South, but the NE10 is pretty much always going to be limited in terms of reaching that competition level, especially in football. It’s just not how the NE10 operates. I also think the NEC is a potential dead end as a conference and not much better than some D2 conferences. I guess they’ll make the move and pray for a March Madness?

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      • #4
        https://www.courant.com/sports/colle...7vu-story.html

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        • #5
          Originally posted by laker View Post
          Saw this on Twitter. Is this any more than a rumor?

          "Hearing the University of New Haven got final internal approval to jump to Division I. Not sure of conference, but NEC (currently at 11 teams) seems most likely option. Have solid football facilities, will need upgrades elsewhere."
          Looks like there’s a plan taking shape...if one picture constitutes a plan:

          https://mobile.twitter.com/robthomps...27580453593088

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          • #6
            Originally posted by cwfenn View Post
            Looks like there’s a plan taking shape...if one picture constitutes a plan.
            What are your thoughts about a potential move? I was just happy when they brought back football after dropping it!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by cwfenn View Post

              That’s pretty much all I know. When NH hired Zenger to be the AD, it was with every intention to explore D1 membership. The university president said during the press conference announcing Zenger’s hire that they were a Division 1 school, and that made me cringe...they’ll be D1 when the truckloads of cash come in to rebuild and renovate many of the facilities. Of course, I wouldn’t put it past them though, they just raised over $100 million in a capital campaign and the one thing Zenger is known to do is raise money. I would rather they try to get to the level of the big D2 schools in the Midwest and South, but the NE10 is pretty much always going to be limited in terms of reaching that competition level, especially in football. It’s just not how the NE10 operates. I also think the NEC is a potential dead end as a conference and not much better than some D2 conferences. I guess they’ll make the move and pray for a March Madness?
              Move to FCS-football is probably very much in play. I think it's worthwhile for them to petition the CAA or the Patriot League as opposed to the NEC.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by laker View Post

                What are your thoughts about a potential move? I was just happy when they brought back football after dropping it!
                I'm a bit wary of the possible move - it costs an awful lot of money to make the move up, and while the university is probably in the best financial shape it has ever been right now after the capital campaign, it's still a significant investment and increase in cost and construction. I think I am biased since I was a student there during the Sparano years and think they can be at that level again in D2 even though the NE10 is, by its own philosophy, a student-before-athlete league. The university has been doing "more with less" with their athletics programs for decades and some of their facilities do need significant upgrades to even come up to good D2 standards. In particular, the basketball arena might seat 1000 on its best day and was smaller than the local high school's when when it was built in the 70's. The football field was awful before they put the turf in too, and while it seats about 4000 (a decent D2 stadium now), I don't know how they make it much bigger where it is located right now. No way they can get 10000 in that stadium right now, and parking for games is probably still a nightmare.

                And then there's the question of competition - Is the university just moving up for a bigger payday, or do they think they can really make noise at that level? If it's the latter, the NEC is not really the place to do it on a permanent basis in my opinion. I do know Albany moved from the NE10 to the NEC and then the CAA (for football) - that might be a possible path for New Haven to take. I'll miss playing Southern CT State - that game is important to the area and the schools despite the lopsided record. I will say I was skeptical when Quinnipiac, a school similar in size to New Haven, made the move a while back, and it's worked for them. They nearly won a national title in ice hockey not that long ago.

                But that being said, New Haven hired a guy in Zenger who is quite smart and skilled at fundraising and building new facilities. He hasn't had a great track record at hiring coaches (the last Kansas football coach before Les Miles sued the university after he was fired...but the lawsuit wasn't Zenger's fault, the coach was a bad choice), but that's another matter since the New Haven football program is in good hands right now. If New Haven football (or some other sport) can be what Quinnipiac is in ice hockey, then it's a great move. Until then, I need to see what happens and how long it will take to make the move. I just know I'm in no position to put my name on any of the new buildings.
                Last edited by cwfenn; 02-14-2020, 02:14 PM.

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                • #9
                  Parking at New Haven games is still a problem. A move to FCS could put them in a position to play cross-town Yale on a frequent basis. [5 minutes away]

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