With Carmel and Center Grove seeking a move to the Hoosier Crossroads Conference, the principals from the other six Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference schools voted to remove the two schools Dec. 13.
The Hoosier Crossroads Conference is expected to vote soon on whether to allow Center Grove and Carmel to join.
If approved, they would join eight other schools: Avon, Brownsburg, Fishers, Franklin Central, Hamilton Southeastern, Noblesville, Westfield and Zionsville. All the schools are in suburban areas outside Marion County, except for Franklin Central.
The MIC issued a letter that stated it will honor contracts through the 2022-23 school year but plans to become a six-team conference by the spring of 2022.
“This past fall it came to our attention that for athletic reasons, as well as a desire to ‘culturally align’ (as reported in the media) with surrounding suburban schools, Carmel and Center Grove were seeking placement in a different conference,” the letter stated. “We value the historical relationships with these two communities, and while this news was sad to those of us who understand the rich history, we also understand that these two schools no longer share the vision that we are more than an athletic conference, that athletics should not drive our decisions and that our unique characteristics are what make us strong.”
The six remaining schools, Ben Davis, Lawrence North, Lawrence Central, North Central, Pike and Warren Central, are all in Marion County.
Following the MIC’s announcement, Center Grove and Carmel released a statement confirming the formal petition to join the Hoosier Crossroads Conference.
“We respect the coaches, faculty, administrators and student-athletes of the MIC conference,” the statement read. “We have long-standing and positive relationships with the MIC conference and appreciate the 26 years of collaboration and competition with the MIC schools. The decision to request to change conferences is rooted in the belief that this move would provide our schools with the collaboration, competition and support necessary to grow our programs over the next 20 years.”
The MIC began in 1996-97 with Carmel and Center Grove as charter members.
Four different MIC schools, Ben Davis, Carmel, Center Grove and Warren Central, have won all nine Class 6A football state titles since the class was added in 2013.
Since the 2009-10 season, four MIC teams have won seven Class 4A boys basketball championships. Four have been by Carmel and one each by North Central, Ben Davis and Warren Central. Since 2007-08, five different MIC teams, Carmel, Ben Davis, North Central, Lawrence North and Warren Central, have won seven Class 4A girls basketball titles.