NYU, NYU-Poly prepare for athletics merger

More news about: New York University

by Michelle Tran, nyunews.com

Athletes at the Polytechnic Institute of NYU will soon formally join their Washington Square counterparts as part of the merger between the two universities, which is scheduled to be completed Jan. 1, 2014.

NYU-Poly currently participates in the Skyline Athletic Conference while NYU’s athletics are a part of the University Athletic Association. Once both schools have finished out their respective athletic seasons for the 2013 to 2014 school year, NYU and NYU-Poly athletic departments will merge into one NCAA Division III membership within the UAA league.

Assistant athletic director Dominick Ciaccia explained the merger is the outcome of years of partnership with NYU-Poly.

“Over the last few years, NYU had begun the merger with NYU-Poly by offering athletic facility privileges to current NYU-Poly students and faculty, allowing [NYU-Poly alumni] to become members and participating in our recreation programs,” Ciaccia said.

As a result of the merger, which was first announced in 2008, major changes will affect the dynamic of certain sports teams that demonstrated increased student interest. Ciaccia said there would be no groundbreaking changes to student-athlete recruitment policies except for the inclusion of prospective baseball and softball recruits at the Washington Square campus.

“To reconnect with the baseball traditions of NYU will be special and will further enhance our athletic programs nationally and globally,” Ciaccia said.

Some athletes at NYU Poly had mixed feelings about the merger.

“Poly athletes take a lot of pride in the amount of time and effort they’ve put into their respective sports, and it’s tough realizing that they might not have that chance anymore,” Justin Manalo, freshman guard for NYU Poly’s men’s basketball team. “However, great opportunities do come from this, for both schools,” he said.

Because of the influx of new student-athletes, junior varsity level teams for both men’s and women’s basketball and soccer will be added to the upcoming season.  Along with the addition of JV level seasons, roster sizes will increase three to five people on men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s golf teams.

“I think the bigger roster size has both its pros and cons,” said Mikaela Santos, a Steinhardt freshman on the women’s golf team.  Santos, who is currently recovering from a broken leg, understands the implications of the merger and what it would mean for her and her teammates.

“It’s good that we have more people on the team, but then that just adds even more competition within the team to play,” Santos said.

For the surplus of coaches and staff coming in from NYU-Poly, the administration will be offering them candidacy for openings to new and existing positions. With the additional JV teams, increased roster sizes and added baseball team, the additional  NYU-Poly staff could allow for an easier transition of new faculty members.

“It is a wonderful opportunity and an exciting time for NYU students, faculty, staff, and administration,” Athletic director Christopher Bledsoe said.  “The sport and recreation experience for members of the NYU community will be greatly enhanced.