After more than 20 years of competition, the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference (MCAC) will cease operations at the conclusion of the 2014-15 athletic season.
MCAC Commissioner Kevin Broderick said the large footprint of the conference, which encompasses six states, was ultimately a driving factor in the decision to dissolve the conference.
"Our conference footprint has always been very big, but with budgets getting tighter and travel costs increasing, the opportunity for our members to seek conferences with schools that were closer in proximity to their institutions made a lot of sense," said Broderick. "We looked hard at options like merging with another conference, which would allow divisional play and limit the travel distances a little, but those possibilities did not bear the fruit that we hoped."
Six of the nine MCAC member institutions (Bellevue University, Central Baptist College, College of Saint Mary, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Waldorf College and York College) applied for and have been granted membership in new conferences for 2015-16 or 2016-17. The remaining institutions (Central Christian College, College of the Ozarks and Haskell Indian Nations University) will join the Association of Independent Institutions for the 2015-16 season.
"I think all the members will tell you that the MCAC has been a great conference to be a part of and were very happy with the competition," said Broderick. "However, the opportunity to join a conference in their regional area makes a lot of sense financially and from a student recruitment standpoint."
Added Broderick, "the MCAC has had a proud tradition and many student-athletes have great memories from competition in the conference. Nevertheless, the increase of conference expansions, not unlike what NCAA Division I experienced several years ago, opened up opportunities for our institutions to join local conferences that previously were not interested accepting new members."
The MCAC website (www.mcac-naia.org) will remain active through September 1, 2015. The NAIA sports information office will house the MCAC's archives and records at the NAIA's national office in Kansas City. Any record requests can be made by calling 816-595-8119.