The Northeast Conference has taken a few hits of late with the departure of Monmouth and Quinnipiac to the MAAC. Sacred Heart, even with the addition of high-profile executive athletics director Bobby Valentine, seems content, though.
“I’ll be polite to my MAAC colleagues,” said Jim Barquinero, the senior vice president for intercollegiate athletics and student affairs at Sacred Heart. “I believe the Northeast Conference is in many ways a stronger conference than the MAAC with the possible exception of the current RPI level in men’s basketball.”
The MAAC is currently 14th in the RPI while the NEC is 20th in men’s basketball. In women’s basketball, the NEC is actually ranked higher than the MAAC at 24th and 26th, respectively.
“If you across all the other sports and the athletes who participate, I think Quinnipiac and Monmouth elevate the MAAC because of their commitments to sports in addition to basketball,” he added. “Unfortunately for the Northeast Conference we’re losing good members, and we’ve lost a nice tradition back and forth with Quinnipiac which we may continues as non-conference opponents.”
Barquinero added that no matter who came in as AD, the school always has to be prepared for change due to the constant shifting of schools in college athletics today.
“We need to obviously be prepared as I think all mid-majors do for ‘what it’ scenarios,” said Barquinero, who added he would work with Valentine on SHU’s plan.