Le Moyne College Begins its Transition to Division I Le Moyne College Begins its Transition to Division I

JEREMY STRIANO: The Orange were once Salt City’s one Division One institution, but as Bob Dylan once said “The times they are a-changing.”

STRIANO: In the Salt Springs neighborhood of Syracuse sits Le Moyne College, the home of the Dolphins. As of May 10th, Le Moyne will be entering Division 1 status as they are the newest member of the Northeast Conference. Athletics Director Bob Beretta says that it was a successful, yet thorough process.

BOB BERETTA: We were contacted by a professional in the industry who serves as a consultant on many different fronts and wanted to know if we would consider reclassifying, that there were some conferences interested in Le Moyne, if Le Moyne showed an interest in reclassifying to division one. At the time, we said no, it was right before Christmas. We thought about it again, he called us again, we said no again, and then he called a third time, right around New Year’s, and we said “Ok, we’ll take a look at it.”

STRIANO: It was a process that started shortly after Beretta was hired by Le Moyne. Immediately, Beretta and his staff began to assess what was the best case scenario for Dolphins Athletics.

BERETTA: And at that time, the folks that interviewed me talked about, we want to take a look at what’s the best fit for Le Moyne. ‘Is it D-3? Is it D-2? Is it D-1?’ So when I arrived on campus, I knew it was something that we were going to look at.

STRIANO: The perks of playing in a new conference include bumps in both enrollment and overall exposure, where the possibilities are endless.

Behind me sits Ted Grant Field which is home to Le Moyne’s powerhouse lacrosse program, where they have found a lot of success on the field. Now, have they found success in finding a new rival? Well, Beretta says that one could be just a few miles west.

BERETTA: Obviously S-U has a long tradition of history, but I think that we can carve our own niche here in this market, and I think this market can support two division-one institutions. We’re never going to be Syracuse, that’s not who we are.

STRIANO: Beretta and his staff were driven and determined to make this next step, but what was the real secret?

BERETTA: We stayed several steps ahead of the process because it was our goal to be prepared for success and if an opportunity were to come to our front porch that we wanted to have the agency to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to it and that’s exactly what happened.

SYRACUSE, N.Y.  — American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan once said that “The times, they are a-changing.” The same can be said for sports at Le Moyne College.

As of July 1, the Dolphins will enter Division I status in the next academic year. They are set to become the newest members of the Northeast Conference where they will take on institutions such as Farleigh Dickinson, Sacred Heart and Wagner.

Le Moyne’s current athletic director, Bob Beretta, took over in May 2021. Beretta says their hunt for both academic and athletic success started as soon as he stepped foot in his office.

“We were contacted by a professional in the industry who serves as a consultant on many different fronts and wanted to know if we would consider reclassifying,” Beretta said. “There were some conferences that were interested in Le Moyne.”

Some of the numerous perks that come with Division I status include an increase in both student enrollment and general exposure. Le Moyne has already found success on the field in the form of their Men’s lacrosse program. The six-time national champions, who play their home games at Ted Grant Field, are an integral part the legacy of Dolphins Athletics. Will that success carry over in the search of a new rival? Beretta said this could start a new feud against their crosstown neighbor.

“When I got here, I asked everyone ‘Who is Le Moyne’s rival?’ and no one could answer that question,” Beretta said. “I’m not saying that Syracuse is going to be Le Moyne’s rival, but there’s going to be a heightened level of interest when we play now because it won’t be in an exhibition game, it’ll be for real.”

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