They are planning on moving from club to D-3 over the next few years. Then the CCC is going to sponsor hockey and take the other CCC schools out of the ECAC Northeast with them. UNE probably won't follow though.If the conference says we're adding ice hockey as a conference sport (and they'd have an AQ to boot!), then your conference members don't really have a choice. Salem had the same dilemma when the MASCAC formed. They HAD to leave the ECAC-E per conference rules.
You don't HAVE to. Macalester is in the MIAC for everything but football was independent and will be in the MWC starting in the fall. It's just that most conferences will make you join in all sports.