On Thursday, Oct. 5, Commissioner Tom DiCamillo of the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) announced the addition of two full-time members to the organization: SUNY Canton and SUNY Morrisville. The two schools will start playing with SUNYAC in the 2024-25 school year.
DiCamillo also said that SUNYAC would designate men’s wrestling as its 22nd sport, and add five associate members to the conference that will participate in five different sports.
“We are thrilled that SUNY Morrisville and SUNY Canton have accepted our invitation to become full-time members of the SUNYAC, and we are excited about the creation of our eight-team wrestling conference with associate members Ithaca, Rochester Institute of Technology, St. John Fisher and Utica, as well as the addition of Alfred State that strengthens our indoor and outdoor track and field championships,” said Alberto Cardelle, chair of the SUNYAC Presidents Council.
Already previously recognized as associate members by SUNYAC, the invitation for SUNY Canton and SUNY Morrisville to become full-time members will allow the schools to play games closer to their respective campuses, and in a robust, competitive NCAA Division III conference with 22 conference championships.
SUNY Canton’s director of athletics Randy Sieminski highlighted some of the benefits of being a full-time member. “Having all of our conference games in-state will help reduce travel times and travel costs as well as allow our student-athletes more time off the bus and in the classroom.”
While SUNY Canton only became an associate member this year through men’s and women’s ice hockey, SUNY Morrisville joined the SUNYAC in 2007, but left two years later to join the North Eastern Athletic Conference, now known as the United East Conference. The school remained an associate member of SUNYAC through their men’s and women’s ice hockey and field hockey programs.
“We have been a longtime associate member and when this opportunity to join the SUNYAC full-time presented itself, it was an invitation we could not refuse,” said SUNY Morrisville’s director of athletics, Matt Grawrock.
SUNY Morrisville will compete in 15 out of the 22 conference championship sports SUNYAC offers, while SUNY Canton will compete in 13. Men’s wrestling is the newest of the 22 sports, following the dissolution of the Empire Collegiate Wrestling Conference (ECWC), which previously represented the sport with a nine-team league.
The new SUNYAC-sponsored men’s wrestling league will consist of eight teams, four of which are the aforementioned new associate members that will join SUNY Brockport, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Oneonta and SUNY Oswego. The league will start competing in the 2024-25 season.
The fifth new associate member joining SUNYAC is Alfred State, which will begin competing in men’s and women’s outdoor and indoor track and field, also starting next year.
“The SUNYAC has always produced some of the top track & field athletes regionally and nationally. This move will help us in recruiting and offering a competitive conference meet both indoors and outdoors,” said Tim Giagios, head coach of the Alfred State cross country and track and field program.
SUNYAC, now in its 65th year of athletic play, looks to remain as a strong NCAA Division III conference, with almost 5,000 student athletes.