CHICAGO – One day after the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced that it would be moving its national championships in men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball to the spring, the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) made a similar decision with the majority of those sports regarding league events on Wednesday.
In a vote of CCAC presidents Wednesday morning, the conference made the decision to move its league schedule to the spring semester in the sports of men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball. For men’s and women’s cross country, the presidents have elected to keep the date of the conference championship meet intact on November 7 at Aspen Ridge Golf Course in Bradley, Illinois.
“The health, safety, and well-being of our student-athletes is the paramount concern of the CCAC and its member institutions,” stated CCAC Council of Presidents chair Kurt Dykstra, who also serves as the president at Trinity Christian College. “To that end, our conference institutions – spread across four states and located in urban, suburban and rural areas – decided overwhelmingly to move our conference competition in higher-risk sports to the spring.
“This decision is consistent with Tuesday’s announcement by the NAIA to move national championships similarly. Our belief is that these actions will provide CCAC fall-sport student-athletes the best opportunity to compete for both conference and national titles.”
Exact dates for league matchups as well as conference tournament championships in the spring have yet to be determined. The conference’s scheduling committee will determine that structure once the NAIA announces its national championship dates for each of the three sports affected.
Non-conference competition in both the fall and spring will be up to each member institution in accordance with NAIA guidelines.
The conference Council of Presidents also made the decision on Wednesday not to penalize those conference member schools that elect to forego competing in the league in any sport this year. This will allow each institution the autonomy to determine the safest return-to-play plan for their school.
While the CCAC does not sponsor football as a sport, seven conference member schools do compete in the Mid-States Football Association Midwest League – Judson University, Olivet Nazarene University, Roosevelt University, Saint Xavier University, St. Ambrose University, Trinity International University and University of St. Francis. The majority of the CCAC membership, including those that do not sponsor football, were also agreement in recommending a spring sports championship for the sport. That decision by the NAIA National Office is currently pending.
“I want to extend my thanks to both the CCAC Council of Presidents and athletic directors for once again working together to come up with a plan that allows our student-athletes and coaches to have a conference schedule for the upcoming academic year,” said CCAC Commissioner Jeff Schimmelpfennig. “By moving soccer and volleyball conference schedules to the spring, it allows the highest number of our institutions to participate in a conference season during these unprecedented times.”
The CCAC is made up of 15 member schools covering four states. The state of Illinois boasts the most representatives (nine). Those institutions are Governors State University, Judson, Lincoln College, Olivet Nazarene, Roosevelt, Saint Xavier, Trinity Christian, Trinity International and St. Francis.
Another four hail from Indiana in Calumet College of St. Joseph, Holy Cross College, Indiana University Northwest and Indiana University South Bend.
Iowa and Wisconsin are represented by St. Ambrose and Cardinal Stritch University, respectively.