Executive Director of the Patriot League To Step Down At End of Season

Carolyn Schlie Femovich has decided to step down as the Executive Director of the Patriot League on July 31, 2015, it was announced Wednesday by Patriot League Council of Presidents Chairman Dr. Cornelius M. Kerwin, president at American University.

Femovich is the League's fourth Executive Director and has been in the position as the League's longest serving Executive Director since taking the position in 1999.

She'll be a tough act to follow.

"It has been my privilege to serve as the League's Executive Director and work on behalf of such distinguished academic institutions that are committed to the scholar-athlete model for intercollegiate athletics," said Femovich. "I am especially proud of the outstanding educational and personal experiences the League provides to thousands of student-athletes each year. It has been an honor and source of pride to represent the League and its unwavering commitment to high academic achievement and success in NCAA Division I competition.
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Posted in Carolyn Femovich, Football, Lehigh, Patriot League | Leave a comment

The 2015 Patsy Ratings – Colgate’s Class of 2019

Art heard a knock on the door.  He thrust open the door, but there was nobody there to be seen.

Looking down, he saw an envelope.

"The Committee," it simply read on the back, with a bar code and "100% completion", written in block letters, on the back.

A chill went up Art's spine as he opened the letter, which had the scent of minty freshness.

"Is it those Hamiltonians trying this stuff again?" a businesswoman looking suspiciously like Nicki Minaj said once again.

Art's voice trembled as he read the letter.

"In order to have the Colgate recruiting class at 100% completion," he read, "you need to add these extra names to the end of the list."

There was a pause as Art read the block letters of the recruits listed in the letter, as he made sure both deadbolts on the door were locked and in place.

"And to think," Nicki said, "these guys have the best toothpaste anywhere."

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Posted in Class of 2019, Colgate, Dan Hunt, Football, Lehigh, Patsy Ratings | Leave a comment

The 2015 Patsy Ratings – Holy Cross’ Class of 2019

Art looked over the numbers.

"Are you sure," he asked the raven-haired businesswoman that looked uncannily like Nicki Minaj, "that we should mention this?"

"Legally, it would probably be the best thing."

"OK, then, let me read it and see what you think," silver-haired Art said.

"The Patsy Ratings are for entertainment purposes only.  Anyone who would read too far into to these would be foolish.  It's also not an indicator of any individual recruits' worth.  Many big Patsy Point recruits don't amount to a hill of Fava beans in the League, and other guys who didn't generate a single Patsy Point came out of nowhere to make all-Patriot League.

"And that's not to mention that in the Patriot League, it's really all about the diploma over everything else.  Football gives you the opportunity to go to one of the best schools in the nation and compete against the best in Division I, FCS.  If you made it this far, you're one of an elite group of kids, with an opportunity some only dream of.  It's up to you what you make of that opportunity."

"Your victory is right around the corner. Never give up," she said.

Art looked at her quizzically.

"I mean, add that at the end there," she said.  "That really makes it sound much better."

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Posted in Class of 2019, Football, Holy Cross, Lehigh, Patsy Ratings, Tom Gilmore | Leave a comment

The 2015 Patsy Ratings – Ranking the Recruiting Classes of the Patriot League

The knock on the door of the Committee's fortieth floor offices came in early February.

Coming to the door was a short, silver-haired man named Art, holding a vacuum cleaner in one hand and tape of Bucknell's thrilling win over Kansas in the NCAA men's basketball tournament in the other.  Even though he had been working for about an hour, it looked like he actually was sleeping in the office.

"Yes?" he said to the raven-haired office person who looked uncannily like Nicki Minaj.

"I got all of the numbers," she said, "all of them this time.  No calling me back for weeks waiting for Georgetown to get them all in.  They're all here.  Linebackers, kickers, wideouts.  All the names are here.  So you can get to work right now on all of this."

"You must be mistaken, Nicki.. I mean, lady," Art said.  "I'm just the guy who sweeps up in the Committee's offices.  I haven't seen any of the Committee members since they were on that three-week bender in the Bronx and then went boozing and skiing in the Granite State.  I think they still may still be up there."

"Just get to work in it," she said, her straight, long black hair waving a little as she dropped the paperwork on the desk that still smelled like Courvoisier.

It was then Art realized how much trouble he was in.

Somewhere, a dog barked.

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Posted in Bucknell, Class of 2019, Colgate, Football, Fordham, Georgetown, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh, Patriot League, Patsy Ratings, Recruiting | Leave a comment

Why FCS Schools Need To Be Very Concerned About Full Cost Of Attendance

Start getting used to the term "full cost of attendance", or, as many who are obsessed about college sports are calling it, "FCOA".

In January, the eighty schools of the "Power 5" FBS football conferences voted 79-1 to allow its members to offer additional money above the cost of a scholarship - up to the "full cost of attendance" of the school.

It's been legislation that the "Power 5" schools have wanted to enact for years, surviving an embarrassing legislative loss when the rest of the NCAA's membership voted in 2011 against the original proposal crafted by NCAA president Mark Emmert and many members of the Power 5 leadership.

It led to the Power 5 asking for autonomy over the rest of the NCAA's membership to all them to enact their own legislation for themselves, without a vote by the rest of the membership.  

Now, as the Power 5 wanted all along, FCOA is here.

Sadly, it's still every bit as complicated - and unbalancing - as the many critics of FCOA feared.  And at the FCS level, it seems like the strategy is to simply hope and pray that nobody decides to implement it for their own athletic departments.

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Posted in Atlantic 10, Big South, CAA, FCS, Football, Full Cost of Attendance, Patriot League, Power 5 | Leave a comment

Who Will Open Lehigh’s Football Schedule in 2016?

It all started when I heard that the three-time defending FCS champions, North Dakota State, are looking for a new home opener in 2016.

"NDSU is back in the business of looking for a football game," the post says.  "That’s after the news we broke yesterday that Western Carolina had bought out of its 2016 date in Fargo, instead scheduling a game against East Carolina for September 3rd, 2016. NDSU was scheduled to host WCU on September 1st."

Any good Lehigh fan might then ask: are the Mountain Hawks available for a game in Fargo on the first weekend of September in 2016?

The official answer is we don't know, because Lehigh hasn't officially posted a 2015 football schedule yet, let alone a 2016 schedule.

But that doesn't stop us at Lehigh Football Nation from taking a peek at potential foes for a 2016 road opener - including some exciting names.
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Posted in 2015, 2016, Andy Coen, FBS, Football, Future Football Schedules, Joe Sterrett, Lehigh, North Dakota State | Leave a comment

Lehigh’s Class of 2019 Announced – The Full Story of Signing Day Now Told

What a day.

Signing Day has become an event across the nation, and for Lehigh it's no less of a celebration than anywhere else in the country.

People dressed as Teletubbies, people brought their dogs, and there was even suspense.  (And that was just on my Twitter timeline.)

Lehigh announced a mammoth-sized class - an eye-popping array of 31 names - with recruits coming from the Big Sky, California, the South, and our local area of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, too.

I tried to tell the story through the many links and pictures on my timeline via Storify.

Enjoy it all below the flip.

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Posted in Andy Coen, Class of 2019, Football, Lehigh, National Signing Day | Leave a comment

The Tone Deafness of Penn State President Eric Barron Is Deafening

New Penn State President Eric Barron (Nabil K. Mark, AP)/Morning Call
Penn State president Eric Barron certainly made an impression yesterday.

A few months ago, Barron said he would review the Freeh report, the one requested by Penn State's board of Trustees in the wake of the revelations against Gerald Sandusky and was used by the NCAA as a justification for unprecedented sanctions against the university.

Evidently, his report is in.

Today, he said that the Freeh report "very clearly paints a picture about every student, every faculty member, every staff member and every alum. And it's absurd. It's unwarranted. So from my viewpoint, the Freeh Report is not useful to make decisions."

His tone deaf comments continued.

"Unfortunately, there are a lot of shoes that have to drop. You could argue that public opinion has found us guilty before the criminal trials," he said. "There's no doubt in my mind what was completely and totally wrong was the notion that this entire alumni base, our students, our faculty, our staff, got the blame for what occurred."

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Posted in Eric Barron, Freeh Report, Gary Schultz, Graham Spanier, Penn State Football Scandal, Sandusky, Tim Curley | Leave a comment

Terror In Europe Hits Close To Home

I know what it's like.

I know what it's like to be living in a city where terror lives and breathes, a place where terrorists do plenty to put civilians in harm's way.

More than ever this is the scene playing out in Paris, London, Brussels and other places in Europe following the Charlie Hebdo murders these last couple of weeks, with word of hacked websites, copycat crimes, police crackdowns and foiled terrorist plots.

But these are not unique times.

As an American who lived abroad in the late 1970s and 1980s, I was there, too.  I know what it's like.
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Posted in 1980s, American School of Paris, Charlie Hebdo, Living Overseas, Paris | Leave a comment

Message to FCS Schools: The Playoff Experience Is What You Make Of It

When you think of FCS playoff success in the 2010s, you have to think of the most successful current program playing FCS football over the last four years: North Dakota State.

The Bison's three national championships speak for themselves, and if you count their impressive playoff run in 2010 as well, their four-year record in the playoffs is as impressive as Youngstown State's and Appalachian State's runs in the last thirty years.

In 2011, the Lehigh football team saw the Thunder Dome (or, if you prefer, the FargoDome) up close, and saw what home advantage can do in the playoffs.  The 24-0 win wasn't the most impressive performance by the Bison ever in the postseason.  However, the hallmarks of the North Dakota State home-field advantage, in the form of false starts and timeouts for the visiting team, were very evident in Lehigh's gameplay that afternoon.

Today I'm taking a look at the process of determining seeds and bids to the FCS playoffs, and I found a system where a different schools have different expectations of the what the playoffs can offer.

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Posted in Athletics Departments, FCS, Finances, Football, Lehigh, North Dakota State, Playoffs, UNH | Leave a comment