Sports / May 27, 2010

The end of MWC? Why us?

Let me get this straight.

According to Mr. Zack Creglow’s April 29, 2010 story in The Galesburg Register-Mail, seven colleges are considering pulling out of the Midwest Conference. This includes three of the founding members of the Midwest Conference – Knox, Beloit and Lawrence.

The reason cited for their departure and the formation of a new league is that Knox, Beloit, Lawrence, Lake Forest, Ripon, Grinnell and Monmouth have “similar approaches in both academics and athletics.” I have always understood that this is one of the basic principles on which the MWC was founded in 1921. Again, if I am getting this stuff straight, and I’m admittedly speculating on underlying reasons for this potential change, certain schools are not in compliance with this doctrine.

Let’s do some math. There are presently ten colleges in the conference. Seven of those colleges (the majority) are in “agreement” while three colleges (the minority) are not included in this consortium for one reason or another. This leads me to an idea! Instead of the MAJORITY casting off, how about the MAJORITY reiterates, “Let’s return to, or maintain (whichever is appropriate) the roots of the conference, and those of us not in agreement are welcome to depart.” Or, just boot ‘em out. Most of the time a seven-to-three vote will carry the day. As it now appears, the minority is dictating policy.

Where’s Trev when you need him? Dean Spalding Trevor, Knox College’s revered Athletic Director (1926-1969) and a die-hard Midwest Conference advocate, would never allow the tail to wag the dog, nor allow the newest members (1982, 1982, 1991) rule over long time and charter members of the Conference. If you Watagaites [that is, residents of Wataga, Ill.] hear some rumbling in your cemetery, that would be Trev, and he is not a happy camper.

To say that I am disappointed in the way the seven colleges are going about this predicament is a bit of an understatement. Based on Mr. Creglow’s article, I think that they have lost their minds.

Editor’s note:

Zack Creglow’s article that ran in The Galesburg Register-Mail on April 29 (entitled, “Fire, Scots to leave MWC?”) indicates these are “high-level” talks, but that nothing has yet been set in stone. According to Knox athletic director Chad Eisele, as quoted in Mr. Creglow’s article, this discussion remains only at the presidential level and has not made its way to the athletic directors as of yet. TKS Sports will revisit the issue upon returning from summer break in fall 2010. Jamie Bjorkman is a long-time supporter of Knox College athletics and a friend of the college. The letter above has been submitted as a letter to the editor of both The Galesburg Register-Mail and The Zephyr.

Jamie Bjorkman

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