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Liberty Conference Joins NCR

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Liberty Conference Joins NCR

Syracuse vs Buffalo. Photo courtesy Syracuse Rugby.

After a bit of a wait, the Liberty Conference has announced that it will join NCR.

The Liberty teams had discussed forming a group called USCRO, but after some time the leadership group realized that creating your own organization when another already exists was not sustainable. So USCRO was put aside as a stand-alone group, and NCR was embraced.

The 19 teams will be in the NCR D1. They are saying they are at the D1A level, and that is a status they can confer on themselves—no one owns the term D1A. 

The Liberty will play in the fall and finish up with end-of-fall playoffs and bowl games. 

In an announcement, the conference leadership said: "We are hopeful our annual event continues to grow as one of the flagship products for D1A college rugby on the east coast as we move into our new venue at Union Point Sports Complex, home to the MLR’s New England Free Jacks. We are excited to be aligned in mission and vision on seasonality, marketability, and the development of collegiate rugby in the United States.”

The Liberty Conference is comprised of 19 teams from across New England and New York State:

American International College
Boston College
Colgate University
Fairfield University
Fordham University
Iona College
Northeastern University
Stony Brook University
SUNY Albany
SUNY at Buffalo
SUNY Binghamton
SUNY Brockport
SUNY Cortland
SUNY Oswego
Syracuse University
University of Connecticut
University of Massachusetts
University of Rhode Island
Tufts University

Of these, Iona was ranked the highest in Goff Rugby Report's D1A rankings, ending the truncated season at #16. Northeast (#26) and AIC (#28) were the next-highest ranked programs, with BC at #30, Syracuse at #31, and Fordham at #39.