Monmouth out of NEC football

Having announced a move to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in most sports, Monmouth University has been denied its bid to remain in the Northeast Conference as an associate member in football.

Monmouth, an NEC member in football since 1996, also attempted to remain as an associate member in field hockey and bowling. On Thursday, the NEC accepted only the field hockey program.

The Hawks football program, 5-5 under longtime coach Kevin Callahan this past season, may have to spend at least the 2013 season as an FCS independent. The Big South Conference and Patriot League, both seeking to expand membership, could be potential landing spots for Monmouth.

Reacting to the NEC's decision, Monmouth released the following statement:

"Recently the Northeast Conference Council of Presidents voted on and made the decision to decline Monmouth University's application to join the NEC Football league as an associate member. We are disappointed in this decision in light of the fact that Monmouth has always been an exemplary member of the conference, both on and off the field, particularly in the area of securing an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I playoffs. On the other hand, we knew this was a possible outcome so we have been actively pursuing a new home for MU football and we anticipate a positive outcome in the near future."

Monmouth announced in mid-December its decision to join the MAAC in most sports for the 2013-14 academic year.