Carlow to field team in men's basketball

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Carlow University claimed a small piece of March Madness Monday, announcing it will introduce intercollegiate men's basketball this fall at an institution that was founded as a women's college decades ago but is now coed.

The team will compete in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, under the NAIA. Carlow's women's basketball team already competes in the conference, as do the men's and women's basketball teams from Point Park University.

Carlow president Suzanne Mellon made the announcement during a news conference at the A.J. Palumbo Science Center on the school's Oakland campus.

The team will be called the Celtics, and players can receive partial athletic scholarships. Games will be played at Oakland Catholic High School.

Founded in 1929, Carlow has about 2,300 students, with males accounting for 9 percent of its undergraduates and 14 percent of its graduate students. Amy Neil, Carlow's spokeswoman, said start-up costs will be $100,000 but the program should break even almost immediately.

Monday's announcement is unrelated to a recent one from nearby Chatham University that it might add men's athletics if it decides to go coed in 2015.

During the news conference, Tim Keefer was introduced as head basketball coach. He is an experienced teacher and coach, having worked with the Pittsburgh city schools and area colleges, the school said.

The team is the second men's squad to compete at Carlow, the school said, and it will take its place alongside existing teams -- women's basketball, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball and men's and women's cross country.

Bill Schackner:, 412-263-1977 and Twitter @BschacknerPG.

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