John Carroll University announced Thursday that it would be leaving the Ohio Athletic Conference to join the North Coast Athletic Conference in 2025.
The move was first reported by Bob Quillman of the Q-Cast on January 5. Since then, social media has been filled with accusations that the Blue Streaks are making the move to avoid having to compete with 34-time OAC football champion Mount Union. But in an interview with WJCU co-sports director Jake Vulinec, John Carroll Director of Athletics Brian Polian says that’s not the case.
“To characterize this decision which really affects the entire institution as a dodge for one sport is kind of insane,” Polian said. “We’re not afraid of competition.”
Polian noted that JCU’s men’s teams have won the OAC All-Sports Trophy eight years in a row, and the women consistently finish in the top third of the conference for the same honor.
As for Baldwin Wallace, the Blue Streaks’ other main rival, Polian said he’s hopeful that the two schools will still be able to play each other in out-of-conference competition in all sports after next year.
Jake Vulinec’s full interview with Brian Polian
In a separate interview, John Carroll University President Dr. Al Miciak said the move is about more than athletics.
“As we forward for the university and our aspirations to move more national in our footprint and our reputation, just looking at the changes that are happening in the higher ed landscape, we really looked at this invitation to join the NCAC as a great time to do it and a great fit for John Carroll,” Miciak said.
Miciak noted during a press conference Thursday that the schools of the NCAC “enjoy national reach and reputation as high-ranking liberal arts institutions.”
Jake Vulinec’s full interview with Dr. Al Miciak
For more coverage of John Carroll’s move to the NCAC, visit our Blue Streak Media partners The Carroll News.