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 Vermont. 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- conferences.) 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.