Robert Morris leaves NEC for Horizon League

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (AP) — Robert Morris is leaving the Northeast Conference to join the Horizon League.

The school announced on Monday that it will become the 12th member of the Horizon League on July 1. Robert Morris, located Pittsburgh’s western suburbs, will join the league in 10 sports, including men’s and women’s basketball as well as soccer and track and field.

”This is the next great step forward for our student-athletes,” school president Dr. Chris Howard said in a statement.

The Colonials have become an NEC power in men’s and women’s basketball in recent years. The men’s program has reached the NCAA tournament four times in the last 11 years while the women’s program has won the NEC’s automatic bid seven times in the last 14 seasons. Both programs captured NEC titles this spring before the season ended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The move to the Horizon League comes as the school is the midst of an aggressive expansion that included the opening of the 4,000-seat UPMC Events Center last fall.

The Horizon League is also undergoing an overhaul. The additions of Robert Morris and Purdue Fort Wayne next month will boost membership from 10 to 12.

”The Colonials align with the Horizon League’s mission, vision and core values,” Horizon League commissioner Jonathan B. LaCrone said. ”Their addition brings competitive potential, especially in men’s basketball.”

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