The much discussed potential football merger between the MIAA and the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) will no longer be pursued by the MIAA, MIAA Executive Director Rick Diggs revealed today to VarsitySportsNetwork.com.
“We have had some discussions over the last year about a football merger with the WCAC, but I have informed the WCAC that we will not pursue those discussions any further,” said Diggs.
With just six teams in its A Conference, including DC based Georgetown Prep, which competes in the MIAA in just football, the league has continually explored ways to assist its A Conference schools in strengthening their schedules.
When Georgetown Prep joined the MIAA for football prior to the 2005 season, there were discussions about a football merger with the six-school Interstate Athletic Conference (IAC), in which Georgetown Prep plays all its other sports. That merger came close and would have placed IAC schools in both the A & B Conferences for football. In the end, however, the two conferences could not reach agreement on key issues related to recruiting and scheduling and the talks were abandoned.
Talks with the WCAC never reached such a critical stage. After preliminary talks between the conferences, MIAA officials discussed the matter this week at their annual athletic directors workshop in St. Michael’s, Maryland. According to Diggs, the MIAA will look to resolve is football issues internally.
“Our competition committee will take the lead in helping us address the scheduling issues in A Conference football,” said Diggs. “This committee will take a more active role in evaluating all of our football programs and moving teams up and down in conference.”
Of course, fans interested in seeing the MIAA and WCAC compete on the gridiron will get their fill in early September during the I-95 Kickoff Classic at Towson University. The event will feature four head-to-head match-ups between the two conferences over two days, as well as a battle between Calvert Hall and Archbishop Spalding.
For 2010 the MIAA will field the exact same conference alignments that it had in 2009. In 2011, you can expect to see at least one or two B Conference programs make the move up to the A. There have been just six teams in the A Conference since 2006. In 2005, Archbishop Curley moved from the B Conference to the A, after a successful run of championships in the B Conference. The Friars, however, went winless in the league that year and pulled out to play an independent schedule in 2006, before being re-admitted to the B Conference in 2007.
In addition to having just five league games, having only six teams in the A Conference makes it difficult for the league to pursue a championship game.
One program possibly on the verge of moving up in 2011 is Spalding. The Cavaliers are the reigning MIAA B Conference champions and they now field three teams, with a thriving freshman program. The Cavaliers also opened a new lighted stadium with a turf field last season.
No other major news was made at the MIAA workshop. Another widely debated topic, playoffs for undersquad programs was tabled until November, when it will be examined by the Heads of the Schools. For 2010-2011, however, there will be no change to the rule which eliminated undersquad playoffs last year.