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December 4, 2006


University of Maine at Fort Kent President, Dr. Richard W. Cost, led a four-person team representing the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) on a visit to the State University of New York at Canton on November 27-28 to review that institution's application for membership in the NAIA.

If recommended for membership by the visiting team and the Sunrise Conference, SUNY Canton's application will be voted on by the Council of Presidents at its annual meeting in Kansas next March. If approved, SUNY Canton would join the Sunrise Conference beginning in fall 2007.

The review team traveled to Canton, located roughly halfway between Watertown and Plattsburgh in northern New York State, for the purpose of reviewing SUNY Canton's application, and to provide information about the NAIA and the Sunrise Conference to the school's administration and students.

"We are delighted to see the conference growing. Last year we added two teams, Vermont Tech and Paul Smith's College," President Cost said. "Based on our new numbers, the championship men's and women's soccer teams of the Sunrise Conference will receive a direct invitation to the NAIA national championship tournament next fall. For the past two years, our top teams (both from UMFK this year) had to play in, and win, the Region IX (Pennsylvania and Ohio) playoffs in order to qualify for the nationals. Greater interest and membership in the Sunrise Conference means increased competition and greater opportunities for our teams," added Cost.

President Cost sits on the NAIA Council of Presidents as the Chief Executive Officer of the Sunrise Conference, a position he has held for two years.