One of the Northeast Conference’s (NEC) most successful teams in the conference’s history is on their way out.
On June 15, Robert Morris University (RMU) announced that they will leave the conference for the Horizon League in 10 of its Division I sports. The move will be for the upcoming 2020-2021 athletic season.
“The Colonials align with the Horizon League’s mission, vision and core values. Their addition brings competitive potential, especially in men’s basketball, the engaged and vital communities of Moon Township and Greater Pittsburgh, and membership diversity. Their addition positions the Horizon League perfectly for the future,” said Horizon League commissioner Jonathan LeCrone.
The Colonials have won nine men’s basketball conference tournament titles in the league’s 38-year history, including winning the 2020 title. The team has appeared in five tournament championship games over the last decade.
On the women’s side, the Colonials have won eight conference tournament championships and were possibly on their way to another in 2020 before COVID-19 cancelled the conference tournament. Robert Morris has appeared in a postseason tournament in five of the last six seasons.
Robert Morris has been a thorn in the side of Sacred Heart on the hardwood over the last several seasons. Since Anthony Latina and Jessica Mannetti took over the basketball programs at Sacred Heart, their teams are a combined 8-20 against Robert Morris.
On the gridiron, the Colonials will stay in the conference for the 2020 season. Following the upcoming season, the football program will move to the Big South. Sacred Heart is scheduled to face off against Robert Morris for the final time as conference foes on Nov. 21. Sacred Heart has won six of the past seven matchups with the Colonials
“While we are disappointed by this news given its founding member status in 1981, we thank RMU for its long-standing partnership with the NEC and the many memories we’ve shared over the years,” said Northeast Conference commissioner Noreen Morris in a statement.