This morning Trinity announced that they (along with Southwestern) are moving to the SAA effective by the fall of 2025. I wrote about this possibility last month, which included a denial by the Southwestern Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Ken Ralph. I would certainly go back and look at my article for some of the reasoning. I would also read through the comments as “SCAC Watcher” added some important information about academics, which was one of the main factors in the move. Here is a key quote from the Trinity article: “The decision to join the SAA comes on the heels of the University’s recent Carnegie reclassification as a National Liberal Arts Institution. I view college athletics as one of the significant hallmarks of a residential liberal arts education, as student-athletes and their classmates alike gather inside and outside of the classroom to take on new challenges and support each other,” says Vanessa B. Beasley, Trinity University president.
I have yet to see the Southwestern announcement and it’s a bit strange the two schools didn’t partner up in their response. The SAA has also announced it and it does include Southwestern.
I actually have to step out shortly but I’ll be adding to this story later in the day. My first reaction is sorrow. The SCAC was a great home and it’s a little surprising to me that Trinity and Southwestern are going to spend a lot more in athletic money (for travel) to be partnered up with schools that have a better academic reputation. With respects to volleyball, it sure is interesting and I’ll touch on this later. For now, Trinity, Southwestern and Berry make for a tough crowd.
Update: Here is the Southwestern statement on the move. We now have all parties on record. Here is the section from that article that I found interesting:
“The SAA is committed to fostering athletic competition and cooperation among academically selective, residential liberal arts colleges located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is focused on bringing together a strong conference of like-minded institutions, all of which integrate competitive athletics into the whole of the student’s educational experience.”
So, again, we see that “academically selective” and “like-minded institutions” was important enough to include in their statement.
Looking forward, I want to touch on what this all means for volleyball across the West and the SAA. I guess I also need to think about this website and whether it will expand to the South and West. Only Southwestern moving would make me even consider this but it’s a lot to bite off if done properly. Of course, when have I done things properly. Finally, I’m thinking of doing a podcast on all of this so look for that although if it doesn’t happen today, you can stop looking.
Another Update: I actually did the Podcast! I sound very depressed. Here is the link.
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