Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference
Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference logo.svg
ConferenceNCAA
Founded1951 (1951)
CommissionerSteve Murray (since 1998)
Sports fielded
  • 23
    • men's: 11
    • women's: 12
DivisionDivision II
No. of teams18 full members
HeadquartersLock Haven, Pennsylvania
RegionPennsylvania and West Virginia
Official websitewww.psacsports.org
Locations
Location of teams in (({title))}

The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) is a college athletic conference affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division II level. The conference was originally formed in 1951 as the State Teachers Conference, and was temporarily named the Pennsylvania State Teachers College Conference in 1956 before being named the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference in 1964.[1] The conference is currently composed of 17 full-time members within Pennsylvania and 1 in West Virginia. The conference headquarters are located in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania and staffed by a commissioner, two assistant commissioners, and a director of media relations.

History

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education organized the conference in 1951 to promote competition in men's sports amongst the system's 14 universities. In 1977, following growing interest, the conference was expanded to offer competition in women's sports. From its inception, each conference member selected its own competitive division within the NCAA (I, II, or III). In 1980, however, the presidents voted to reclassify the entire conference to Division II within the NCAA.[2]

Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference is located in Pennsylvania
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PSAC School Locations:
(Schools in red are campuses of Pennsylvania Western University, and schools in green are campuses of Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania, as of the 2022-23 academic year.)

Membership remained unchanged until the conference announced on June 18, 2007, that it had invited three private universities—Gannon University and Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania and C.W. Post of Brookville, New York—to join the conference.[3] Gannon and Mercyhurst left the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference to join the PSAC, effective July 1, 2008.[4] C.W. Post became an associate member for football and field hockey.[5]

In 2010, Seton Hill University was accepted to join the conference as an associate member for field hockey. With the additional transition of West Chester's program from Division I to Division II, the number of teams competing in field hockey increased from 10 to 12 for the 2011 season.[6]

On August 19, 2012, the PSAC announced that Seton Hill and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, formerly members of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC), would become full members beginning with the 2013–14 school year. This announcement was fallout from a split in the WVIAC that ultimately led to the formation of the Mountain East Conference (MEC). Although Seton Hill was one of the schools that initially broke away from the WVIAC, it chose not to join the MEC.[7] The arrival of these two schools brought the PSAC to 18 full members, making it the largest NCAA all-sports conference in terms of membership at that time.[8] While two other conferences briefly expanded to more members, the D-II Lone Star Conference to 19 in 2019–20 and the D-III USA South Athletic Conference to the same number in 2021–22, both have since reduced their memberships to less than 18, once again giving the PSAC the largest membership of any NCAA all-sports conference.[a][b]

In March 2018, charter member Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, facing crises in enrollment, graduation rates, and finances, announced that it would leave NCAA Division II and the PSAC at the end of the 2017–18 school year. The school had dropped football in December 2017.[9]

Later that year, the conference announced that it would expand into West Virginia, bringing in Shepherd University from the MEC as a full member effective with the 2019–20 school year. Shepherd is the first full PSAC member outside of Pennsylvania.[10]

Role in Division I conference realignment

The PSAC played a little-known but nonetheless significant role in the history of NCAA Division I conference realignment. In 1986, the conference was seeking a way out of a football scheduling conundrum. The PSAC had 14 members at the time, and had been split into divisions for decades. One of the methods it historically used to determine a football champion involved a championship game between the winners of its two divisions. However, due to NCAA limits on regular-season games, every PSAC team had to leave a schedule spot open, with only the two division winners getting to play all of their allowed regular-season games. Then-conference commissioner Tod Eberle asked Dick Yoder, then athletic director at West Chester and member of the Division II council, to draft NCAA legislation that would allow the PSAC to play a conference title game that would be exempt from regular-season limits. The initial draft required that a qualifying league have 14 members and play a round-robin schedule within each division; only the PSAC then qualified.[11]

Before Yoder formally introduced the proposal, he was approached by the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, which was interested in co-sponsoring the legislation because it was also split into football divisions and wanted the option of a championship game. Since the CIAA then had 12 members, Yoder changed the legislation to require 12 members instead of 14. Although at the time all NCAA legislation had to be approved by the entire membership, regardless of divisional alignment, the proposal passed with little notice. It was generally seen as a non-issue by Division I-A (now FBS) schools since no conference in that group then had more than 10 members. While the PSAC planned to stage its first exempt title game in 1988, it decided against doing so at that time because the D-II playoffs expanded from 8 to 16 teams that season, and it feared that the result of a title game could cost the league a playoff berth. The new NCAA rule would not see its first use until the Southeastern Conference took advantage of it by expanding to 12 members in 1991 and launching a title game the following year. In 2014, then-Sports Illustrated writer Andy Staples said that the rule "helped dictate the terms of conference realignment for more than 20 years."[11]

Chronological timeline

Notes
  1. ^ After the LSC expanded to 19 members, it lost two to D-I transitions, Tarleton in 2020 and Texas A&M–Commerce in 2022, leaving it at 17 members. After a single school year as a 19-member league, the USA South amicably split into two leagues; eight members left to form the new Collegiate Conference of the South and 10 remained in the USA South, with one member leaving for a third conference.
  2. ^ While the D-III Middle Atlantic Conference, also with 18 members, operates under a single administrative structure, it is actually an umbrella organization of three conferences. Its members are divided into two conferences, MAC Commonwealth and MAC Freedom, that each compete in the same set of 14 non-football sports, including men's and women's basketball. The third conference, known as the Middle Atlantic Conference (not to be confused with the umbrella organization), sponsors competition in 13 other sports, among them football, for Commonwealth and Freedom members.

Member schools

Current members

The PSAC currently has 18 full members, all but three are public schools:

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Colors
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania 1839 Public [a] 7,745 Huskies 1951    
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania 1893 Public [a] 5,136 Warriors 1951    
Gannon University Erie, Pennsylvania 1925 Catholic 4,238 Golden Knights 2008    
Indiana University of Pennsylvania Indiana, Pennsylvania 1875 Public [a] 9,308 Crimson Hawks 1951    
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Kutztown, Pennsylvania 1866 Public [a] 7,675 Golden Bears 1951    
Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania Lock Haven, Pennsylvania 1870 Public [a] 2,920 Bald Eagles 1951    
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania Mansfield, Pennsylvania 1857 Public [a] 1,803 Mountaineers 1951    
Mercyhurst University Erie, Pennsylvania 1926 Catholic 3,217 Lakers 2008    
Millersville University of Pennsylvania Millersville, Pennsylvania 1855 Public [a] 7,213 Marauders 1951    
Pennsylvania Western University California
(California)
California, Pennsylvania 1852 Public [a] 6,512 Vulcans 1951    
Pennsylvania Western University Clarion
(Clarion)
Clarion, Pennsylvania 1867 Public [a] 3,922 Golden Eagles 1951    
Pennsylvania Western University Edinboro
(Edinboro)
Edinboro, Pennsylvania 1857 Public [a] 4,043 Fighting Scots 1951    
University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Johnstown, Pennsylvania 1927 Public
(State-related)
3,032 Mountain Cats 2013    
Seton Hill University[b] Greensburg, Pennsylvania 1883 Catholic 2,014 Griffins 2013    
Shepherd University Shepherdstown, West Virginia 1871 Public 3,159 Rams 2019    
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania Shippensburg, Pennsylvania 1871 Public [a] 5,668 Raiders 1951    
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania 1889 Public [a] 8,424 The Rock 1951    
West Chester University of Pennsylvania[c] West Chester, Pennsylvania 1871 Public [a] 17,640 Golden Rams 1951    
Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).
  2. ^ Seton Hill competed in the PSAC as an affiliate member for field hockey from the 2011 to 2012 fall seasons (2011–12 to 2012–13 school years).
  3. ^ West Chester had dual athletic conference membership with the Middle Atlantic States Collegiate Athletic Conference (now known as the Middle Atlantic Conferences (MAC)) from 1969–70 to 1973–74, and with the East Coast Conference (ECC) from 1974–75 to 1981–82, then the Golden Rams left the ECC and the NCAA Division I ranks in order to fully align with the PSAC and the NCAA Division II ranks.

Former member

The PSAC had one former full member, which was also a public school:

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Enrollment Nickname Joined Left Colors Current
conference
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania Cheyney, Pennsylvania 1837 Public [a] 642 Wolves 1951 2018     N/A
Notes

Former affiliate members

The PSAC had one former affiliate member, which was also a private school:

Institution Location Founded Affiliation Nickname Joined Left PSAC
sport(s)
Primary
conference
Long Island University–Post Brookville, New York 1954 Nonsectarian Pioneers 2008–09f.h.;
2008–09fb.
2012–13f.h.;
2012–13fb.
field hockey;
football
Northeast (NEC)[a][b]
Note
  1. ^ Currently an NCAA Division I athletic conference.
  2. ^ While LIU Post was a full member of the East Coast Conference (ECC) from 1989 to 2019, neither of its PSAC sports were sponsored by the ECC. In 2013, Post moved both of its PSAC sports to the Northeast-10 Conference (NE-10). In July 2019, Long Island University merged its two athletic programs—the LIU Post Pioneers and the Division I LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds—into a single Division I athletic program, the LIU Sharks. The merged program inherited Brooklyn's memberships in Division I and the Northeast Conference (NEC). Sports that had been sponsored by both campuses (among them field hockey) maintained LIU Brooklyn's NEC membership; sports that had been sponsored only by Post (among them football) became NEC members.

Membership timeline

Shepherd UniversityUniversity of Pittsburgh at JohnstownSeton Hill UniversityLIU PostMercyhurst UniversityGannon UniversityWest Chester University of PennsylvaniaSlippery Rock University of PennsylvaniaShippensburg University of PennsylvaniaMillersville University of PennsylvaniaMansfield University of PennsylvaniaLock Haven University of PennsylvaniaKutztown University of PennsylvaniaIndiana University of PennsylvaniaPennWest EdinboroEast Stroudsburg University of PennsylvaniaPennWest ClarionCheyney University of PennsylvaniaPennWest CaliforniaBloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

 Full member (all sports)   Full member (non-football)   Associate member (football-only)   Associate member (sport) 

Sports

In wrestling; Bloomsburg, Clarion, Edinboro, and Lock Haven compete as members of the Division I Mid-American Conference. The PSAC held an annual championship open to all Division I and Division II teams, however with the transition of all of the former members of the Eastern Wrestling League into the MAC starting in 2019 the Division I level PSAC programs will focus on Division I level competition. The PSAC offers championships in the following sports.[12]

A 2-divisional format is used for baseball, basketball (M / W), football, and tennis (W). A 3-divisional format is used for softball. A 4-divisional format is used for volleyball.
East
  • Bloomsburg
  • East Stroudsburg
  • Kutztown
  • Lock Haven
  • Mansfield
  • Millersville
  • Shepherd
  • Shippensburg
  • West Chester
West
  • California
  • Clarion
  • Edinboro
  • Gannon
  • IUP
  • Mercyhurst
  • Pitt–Johnstown
  • Seton Hill
  • Slippery Rock
East
  • East Stroudsburg
  • Kutztown
  • Millersville
  • Shepherd
  • Shippensburg
  • West Chester
Central
  • Bloomsburg
  • Clarion
  • IUP
  • Lock Haven
  • Mansfield
  • Pitt–Johnstown
West
  • California
  • Edinboro
  • Gannon
  • Mercyhurst
  • Seton Hill
  • Slippery Rock
Central
  • Bloomsburg
  • East Stroudsburg
  • Kutztown
  • Lock Haven
  • Millersville
Northwest
  • Clarion
  • Edinboro
  • Gannon
  • Mercyhurst
  • Slippery Rock
Southeast
  • Millersville
  • Shepherd
  • Shippensburg
  • West Chester
Southwest
  • California
  • IUP
  • Pitt–Johnstown
  • Seton Hill
Conference sports
Sport Men's Women's
Baseball Green tickY
Basketball Green tickY Green tickY
Cross Country Green tickY Green tickY
Field Hockey Green tickY
Football Green tickY
Golf Green tickY Green tickY
Lacrosse Green tickY
Soccer Green tickY Green tickY
Softball Green tickY
Swimming & Diving Green tickY Green tickY
Tennis Green tickY Green tickY
Track & Field Indoor Green tickY Green tickY
Track & Field Outdoor Green tickY Green tickY
Volleyball Green tickY
Wrestling Green tickY

Men's sponsored sports by school

School Baseball Basketball Cross
Country
Football Golf Soccer Swimming
& Diving
Tennis Track
& Field
Indoor
Track
& Field
Outdoor
Wrestling Total
PSAC
Sports
Bloomsburg Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 9
California Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 8
Clarion Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 5
East Stroudsburg Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 8
Edinboro Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 6
Gannon Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 8
Indiana Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 8
Kutztown Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 8
Lock Haven Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 6
Mansfield Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 5
Mercyhurst Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 8
Millersville Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 7
Pittsburgh–Johnstown Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 8
Seton Hill Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 8
Shepherd Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 6
Shippensburg Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 9
Slippery Rock Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 7
West Chester Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 10
Totals 17 18 15 16 9 13 7 7 11 13 8 134

Women's sponsored sports by school

School Basketball Cross
Country
Field
Hockey
Golf Lacrosse Soccer Softball Swimming
& Diving
Tennis Track
& Field
Indoor
Track
& Field
Outdoor
Volleyball Total
PSAC
Sports
Bloomsburg Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 10
California Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 10
Clarion Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 10
East Stroudsburg Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 12
Edinboro Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 10
Gannon Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 8
Indiana Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 11
Kutztown Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 12
Lock Haven Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 9
Mansfield Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 7
Mercyhurst Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 9
Millersville Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 12
Pittsburgh–Johnstown Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 7
Seton Hill Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 11
Shepherd Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 7
Shippensburg Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 11
Slippery Rock Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 10
West Chester Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY 12
Totals 18 17 11 10 14 18 18 12 14 15 15 17 179

Other sponsored sports by school

School Men Women
Ice
Hockey[a]
Lacrosse Water
Polo[b]
Wrestling[c] Acrobatics &
Tumbling[d]
Bowling[b] Equestrian[d] Field
Hockey[e]
Gymnastics[b] Ice
Hockey[a]
Rowing Rugby[d] Water
Polo[b]
Wrestling[d]
Bloomsburg MAC
Clarion MAC
East Stroudsburg IND IND
Edinboro MAC
Gannon CWPA IND WWPA IND
Kutztown IND ECC
Lock Haven MAC A-10 IND
Mercyhurst AHA G-MAC CWPA CHA IND WWPA
Seton Hill G-MAC IND
West Chester ECAC NIRA
  1. ^ a b De facto Division I sport. In both men's and women's ice hockey, the top-level national championship tournament is open to members of Divisions I and II.
  2. ^ a b c d De facto Division I sport. These sports have a single NCAA championship open to members of all three divisions.
  3. ^ The PSAC members listed in this table all compete in Division I men's wrestling.
  4. ^ a b c d Part of the NCAA Emerging Sports for Women program.
  5. ^ Lock Haven competes in Division I field hockey.

In addition to the above:

Championships

Main articles: PSAC Football Championship Game and PSAC Men's Basketball Tournament

Conference venues

School Football stadium Capacity Basketball arena Capacity Other facilities
Bloomsburg Robert B. Redman Stadium
4,775
Nelson Fieldhouse
3,000
Jan Hutchinson Field
Danny Litwhiler Field
Steph Pettit Stadium
California Hepner-Bailey Field at Adamson Stadium
6,500
California University of Pennsylvania Convocation Center
4,000
Wild Things Park
Phillipsburg Soccer Facility
Lilley Field
Hamer Hall
Clarion Memorial Field
5,000
W.S. Tippin Gymnasium
4,000
East Stroudsburg Eiler-Martin Stadium
6,000
Koehler Fieldhouse
2,000
Whitenight Field
Mitterling Field
Zimbar Field
Edinboro Sox Harrison Stadium
6,000
McComb Fieldhouse
3,500
Zafirovski Sports and Recreation Dome
Gannon McConnell Family Stadium
2,500
Hammermill Center
2,800
IUP George P. Miller Stadium
6,000
Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex
6,000
Dougherty Field
Podbielski Field
Memorial Field House
South Campus Field
Kutztown University Field at Andre Reed Stadium
5,600
Keystone Field House
3,400
O'Pake Field House
Keystone Field
North Campus Field
Lock Haven Hubert Jack Stadium
3,500
Thomas Fieldhouse
2,500
Foundation Field
Lawrence Field
Charlotte Smith Field
Zimmerli Gymnasium
Mansfield
non-football school
Decker Gymnasium
2,000
Lutes Field
Spaulding Field
Shaute Field
Soccer Field
Mercyhurst Saxon Stadium
2,300
Mercyhurst Athletic Center
1,800
Mercyhurst Ice Center
Mercyhurst Softball Field
Millersville Biemesderfer Stadium
6,500
Pucillo Gymnasium
2,850
Cooper Park
Millersville Softball Field
Pittsburgh–Johnstown
non-football school
Sports Center
2,400
Point Stadium (baseball)
Seton Hill Offutt Field
5,000
Salvitti Gymnasium
1,200
Dick's Sporting Goods Field
Shepherd Ram Stadium
5,000
Butcher Center Fairfax Baseball Field
Shepherd Softball Field
Shippensburg Seth Grove Stadium
7,700
Heiges Field House
2,768
Robb Field
David See Field
Art Fairchild Field
Slippery Rock N. Kerr Thompson Stadium
10,000
Morrow Field House
3,000
Egli Soccer Field
Critchfield Park
West Chester John A. Farrell Stadium
7,500
Hollinger Field House
2,500
Vonnie Gros Field
Serpico Stadium

Notable alumni

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The following is a list of alumni of the respective universities, including before the formation of the Conference in 1951.

Vivian Stringer
Vivian Stringer
Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle

Football

Baseball

Basketball

Soccer

Olympians

See also

References

  1. ^ "Clarion Men's Basketball - Year by Year Records (PDF)" (PDF). Clarion University. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 19, 2022. Retrieved March 19, 2022.
  2. ^ "PSAC Overview". PSAC. Archived from the original on November 27, 2010. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  3. ^ "PSAC invites, Gannon, Mercyhurst to be full members". The Vindicator. June 19, 2007. Archived from the original on March 20, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  4. ^ "PSAC adds Gannon University and Mercyhurst College to Membership". PSAC. June 27, 2007. Archived from the original on October 26, 2007. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  5. ^ "PSAC admits C.W. Post as associate members in two sports". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. June 28, 2007. Archived from the original on January 31, 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  6. ^ "Seton Hill to Join PSAC as Field Hockey Associate Member". October 26, 2010. Archived from the original on November 28, 2010. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
  7. ^ Rine, Shawn (August 20, 2012). "Cards, Toppers Set To Jump Into New League". The Intelligencer & Wheeling News Register. Wheeling, WV. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  8. ^ "University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Seton Hill University to Join PSAC" (Press release). Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. August 19, 2012. Archived from the original on September 27, 2013. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  9. ^ Bell, Daryl (March 23, 2018). "Cheyney University dropping sports in an attempt to strengthen academics and school". Andscape. Archived from the original on March 25, 2018. Retrieved March 25, 2018.
  10. ^ "Shepherd University to Join PSAC in 2019–20" (Press release). Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. June 7, 2018. Archived from the original on June 19, 2018. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Staples, Andy (May 16, 2014). "Should NCAA alter title game requirements? Look at the rule's origin". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
  12. ^ "Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference". Archived from the original on September 24, 2009. Retrieved September 22, 2009.