Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference
|Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference
|Sports fielded||19 (men's: 10; women's: 9)|
|Former names||College Athletic Conference|
|Commissioner||D. Dwayne Hanberry|
The Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC), founded in 1962, is an athletic conference which competes in the NCAA's Division III. Member institutions are located in Colorado, Louisiana, and Texas. Difficulties related to travel distances led seven former members to announce the formation of a new Southeastern US-based conference, the Southern Athletic Association, starting with the 2012–13 academic year.
Prior to 1991, the conference was known as the College Athletic Conference. The current commissioner of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference is Dwayne Hanberry. The current chair of the Executive Committee of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference is Dr. Dennis Ahlburg, current Trinity University (Texas) president.
|Austin College||Sherman, Texas||1849||Private/Presbyterian||1,291||Kangaroos||Yes||2006|
|Centenary College of Louisiana||Shreveport, Louisiana||1825||Private/United Methodist||500||Gentlemen (men's)
|Colorado College||Colorado Springs, Colorado||1874||Private||2,011||Tigers||No||2006|
|University of Dallas||Irving, Texas||1956||Private/Roman Catholic||3,255||Crusaders||No||2011|
|Schreiner University||Kerrville, Texas||1923||Private/Presbyterian||930||Mountaineers||No||2013|
|Southwestern University||Georgetown, Texas||1840||Private/United Methodist||1,265||Pirates||Yes||1994|
|Texas Lutheran University||Seguin, Texas||1891||Private/Lutheran||1,400||Bulldogs||Yes||2013|
|Trinity University||San Antonio, Texas||1869||Private/Presbyterian||2,487||Tigers||Yes||1989|
Prior to the 2012 conference split, the SCAC fielded competition in baseball, basketball, cross country, field hockey, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, outdoor track and field and volleyball. With membership greatly reduced and in flux, some of these sports (field hockey, women's lacrosse) no longer have enough participants (zero and two, respectively) to allow the conference to sponsor them.
Unlike many Division III conferences, where geography is the primary determining factor for membership, the SCAC is made up of private institutions where the primary focus is on academics; the New England Small College Athletic Conference and University Athletic Association are other athletic associations with similar academic emphasis. Almost all members sport Phi Beta Kappa chapters. Member schools are prominently featured in annual "Best College" rankings; admissions are highly selective.
In an unusual move for the conference, Colorado College, which offers two Division I (scholarship) sports, was accepted as a member beginning in the 2006–07 season. It is the only SCAC school to offer any sort of scholarship athletics, though the Division I programs—namely men's ice hockey and women's soccer—do not compete in the SCAC. (The conference does not sponsor ice hockey for either men or women.)
The conference had previously announced its desire to expand to a total of twelve members, which would ease scheduling issues and allow the conference to divide into eastern and western divisions spread across the southern US. On May 26, 2006, Birmingham-Southern College, one of the smallest Division I schools in the country, announced its intentions to drop scholarship athletics and join the SCAC. This is a multi-year process subject to final approval by the NCAA. The SCAC approved BSC's application, pending NCAA approval, on June 8, 2006.
Due to the unusual (for Division III) distances between member institutions, travel costs and durations must be factored into any decision to join the conference. Rose–Hulman cited these factors as reasons for leaving the conference when it rejoined the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference in 2006–07. Austin College readily took RHIT's place, moving from the American Southwest Conference before the 2006–07 season.
On June 9, 2010, DePauw University announced that it was departing the SCAC for the North Coast Athletic Conference. Like Rose-Hulman, DePauw cited "a less strenuous and more environmentally friendly travel regimen for our teams." DePauw became a member of the NCAC for the 2011-2012 season except for football, which will join for the 2012 season.
The May 10, 2011 issue of the DePauw college newspaper, The DePauw, reported that four schools (Centre, Sewanee, Hendrix, and Rhodes) were considering leaving the conference at the end of the 2011–2012 school year, ostensibly due to travel issues and issues relating to the conference splitting into two divisions. As the two reasons were somewhat exclusive (e.g. divisions would reduce overall travel), and other regional conferences would offer similar issues, it remained to be seen at that time what the schools planned in a post-SCAC world.
After the conclusion of the June 7, 2011 SCAC Presidents' meeting, the conference announced that seven of the twelve schools would be leaving to form a new, more compact conference based in the Southeastern US. This transition was effective at the conclusion of the 2011-12 academic year. The schools departing include founding SCAC [CAC] members Centre, Sewanee, and Rhodes, in addition to Birmingham-Southern, Hendrix, Millsaps, and Oglethorpe. Berry College will also join the newly formed Southern Athletic Association.
The SCAC intends to remain a viable entity, enlisting other schools which subscribe to the SCAC charter. Commissioner D. Dwayne Hanberry will remain with the conference to oversee that effort, which will be complicated by the paucity of unaffiliated Division III schools in the SCAC's new region of Texas and Colorado. Reflecting that challenge, the conference has sought new members from the American Southwest Conference, whose geographical footprint is similar to that of the "new" SCAC. On September 28, 2011, Centenary College of Louisiana announced it would join the SCAC beginning in the 2012–13 season. Two more ASC schools joined the SCAC for the 2013–14 season: Schreiner University announced their decision on January 23, 2012, and on February 16, 2012, Texas Lutheran University announced it too would join the SCAC.
Each year, the "President's Trophy," a 300-pound railroad bell, is awarded to the school with the best overall sports record. Teams are awarded points for their final position in each sport; the school with the most points is declared the winner. For the 2011–12 school year, the President's Trophy was awarded to Trinity University.
National championship teams and individuals
SCAC members have won a total of seven team championships and 31 individual championships.
- 1999–00: Men's Tennis (Trinity); Women's Tennis (Trinity)
- 2002–03: Women's Basketball (Trinity), Men's Soccer (Trinity)
- 2006–07: Women's Basketball (DePauw)
- 2008–09: Men's Golf (Oglethorpe)
- 2011–12: Men's Golf (Oglethorpe)
- 1983–84: Men's javelin, outdoor (Chris Trapp, Rose-Hulman)
- 1984–85: Men's javelin, outdoor (Chris Trapp, Rose-Hulman)
- 1985–86: Men's javelin, outdoor (Chris Trapp, Rose-Hulman)
- 1995–96: Women's tennis, singles (Nao Kinoshita, Rhodes)
- 1996–97: Women's tennis, singles (Nao Kinoshita, Rhodes); Women's tennis, doubles (Kinoshita, Taylor Tarver, Rhodes)
- 1997–98: Men's pole vault, indoor (Ryan Loftus, Rose-Hulman)
- 1999–00: Women's 1500 meters, indoor (Heather Stone, Sewanee); Women's 1500 meters, outdoor (Stone, Sewanee)
- 2002–03: Men's 100 breaststroke (Matt Smith, Rose-Hulman)
- 2003–04: Women's high jump, outdoor (Christyn Schumann, Trinity)
- 2004–05: Women's high jump, indoor (Christyn Schumann, Trinity); Women's high jump, outdoor (Schumann, Trinity)
- 2005–06: Women's high jump, outdoor (Christyn Schumann, Trinity)
- 2006–07: Women's tennis, singles (Liz Bondi, DePauw)
- 2008–09: Men's pentathlon, indoor (Todd Wildman, Trinity); Men's golf, medalist (Olafur Loftsson, Oglethorpe); Men's triple jump, outdoor (Chrys Jones, Centre)
- 2009–10: Men's pentathlon, indoor (Todd Wildman, Trinity); Men's triple jump, indoor (Chrys Jones, Centre); Men's triple jump, outdoor (Chrys Jones, Centre); Women's 1-meter diving (Lindsay Martin, Trinity); Women's 3-meter diving (Hayley Emerick, Trinity)
- 2010–11: Men's triple jump, indoor (Chrys Jones, Centre); Men's golf, medalist (Chris Morris, Centre)
- 2011–12: Women's 60 meter hurdles, indoor (Tiarra Goode, Birmingham-Southern); Men's 200 freestyle (Jordan DeGayner, Colorado College); Women's 3-meter diving (Ruth Hahn, Trinity); Men's golf, medalist (Anthony Maccaglia, Oglethorpe); Women's 100 meter hurdles, outdoor (Tiarra Goode, Birmingham-Southern)
This list does not include championships won by schools outside of their period of membership in the SCAC.
Overall success on the national level
While championships come infrequently, overall SCAC athletic programs rate favorably when compared against the diverse Division III membership. The NACDA Director's Cup provides one representation of any school's athletic success as compared to its peers. Trinity has ranked in the top five nationally twice, most recently in 2004–2005 when it placed fourth. 2011–12 was another challenging year for the conference; Trinity's 34th, ahead of Birmingham-Southerm's 45th, was the best showing the conference could muster.
The SCAC and Division I
On several occasions the SCAC has been used as a role model for academically high-achieving Division I programs considering a move to non-scholarship athletics. In 2004, Rice considered a move to Division III with Trinity cited as a possible model by the Houston Chronicle. That program eventually remained in Division I. In 2006, Birmingham-Southern College elected to leave Division I for Division III, and stated that they would seek membership in the SCAC. This represented the first time since 1988 that a Division I school had changed affiliation to Division III. In 2012, Centenary College of Louisiana joined the SCAC, after leaving Division I in 2011; however, its initial partner in the transition from Division I was the American Southwest Conference.
- Centenary College to Join Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference