“…a new era in Division III athletics, an epoch that’s hallmark will be the downsizing and localizing of conferences to fit new economic realities facing institutions of all types…”
It’s not terribly shocking because the SCAC, which just finished its first year as an NCAA automatic qualifying men’s lacrosse league, was a Division III monstrosity, stretching from Colorado, through Texas and into the Deep South.
The perforation of the SCAC leaves a five-school contingent (Austin, Colorado College, Dallas, Southwestern and Trinity) that will keep the conference’s name, along with a new, as yet unnamed, league featuring seven break-away schools (Birmingham-Southern, Centre, Hendrix, Millsaps, Oglethorpe, Rhodes and Sewanee).
Why did this schism occur? There are several factors — some known, others not — that played a role, but most of it can be chalked up to the fact that we’re about to enter a new era in Division III athletics, an epoch that’s hallmark will be the downsizing and localizing of conferences to fit new economic realities facing institutions of all types.
Back in the late 1990s, endowment funds were like money fountains, spewing seemingly unlimited amounts of cash in the air as school presidents stood beneath, their arms reaching skyward as the greenbacks cascaded all around them. Inebriated with resources, administrators at all levels made some relatively shortsighted decisions.
“So you want us to join an athletic conference that stretches from Terre Haute, Ind., to Georgetown, Texas, to Atlanta, Ga.? Why not?!”