On February 13, 2012, the Patriot League announced the conference will begin to offer football scholarships in 2012. The Patriot League, whose football members include Bucknell, Colgate, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh, Fordham and Georgetown, will allow 15 athletic scholarships, including those to transfers, in future recruiting classes.
Lafayette College president Dr. Daniel H. Weiss, the chair of the league council of presidents stated the league came to the conclusion the decision was “in the best interest of the league because it will help us with future membership prospects for joining the league, it will help us with scheduling out-of-league competitors in football, it will allow us to be more competitive in admissions with regards to identifying and recruiting to our campuses’ outstanding students who also play Division I football at the level of the Patriot League.”
This move will likely not only keep the conference intact, but could also lead to potential expansion. Patriot League executive director Carolyn Schlie Femovich added, “I think there would be some attractiveness to adding one or two more members on the football side and perhaps one or two more members on the full member side. Those conversations have yet to take place. I expect that we’ll be in a good position to do that over the course of the next year or so.”
A full article on the change in financial-aid policy can be found via the Chicago Tribune.
The full Patriot League press release can be found here.