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(1-2-18) – Sycamore, much like DeKalb,  is looking for a new athletic conference or to keep the remaining five schools of the Northern Illinois Big 12 together. This is all thanks to seven NIB 12 schools leaving the conference suddenly at the end of 2017.

The main goal for 2018 is to find a stable situation for all of the Spartan athletic teams., the sooner the better.


Sycamore’s Director of Athletics and Activities Chauncey Carrick answers some questions on what will be facing him and his athletic department in the next several weeks in that search.

1-Were you made aware or have an indication that schools would be withdrawing?

We were aware that they had been invited.  The current NI Big 12 principals had met the week prior and no mention of moving this fast, so the only surprise was the quick movement, since they had scheduled another meeting in January, but we had figured this was a direction that some were going to go.
2- -Five schools remaining, will you look to add new members or search for a new conference home?
The five of us would love to stay together.  Obviously we would like to find 1 or 3 schools to come with us, but right now we are trying to see what is out there for the five us to do together.
3-Will you consider shopping both schools (DeKalb) as a package deal to a conference?
Staying with DeKalb would be nice, but both schools are committed to playing each other in the First National Challenge regardless if we are in the same league or not.  Our first choice will be to stay with DeKalb.
4-Thoughts on joining the NIC 10?
At this point everything is on the table.  The NIC 10 has a great tradition.  We currently play many of the NIC 10 schools in many sports.  Travel would not be a concern for us.  I do not know the academic programs that the conference offers, but they are great schools with great programs.

NIC 10 Enrollment Figuresincluding Sycamore and DeKalb

  • Harlem 2,092
  • Hononegah 2,074
  • East 1,994
  • Auburn 1,865
  • DeKalb 1,790
  • Jefferson 1,632
  • Belvidere North 1,508
  • Belvidere 1,263
  • Sycamore 1,254
  • Freeport 1,189
  • Guilford 1,721
  • Boylan 895 (without multiplier)
5-Burlington Central, will they be asked to consider joining you?
Geographically Central would be great.  This is a program that we play in many sports and they are close to our enrollment (1,049). I know they have an offer from the Fox Valley, so I am not completely sure where they are with that, but I think they would be a good fit for us.
 So now it it a wait and see time for the five remaining NIB 12 teams, it will benefit all of them to settle on a situation best suited for them very soon. The life of an independent is no fun.
Sycamore past league affiliations:

Sycamore (1921-1995) was founding member of the Little 7 that started during the 1921-22 school year. The other six founding members were Batavia, Dundee, Geneva, Naperville, Saint Charles, Sycamore, and Wheaton; only Batavia, Geneva and Sycamore were members for the entire history of the conference which dissolved in 1995.

The Suburban Prairie Conference was formed in the 1995-96 school year and was composed of 18 schools.. Elmwood Park, Evergreen Park, Lemont, Norridge Ridgewood, Riverside-Brookfield and Westmont from the Southwest Conference, Batavia, Geneva, Maple Park Kaneland, Minooka, Morris, Oswego, Plainfield, Sycamore and Yorkville from the Little 7 Conference along with Bensenville Fenton, Glen Ellyn Glenbard South and Herscher.


Sycamore would leave the SPC in 2006 to join the  Western Sun Conference( started in the 2006-2007). Six of the schools came from the former Suburban Prairie Conference North division. The WSC disbanded after the 2009-2010 academic year.