The Empire 8 and the Liberty League are proud to announce that they are partnering for as postseason football game between member institutions. The inaugural New York State Bowl Game will involve the top team from each conference that are not selected for the NCAA Division III playoffs.
On an annual basis, the top Liberty League team which did not make the NCAA playoffs will play the top E8 team not in the NCAA's. The host institution would alternate by year. In 2017, the Liberty League rep is slated to serve as host. The bowl game for 2017 is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 18.
Previously, the top available team in each of these conferences have participated in the ECAC bowl games. In recent years, the Centennial and MAC have pulled out of the ECAC bowl structure, as have the CCC, ECFC, MASCAC and NEWMAC.
Without the Liberty League and Empire 8, the ECAC would be left with schools from the New Jersey Athletic Conference and Presidents' Athletic Conference.
“This collaborative effort between the Empire 8 and Liberty League athletic conferences is yet another way for us to support the development of our scholar athletes,” said Hartwick president and outgoing Empire 8 president Margaret Drugovich. “On behalf of the presidents of the Empire 8 member colleges and universities, I applaud this initiative and thank Empire 8 conference commissioner Chuck Mitrano for taking the initiative to create this new platform for D-III football competition."
"The Liberty League is pleased to partner with the Empire 8 to provide a postseason championship opportunity for our student-athletes,” said Liberty League commissioner Tracy King. “This unique experience will provide our football student-athletes with a postseason experience that many of our student-athletes in other sports receive through conference tournament participation. We look forward to this great competitive opportunity.”
Respective conference by-laws would be used to determine which participant earns the bid into the NYS Bowl Game. For example, if two or more teams are tied to serve as the league representative, the normal tie-breaking procedures of that league will determine which team earns the bid.
“The New York State Bowl Game will be an exceptional event for institutions, student-athletes, football fans and our campus communities,” said Mitrano. “It’s the beginning of what will be an unrivaled football tradition between two of the best football conferences in the country.”
There are many benefits to this relationship for both leagues with the biggest being a quality game on a member campus that will be well attended and provide a culminating experience for student-athletes and institutions.