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Chapman University announced on Tuesday that it has applied to become the ninth member of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The league’s presidents council will formally consider the application in April.
“I am confident that Chapman’s admittance to the SCIAC would strengthen the conference and further its goal of encouraging the highest ideals of amateur sports in an environment of high academic standards,” said Chapman President Jim Doti.
Current members of the SCIAC are the California Institute of Technology, California Lutheran University, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges, the University of La Verne, Occidental College, Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, the University of Redlands and Whittier College.
Chapman has been an independent member of NCAA Division III since 1994. Upon transitioning from Division II to Division III, Chapman scheduled many of its neighboring members in the SCIAC.
“Joining the SCIAC would give Chapman the opportunity to join a conference that is nationally respected both academically and athletically,” said Chapman Director of Athletics David Currey. “Chapman fits the SCIAC in numerous ways. The small, liberal arts college aspect is consistent with the conference’s core values, and geographically, we are less than 50 miles from all but one school.”
Chapman offers 18 intercollegiate athletics programs (eight men, 10 women), and the SCIAC sponsors conference championships in all but one (rowing). Since 1994, Chapman has won two Division III national championships (softball in 1995 and baseball in 2003) and has competed in 74 NCAA postseason championships.
Currey noted that in 2004, Chapman was a founding member of the Association of Division III Independents – established by independent schools around the country. However, with the growing emphasis across the NCAA membership on conference realignments, the number of independent schools has diminished, he said.