It’s official—Oglethorpe University and seven other schools in the NCAA Division III Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) decided yesterday to leave the conference, effective July 1, 2012, and form a new athletic conference. While OU and other current SCAC schools will honor their scheduled commitments for next season, the future unnamed conference will be ready for play at the start of the 2012-2013 season. Jay Gardiner, OU’s athletic director, will serve as interim commissioner of the conference.
News spread like wildfire Tuesday afternoon as President Larry Schall informed Oglethorpe community about the decision. As explained in a press release yesterday, “the new conference is being formed to foster athletic competition and cooperation among academically selective, residential liberal arts colleges located in the southeastern region of the U.S. The geographic focus will result in reduced travel time and costs, while still allowing for a strong conference of like-minded institutions, all of which integrate competitive athletics into the whole of the student’s educational experience.”
“This is an exciting new chapter in Oglethorpe athletics, which promises to benefit both our university and our student athletes,” said Dr. Schall.
Oglethorpe’s new conference looks very similar to the SCAC sans the five colleges out west: Southwestern College, Austin College, Colorado College, Trinity, and University of Dallas. The Stormy Petrels will continue to compete against the rest of our current rivals, and we’ll add one more school into the mix—Rome, Georgia’s Berry College. Read more about it on the OU athletics website www.gopetrels.com.
What do you think of the future conference line-up?