Chapman University and the Donald P. Kennedy Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has completed a formal application to join the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The application was officially submitted to the conference’s executive director on Sept. 30 and will be reviewed by the conference’s Membership Committee in the coming months.
The SCIAC Presidents Council is scheduled to convene in April to reach a decision regarding the application.
“I am confident that Chapman’s admittance to the SCIAC would strengthen the conference and further its goal of encouraging the highest ideals of amateur sports in an environment of high academic standards,” said Chapman University president Jim Doti.
Chapman has been an independent member of NCAA Division III since 1994. Upon transitioning from Division II to Division III, Chapman immediately aligned itself with its neighboring members in the SCIAC; partnering in intercollegiate scheduling, abiding by conference bylaws and sharing in the same small, private school Division III student athlete philosophies.
“Joining the SCIAC would give Chapman University the opportunity to join a conference that is nationally respected both academically and athletically,” said Chapman athletic director David Currey. “Chapman fits the SCIAC in numerous ways. The small, liberal arts college aspect is consistent with the conference’s core values. Geographically we are less than 50 miles from all but one school. And the wide range of success we’ve experienced athletically we hope will add to the competitive balance of the conference.”
“Presidents, athletic administrators, faculty, coaches, and student-athletes will play integral roles in coming to this important decision,” said Lorin Huffman, SCIAC Executive Director. “The conference is heavily invested in the review process, considering all aspects of Chapman’s application and reaching a decision that is best for the future of the conference.” If accepted, Chapman would become the ninth member of the conference.
Chapman offers 18 intercollegiate athletics programs (eight men, 10 women), of which the SCIAC sponsors conference championships in all but one (crew). Since 1994, Chapman has won two Division III national championships (softball in 1995 and baseball in 2003) and has competed in 74 NCAA postseason championships. Joining a conference would give Chapman student-athletes greater opportunities to compete for championships at the conference level.
In 2004, Chapman was a founding member of the Association of Division III Independents – established by independent schools around the country. However, with the growing emphasis NCAA-wide on conference realignments, the number of independent schools across the country has diminished.
The Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference was established in 1915. If accepted, Chapman would become the ninth member of the conference. The league is currently comprised of Caltech, California Lutheran, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, La Verne, Occidental, Pomona-Pitzer, Redlands and Whittier.