Merrimack’s Joe Gallo rooting for FDU within the NCAA Match
COLUMBUS, Ohio — There are various parts to the magical March Insanity run Fairleigh Dickinson finds herself in after the Knights shocked No. 1 seed Purdue on Friday evening.
Many of those have been properly documented, starting with Knights coach Tobin Anderson, who simply 10 months in the past was employed from Division II St. Thomas Aquinas in Rockland County to take over for FDU, and who introduced with him three of his gamers. .
A kind of gamers, Columbus, Ohio native Sean Moore, was the hero Friday evening.
An under-the-radar component of the FDU story is the truth that the college entered the NCAA Match on a technicality.
Merrimack, from Andover, Massachusetts, received the Northeast Convention Match and below regular circumstances would have acquired the automated supply from the NCAA. However these are usually not regular circumstances.
After transferring from Division II to Division I, Merrimack is within the last yr of what the NCAA calls a four-year “transition” interval, throughout which a faculty transferring up from division is ineligible to play within the NCAA Match.
So as an alternative of experiencing the magic FDU has loved this week, Merrimack coach Joe Gallo and his gamers are at residence watching tv.
“I believe persons are in all probability picturing me sitting in entrance of the TV offended and yelling, ‘This may very well be us,’ however that is not my considering in any respect,” Gallo advised The Publish on Saturday when contacted at his New Hampshire residence. . “We did all the things we might do. We completed the season with an 11 recreation profitable streak. We received the final recreation we have been allowed to play.
“I believe what FDU is doing is nice for NEC, as a result of folks have been a little bit upset with NEC all yr. Not simply what they did [Friday] it was superior however they completely received away with the factor of their first recreation [against Texas Southern in the First Four]. It is nice for the league and I hope they maintain profitable.”
Gallo stated that he and FDU coach Tobin Anderson have been buddies for a very long time.
“We performed in opposition to one another my first yr at Merrimack and his [St. Thomas Aquinas] staff knocked us out of the NCAA Division II Match,” he stated. “Now we have numerous mutual respect for one another.”
Gallo, in truth, was one of many first to ship Anderson a congratulatory textual content message after the win over Purdue.
“I am glad for him and I am glad for the league,” Gallo stated. “Lots of people are discovering out about this. [NCAA] They govern for the primary time they usually can’t consider it. Now we have identified this rule for 4 years. We received our common season our first yr of Division I and we could not go to the NIT as a result of the NCAA owns the NIT.
“That is outdated information for us, however we admire that you’ve got clarified the rule and that persons are speaking about Merrimack. It’s nice publicity for our program and our college.”
The FDU streak is giving Merrimack gamers, who went 15-4 in opposition to NEC opponents this yr, the idea that they’ll do that subsequent yr, after their peculiar “transition” interval is over. “.
“It offers them the sensation that they consider it may be carried out,” Gallo stated. “Nonetheless, now I really feel a little bit bit sorry for our gamers. We received the championship, we celebrated it, and nobody thought, ‘Poor us, we will not play within the NCAA Match.’ However now that it is actual and on TV, I really feel for our guys that they do not get to expertise March Insanity.”
Gallo stated he has felt “blended feelings” amongst his gamers watching this NCAA Match.
“A few of them say, ‘I can not look,’” he stated. “Now we have some guys who look and need they have been there and a few guys who say, ‘I do not even wish to look.’
“However that is nice for the baby. It makes everybody consider that you may put collectively a staff of powerful guys who consider in your system, that these guys actually consider in what Tobin does. He is an effective position mannequin for fulfillment that lots of people can comply with.”
Gallo, which is able to see the return of a number of of his greatest gamers, believes that his staff can comply with the instance of the FDU.
“We’ll begin a brand new journey now that our ‘transition’ is lastly over and we hope that we may be in a [NCAA] help subsequent yr,” he stated. “Now we have an excellent variety of guys again and they’re already speaking about attempting to redo what we simply did and have an extra award on the finish of the rainbow subsequent yr.”