A University of Maine player goes up strong for two past Stony Brook defenders during a 2017 basketball game at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Stony Brook is leaving the America East conference at the end of this season. Credit: Ashley L. Conti / BDN

The Stony Brook Seawolves may not be allowed to play in the America East men’s and women’s basketball tournaments this season, after the school announced that it is leaving the conference to join the Colonial Athletic Association.

America East bylaws state that once a school notifies the conference of its withdrawal, it becomes ineligible for participation in America East Championships, according to Sean Tainsh, the conference’s senior associate commissioner. 

“A final determination has not been made,” Tainsh said. “However, all aspects of Stony Brook’s exit are being reviewed by the Board of Presidents and that determination will be made prior to the start of winter championships.”

Both of the school’s basketball teams are contenders to win the conference. The women’s basketball team is the defending tournament champion and is currently sitting atop the standings with a 7-1 conference record, 17-2 overall.

The Seawolves’ only conference loss came to the New Jersey Institute of Technology on Dec. 30, when Stony Brook was without four players due to COVID-19 protocols. They have since won eight in a row including a 63-44 victory over defending regular season champion the University of Maine in Bangor.

Stony Brook upset UMaine 64-60 at the Memorial Gym in Orono in the title game a year ago.

Two years ago, Stony Brook was the league’s regular season champion and was going to host UMaine in the tourney championship game when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the season.

The Stony Brook men’s basketball team is currently in second place in the conference with a 5-2 America East slate. The Seawolves are 13-7 overall.

The America East Swimming and Diving Championships will open the winter championships on Feb. 10.

The last school to leave America East for another conference in all sports was Boston University. BU made the announcement in June 2012 that it was going to join the Patriot League on July 1, 2013.

The Terriers were not allowed to participate in the America East championships in their final season.