Loyola (Md.) joining Patriot League

Updated: August 29, 2012, 11:45 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Loyola of Maryland has accepted an invitation to join the Patriot League at the beginning of the 2013-14 academic and athletic year, the school announced Wednesday.

"It is an honor to join the Patriot League's distinguished member institutions, all of which consistently demonstrate a profound commitment to excellence both in the classroom and on the field. That commitment is one we share at Loyola, and we see this move as a vital opportunity to continue to elevate our already outstanding athletics programs in keeping with our goal of becoming the nation's leading Catholic, comprehensive university," said Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., Loyola's president.

Loyola, which previously competed in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, is joining the Patriot League in all sports except rowing. The Greyhounds' addition brings the Patriot League's membership to 10 full members.

Loyola, considered one of the MAAC favorites in men's basketball this season, will be eligible for the 2013 conference tournament. Many of the mid-major leagues this season have barred schools that are leaving for another conference from their postseason tourneys.

"Loyola University Maryland is an outstanding addition to our membership as a private institution with an excellent academic reputation and rich athletic history," said Daniel H. Weiss, Ph.D., chair of the Patriot League's council of presidents and president of Lafayette College. "The decision to add Loyola reflects the presidents' commitment to the stability and long-term positioning of the league."