ATLANTA (October 24, 2023) – Prior to Merrimack College‘s Monday announcement on their move to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Merrimack retained Collegiate Consulting in January 2023 to complete a comprehensive Conference Membership & Benchmarking Study in support of their internal discussions.
The 80-page study focused on assessing sports sponsorship, travel considerations, conference competitiveness, institutional alignment, line-item athletic expenses (scholarships, operating budgets, staffing) and external sources of revenue. Collegiate Consulting also analyzed divisional alignment and potential scheduling options as part of their study.
The study ascertained Merrimack was in alignment to the MAAC regarding institutional fit, sports sponsorship, geography/travel, and athletic financial aid. Merrimack’s athletic financial aid ranks in the top-third for both its men’s and women’s programs for the 21 MAAC championship sports in which Merrimack competes. Operating budgets for all the men’s programs, except basketball, were in the top-quarter when compared to the MAAC. The women’s program had a similar comparison with all programs, except rowing, ranking in the top-quarter of MAAC operating budgets.
This is the fifth project Collegiate Consulting has completed for Merrimack. The previous studies include the Division I Feasibility Study (2012); Multidivisional Compliance Review (2012, 2016) and Benchmarking Assessment (2019).
Collegiate Consulting has previous experience with MAAC institutions, having conducted an Operational Reviews for Canisius (2021), Niagara (2012) and Siena (2011); a Benchmarking Assessment (2021) for Fairfield and a Director of Athletics Search (2014) for Manhattan; and a DI Financial Report (2009) for Rider. In addition, to the previously referenced projects, Collegiate Consulting is currently working on six conference realignment studies.