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Hopey: “In my opinion Division 2 is no man’s land”

From a story in The Boston Business Journal, Merrimack College President Dr. Christopher Hopey talked about the college’s vision both academically and athletically, including the possible expansion of all athletics to Division I status.

It was a very good piece by Craig Douglas, who explored how Merrimack has been able to expand and grow without accumulating the massive debt other institutions have.

From the story:

Among his other to-dos: Hopey said it is high time to explore the college’s options to bump its football program to Division 1 or Division 1A within the National Collegiate Athletic Association. He described the college’s existing Division 2 program “is very important to the institution” in terms of on-campus events and alumni relations. Merrimack declined to disclose the cost of its football operations, although Hopey said it is on par with outlays at smaller Division 1 schools — only minus the prestige.

Merrimack’s deliberations follow a stretch in which a handful of the region’s other Division 1A schools, including Boston University and Northeastern University, disbanded their football programs, citing weak returns on their investments. Merrimack currently plays in the Northeast 10 conference with local schools such as Assumption College in Worcester and Bentley University in Waltham.

Hopey said he envisions a day when Merrimack will square off against programs like the University of Maine, the University of New Hampshire and Harvard University, among others. Whatever the outcome, more relevance is on the docket. “In my opinion Division 2 is no man’s land,” Hopey said.

Mike McMahon covers Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike is also on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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