The Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) is the nation’s largest athletic conference and only multi-divisional conference, with approximately 300 member institutions ranging across 16 states from Maine to North Carolina and westerly to Wisconsin. Established in 1938 with 58 charter members, the ECAC has emerged as the nationwide leader in service.
Awards The ECAC recognizes the achievements of its member institution’s student-athletes through weekly and postseason awards. Annually, the publicity bureau recognizes more than 2,500 student-athletes. At the annual Fall Convention Honors Dinner, student-athletes, administrators and officials are recognized with the following awards:
- James Lynah Distinguished Achievement Award (retired athletics administrators)
- George L. Shiebler Award (game officials)
- ECAC Jostens Institution of the Year Award (member institution)
- ECAC Jostens Male and Female Administrator of the Year Awards
- Award of Valor (student-athlete)
- Commissioner’s Award (meritorious service/significant accomplishment)
- ECAC Scholar-Athlete Awards (male and female student-athletes in Div. I, II and III)
- Katherine Ley Award (woman athletics administrator)
- ECAC Turfer Athletic Rowing Trophy
- Dr. Donald Grover Memorial Award (athletics trainer and/or team physician)
- Scotty Whitelaw Sportsmanship Award
Championships The ECAC administers 100 preseason and postseason events in 37 men’s and women’s sports for its 110,000 student athletes. Please visit the web site, www.ecac.org, and click on Championships to view the current schedule.
Convention and Meetings The business of the ECAC is conducted during the annual Fall Convention, providing the membership with opportunities to discuss and vote on conference-wide issues and concerns. The ECAC commissioner and other ECAC senior administrators also conduct regional meetings with the membership throughout the year.
Internship Program The prestigious Asa S. Bushnell internship, named after the ECAC’s first commissioner and established in 1976, offers students from ECAC institutions hands-on experience in all areas of operation of the nation’s largest athletic conference. Former interns proudly represent the ECAC in all fields of the sport industry as directors of athletics, commissioners, broadcasting executives, sports information directors and coaches.
Legislative Services The ECAC maintains a legislative and compliance service to assist the membership with the application of NCAA and ECAC regulations. The conference sponsors workshops and seminars, processes hardship waivers and facilitates the Collegiate Commissioners Association National Letter of Intent program.
Membership Application and Annual Dues For new members, there is a non-refundable $200 application fee and an initiation fee of $2,500 (against which the application fee may be applied.) The remaining initiation fee may be paid in equal installments over a two-year period after the effective date of admission. The ECAC Membership Committee is responsible for reviewing applications and forwarding its recommendations to the Board of Directors. Annual dues for 2013 – 2014 are $2,250.
Officiating The ECAC assigns officials in 14 sports in Division I, II and III, including men’s and women’s basketball, fencing, volleyball, football, men’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, softball and wrestling. In addition, the ECAC officiating bureaus provide clinics and workshops, improving the level of officiating and attracting the most qualified collegiate officials. The bureaus assign for both conference and NCAA championships and totaled over 46,000 assignments using more than 3,400 officials last year.
Playing Leagues The ECAC conducts league competition for Division III men’s ice hockey (three leagues), Division III women’s ice hockey (two leagues), Division I and Division II men’s lacrosse.
Special Events The ECAC administers and hosts events such as the Eastern College Football Awards Banquet at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ which honors student-athletes, officials and teams, and its Fall Convention and Trade Show. Conference members also have the opportunity to participate in various in-season and preseason tournaments such as the annual ECAC Holiday Basketball Invitational Tournament held in Orlando, FL, and the ECAC Soccer Classic on Cape Cod Labor Day weekend. The ECAC is also active in hosting NCAA postseason championships as the conference most recently hosted the 2013 NCAA New England Baseball Regional at Whitehouse field in Harwich, MA, and will co-host, with the ECAC Hockey League, the 2014 NCAA Men’s Frozen Four to be held April 10 & 12 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA.
Sponsorships The ECAC has partnered with Nelligan Sports Marketing to actively pursue the development of sponsorships that garner financial support of corporate and individual entities. Through sponsorship, the ECAC enhances championship events for participants while supplementing associated event operation expenses. Conference sponsors may receive, but are not limited to official access to the membership, television exposure, event signage, event entitlements, tickets and hospitality, and the opportunity to promote volume incentive buying programs.
Technology The conference’s five web sites feature real-time management and cutting-edge technology. The nation’s leading offline officiating system site is a password-protected extranet that allows for real-time access to its membership and officials as changes occur to their schedules. The conference’s main web site is managed by a custom developed auto-content management system, giving the staff the ability to release conference news as it happens. The ECAC also is on the forefront of other web-based technology including an officials’ payment service named OPS.
Television ECAC Productions coordinates with institutions, television vendors and broadcast partners to produce and obtain clearances of quality sports programming to promote the conference and its members. Televised sports events include football, men’s gymnastics, men’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s rowing and wrestling. These events are aired through partnerships with regional sports networks including Comcast (CN8), College Sports Television (CSTV), Fox Sports Group (FoxSports), and the New England Sports Network (NESN).