Indiana University Northwest has announced that it will join the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletics Conference (CCAC) with play within the conference to begin in the fall of 2019.
Until now, IU Northwest has competed as a member of the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.). Director of Athletics Ryan Shelton said the university’s acceptance into the CCAC will stabilize its scheduling and travel, which has been challenging because of its unpredictability and limited independent teams available to play in the Midwest.
As such, the move will better equip the varsity teams to focus more on the student-athlete experience and academic success.
“As an academics-first athletic program, the consolidation of travel in the CCAC will allow our student-athletes and teams to significantly reduce their travel time and missed classes,” Shelton said, “which will improve their success both academically and in competition. We are very proud to be a part of the CCAC.”
Shelton said the reduction in team travel will also provide a significant cost savings to the athletics department by allowing a reallocation of resources to be used toward further sport expansion. Men’s and women’s tennis and men’s soccer were recently added to IU Northwest’s team roster, which also includes men’s and women’s cross country, basketball and golf, and women’s volleyball.
It is expected that 22 of 30 regular-season men’s and women’s basketball games will be CCAC games. Women’s volleyball, men’s soccer and men’s and women’s tennis will also feature a large majority of games with CCAC opponents.
Chancellor William J. Lowe said he is excited about the university’s acceptance into the CCAC because of the benefits that membership will add to the student-athlete experience at IU Northwest and the alignment with the university’s academic and strategic priorities.
“The opportunity to play sports while working toward a college degree should be a welcome challenge for a student-athlete, but it is also a privilege that adds measurably to a student’s experience,” Lowe said. “The investment of time on the part of our athletes and the athletics department will be better allocated with membership in the CCAC and enable them to have the full benefits of both intercollegiate competition and degree study.”
IU Northwest joins the following CCAC members, all based in the Midwest: Robert Morris (Chicago), IU South Bend, Trinity International (Deerfield), Saint Ambrose (Cedar Rapids), Trinity Christian (Palos Hills), Calumet College of St. Joseph (Whiting), Roosevelt University (Chicago), Holy Cross (Notre Dame), St. Francis (Joliet), Saint Xavier (Chicago), Governors State (University Park), Olivet Nazarene (Bourbonnais), Cardinal Stritch (Milwaukee), and Judson (Elgin).