University of Delaware
Office of Public Relations
The Messenger
Vol. 5, No. 4/1996
New name for North Atlantic Conference

     Effective July 1, the University is a member of America
East. The name change has been  approved by the members of the
North Atlantic Conference (NAC), a 10-member NCAA Division I
athletic conference that UD joined in 1991.
     Current members of America East include Boston, Drexel,
Hofstra, Northeastern and Towson State universities and the
universities of Delaware, Hartford, Maine, New Hampshire and
     In announcing the establishment of America East,
Commissioner Stu Haskell Jr. said, "We believe this change will
enhance name recognition of the organization," and there will be
benefits in marketing and student recruitment.
     Additionally, Haskell said the "new name also more
accurately reflects our expanded membership, with institutions
located from Orono, Maine to Baltimore. We now have campuses in
or very close to five of America's major East Coast cities:
Boston, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore."
     Edgar Johnson, director of the UD Intercollegiate Athletics
Program, agreed, stating that "The name NAC no longer reflected
the composition of our membership. We felt a new name would give
us greater national recognition and a better opportunity to
market the conference."
     In the past, Johnson said, the NAC sometimes was confused
with the two MACs-(the Mid-American and Middle Atlantic-
     Delaware will participate in all of America East's 21
sports, except football. In that sport, the Fightin' Blue Hens
will remain in the Yankee Conference.
     Other changes are planned for America East, including the
relocation of the conference offices to Boston in 1997.
     Haskell also announced that America East has signed an eight-
game television contract with Creative Sports Marketing for the
1996-97 basketball season. It includes six men's games and two
women's games on Sundays at noon during January and February.
     The first telecast on Jan. 5 will feature Towson State
University and the UD in the Bob Carpenter Center.