“The decision by the America East Conference to disqualify Stony Brook University student-athletes from Conference championships and, as a consequence, deprive them of the opportunity to earn NCAA team automatic qualification is unfortunate and inconsistent with the precedent the Conference set last spring when the University of Hartford announced its intention to leave the Conference. The University of Hartford’s student-athletes suffered no retribution or sanction,” Stony Brook University officials said.
“At a time when college athletics has emphasized nurturing the well-being and success of student-athletes both on and off the field, America East has chosen to impose harsh punitive measures against the student-athletes whom it has pledged to support. We strongly urge the Conference to reconsider its decision.
The time to eliminate this harmful rule is long overdue. We will work diligently to advocate equitable change in the AE and CAA bylaws to reflect national best practices and our shared goal of supporting and protecting student-athletes,” officials continued.
Added Shawn Heilbron, Stony Brook University Director of Athletics, “Following our announcement that we will move to the Colonial Athletic Association, we were extremely disappointed to be informed by the America East that Stony Brook student-athletes would not be allowed to compete for conference championships and, therefore, the opportunity to earn NCAA team automatic qualification. This decision does nothing to advance the interests of the conference, but instead punishes Stony Brook University’s talented student-athletes and runs contrary to the decision that the Board of Presidents made last spring when the University of Hartford announced they were leaving the conference. As a result, Stony Brook plans to review all options, legal and otherwise, to address this decision.”