NEC, Pioneer Football League Announce Changes To Gridiron Classic
Somerset, NJ -- The Northeast Conference and Pioneer Football League have changed the selection procedures regarding participating teams and the date of the Gridiron Classic, the respective offices announced on Thursday.
The Gridiron Classic, an exempted postseason football game that will match the champions of the two I-AA football conferences, originally was scheduled to be played November 18 at the Northeast Conference champion. However, the date of the 2006 game has been moved to December 2 to provide an opportunity for either league's regular-season champion to participate in the NCAA I-AA Football Championship if selected as an at-large participant.
In the event the regular season champion of either conference is selected to participate in the NCAA I-AA Football Championship, the two leagues agreed the second-place team from that conference will participate in the Gridiron Classic.
The Northeast Conference consists of 11 institutions located throughout five states and is celebrating its 25th year as an NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association. The NEC began sponsoring football at the I-AA level in 1996, and has since increased its membership from five to eight institutions. Central Connecticut State, Monmouth, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart, St. Francis (Penn.) and Wagner are full-time NEC members who sponsor football, and they are joined by associate members Albany and Stony Brook.
In its 14th season, the Pioneer Football League is one of three Division I football-only sport conferences. The PFL is comprised of eight members: Butler, Dayton, Davidson, Drake, Jacksonville, Morehead State, San Diego and Valparaiso.