BOSTON -- Boston University is moving to the Patriot League, leaving the America East conference at the start of the 2013-14 academic year.
"This is a really unique opportunity for us to challenge ourselves," BU athletic director Mike Lynch said. "We will be entering a league that embodies the ideal of valuing academics as the highest priority while sponsoring very competitive athletic programs. That is our commitment too."
The move involves men's and women's basketball, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, cross country, track and field and swimming and diving. Women's field hockey, golf, rowing and softball will also be making the move.
The five-time NCAA champion BU hockey team will remain in Hockey East.
BU dropped its football program in 1997.
The Terriers have won 40 America East championships in 14 sports during their tenure in the conference.
"Boston University has a strong tradition of excellence in academics and Division I athletics, both of which reflect the core values of the Patriot League," Patriot League executive director Carolyn Schlie Femovich said. "They will strengthen the League both in the classroom and on the field of play."
The new conference includes American, Bucknell, Colgate, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh, Army and Navy as full members. Fordham and Georgetown are members for football and M.I.T. competes in women's rowing.
"We are very impressed by the academic quality of the institutions in the Patriot League and by the league's commitment to student-athletes while effectively competing at the NCAA Division I level," BU president Robert Brown said. "We believe that the philosophy of the league is a good match for Boston University and that the schools in the league will give our athletes a rich competitive environment."