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Six schools form new league

By David Rothstein

MIT is one of six members of the newly-formed Constitution Athletic Conference, a men's conference that includes soccer, cross-country, golf, basketball, baseball and tennis teams. The CAC was formed this summer in order to "enhance the academic/athletic balance that all of us in Division III strive for," said conference commissioner Steve Stirling.

Babson College, Norwich University, the United States Coast Guard Academy, Western New England College and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute join MIT in forming the CAC.

For most teams, membership in the CAC has little direct impact on the regular season. MIT regularly competes against most of the other new CAC members. But the CAC teams will compete in conference championships toward the end of the respective seasons.

Cross-country coach Halston Taylor said that he did not expect membership in the league to have any real impact on his team. MIT cross-country faces little real competition from teams fielded by the five CAC schools during most years, said Taylor, but because this year's team is unusually young -- about three-quarters of the 22 members are freshmen -- it may benefit from a less competitive championship.

Membership in the CAC will add Norwich and WNEC to MIT's golf schedule, but only in the form of a conference championship toward the end of the season, said golf coach Jack Barry. The championship tournament will take place at WNEC, with All-Conference honors going to the top five finishers.

For the men's soccer team, however, the change will mean two new games on the schedule (Norwich and WNEC). Head coach Walter Alessi said that although "we never played for recognition," membership in the new conference will provide an opportunity for some of the team players to gain recognition, perhaps in the form of being named to a conference all-star team. The school with the best season's end conference record will be named CAC champion, and coaches will vote for an All-Conference team.