Fisher Joins Liberty League for Rowing
St. John Fisher College has accepted an offer from the Liberty League to become an associate member in the sports of men's and women's rowing.
Fisher announced the addition of men's and women's rowing in the summer of 2011 and completed its inaugural season this past May, finishing 14th out of 25 teams at the New York State Collegiate Rowing Championship.
“St. John Fisher College shares the Liberty League's vision of providing a high quality student-athlete experience while maintaining academic success,” said Fisher President Dr. Donald E. Bain. “While new to the arena of college rowing, we are committed to the sport and look forward to developing a strong relationship with the Liberty League.”
The Liberty League previously had six institutions that sponsor women's rowing as an NCAA Division III sport—University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, Skidmore College, St. Lawrence University, Union College, and William Smith College. The addition of Fisher gives the league seven institutions that sponsor women's rowing. Upon fulfillment of a 2-year waiting period, the Liberty League should receive automatic qualification to the NCAA Division III women's rowing championship beginning in 2016.
While not an NCAA sport, the Liberty League also sponsors a men's rowing championship for varsity intercollegiate programs. The five league institutions currently sponsoring men's varsity rowing are Hobart College, Rochester Institute of Technology, Skidmore College, St. Lawrence University, and Union College.
The 2014 Liberty League rowing championships will be held Sunday, April 27, at Saratoga Lake in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
“The Liberty League is excited to welcome St. John Fisher College as a member in the sports of men's and women's rowing,” said Liberty League Commissioner Tracy King. “Like our current league members, Fisher has demonstrated a commitment to providing a high quality educational experience for its student-athletes. The addition of Fisher will give the Liberty League seven institutions that sponsor women's varsity rowing—the number required to receive an NCAA championship bid. We look forward to providing NCAA championship access to our dedicated student-athletes. This is a win-win situation for the Liberty League and St. John Fisher College.”
A member conference of the NCAA's Division III, The Liberty League has ten full members and sponsors championships in 26 sports.
Originally founded as the Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association in 1995, the conference was renamed the Liberty League during the summer of 2004. The league includes founding members Clarkson University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the University of Rochester, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, St. Lawrence University, Skidmore College, and Union College. Vassar College became a full member of the league during the 2000-01 academic year, and Bard College and Rochester Institute of Technology joined for the 2011-12 academic year.
Men's and women's rowing are just two of the 23 intercollegiate athletic programs Fisher currently sponsors.
The Cardinals are a full-time member of the Empire 8 Conference, along with Alfred University, Elmira College, Hartwick College, Houghton College, Ithaca College, Nazareth College, Stevens Institute of Technology, and Utica College. The Empire 8 does not sponsor men's and women's rowing.