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PAC ANNOUNCES ADDITION OF TWO FOOTBALL AFFILIATE MEMBERS

Dec. 13 - WEXFORD, Pa. – The Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) has formally announced the addition of Carnegie Mellon (Pa.) University and Case Western Reserve (Ohio) University as football affiliate members, starting in the 2014-15 academic year.

The addition of the CMU and CWRU football programs will raise the number of football programs in the PAC from nine to 11 beginning in the 2014 season. The PAC will play an unbalanced football schedule with eight conference and two non-conference games beginning that season.

The addition of the two schools, who were both former members of the PAC, will be very beneficial to the conference both on the field and off due to the sterling academic reputations Carnegie Mellon and Case Western have, according to Bethany director of athletics and head football coach Tim Weaver.

“Carnegie Mellon and Case Western are natural fits for our conference from a geographic standpoint, and both have had great success in football recently, so I believe we’ve strengthened our conference and hopefully raised our national profile,” said Weaver, who just completed his sixth year as the Bison’s head coach. “Both are also among the top academic institutions not just in our region, but in the country, and any time you can add members like that who are in your backyard, it helps everybody. We’re excited to welcome both schools and programs, and we look forward to competing against them.”

Case Western Reserve and Carnegie Mellon were each previously full members of the PAC. Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve (Adelbert), which merged to form Case Western Reserve in 1967, were both charter members of the PAC from 1955 until the two schools began fielding one team in 1970, and from then until the school's departure from the conference in 1984. Carnegie Mellon was a full PAC member from 1968-89.

Bethany and Carnegie Mellon played the first two years of Weaver’s tenure as BC coach, with the Tartans winning both match-ups to take a 33-7 advantage in the all-time series. The last meeting was a 42-19 Carnegie Mellon victory in 2007, the same year the Tartans went 7-4 and won an ECAC Bowl game. Since then, Carnegie Mellon has posted a 19-21 record, including a 5-5 mark this past fall.

The Bison have not played Case Western Reserve since 1983, a game won by the Spartans 21-7. Despite that outcome, Bethany leads the series 11-2 since 1970. The Spartans have enjoyed great success over the last five years, earning three straight NCAA Playoff bids from 2007-09 and winning at least eight games every season, including a 9-1 record in 2011.

Both schools will remain full members of the University Athletic Association (UAA) in all other varsity sports. The University of Chicago and Washington (Mo.) University, who also currently play football in the UAA, will join the newly-formed Southern Athletic Association (SAA) as football affiliate members, beginning in 2015. The four UAA schools will continue to play each other in football, utilizing available non-conference dates. The annual "Academic Bowl" game between Carnegie Mellon and Case Western Reserve will become a part of "PAC Football Rivalry Week" in the final weekend of each season. All "Rivalry Week" games will not be subject to the unbalanced conference schedule.

The addition of the Tartan and Spartan football programs continues an extended period of membership growth for the PAC. The conference has added five full-time members and lost none over the past 11 years (see PAC membership timeline addendum on page three) and the addition of CMU and CWRU as affiliate members raises the total number of league members to 12 (10 full, two affiliate), the largest number in the history of the conference.

"Clearly, the addition of these excellent institutions to the PAC is yet more evidence that the demand for membership in our conference has never been stronger," stated Joe Onderko, the Executive Director of the PAC. "I believe this is a credit to our Presidents' Council members, who have forged a consistent long-term vision for the conference and have actively and tirelessly worked to strengthen and improve our league in every possible way, resulting in this recent period of membership growth in the PAC."
 
The PAC Office contributed to this release.