Conference realignment is no longer only for big-money major universities.
The questionable future of the Southwest Wisconsin Conference may finally reach a resolution in the near future.
The La Crosse Tribune reported on Dec. 18 that the SWC plans to notify the WIAA before the end of the year that it wants to disband.
Officials from SWC member schools met with representatives of the Mississippi Valley Conference and Coulee Conference on Dec. 17.
When the meeting was over MVC commissioner Terry Erickson told the Tribune, “I really think we are going to see some changes.”
The SWC is currently without a conference commissioner.
Preliminary discussions about the future of the SWC began in October when SWC member Prairie du Chien expressed interest in leaving the conference, partly because of scheduling difficulties.
The MVC is a seven-team conference that has long wanted an eighth member.
The schools that currently comprise the SWC are Dodgeville (420 enrollment), Lancaster (283), Platteville (463), Prairie du Chien (368), Richland Center (420) and River Valley (460).
Those six schools were in the SWAL I along, with Cuba City, and for two years with Boscobel, until 2002 when the SWAL split to form the six-team SWC and the new, eight-team Southwestern Wisconsin Activities League.
The current SWAL received a surprise last week when the Riverdale school board agreed to explore leaving the league and affiliate with a conference to the north, possibly the Ridge and Valley.
Schools in the current SWAL include Riverdale (225), Boscobel (283), Cuba CIty (253), Darlington (247), Fennimore (212), Iowa–Grant (236), Mineral Point (230) and Southwestern (202).
Mississippi Valley members include La Crosse Aquinas (351), La Crosse Central (1,173), La Crosse Logan (922), Holmen (1,060), Onalaska (857), Sparta (770) and Tomah (975).
The Coulee Conference, a seven-team league near La Crosse made up of schools with ranging enrollments from 327 to 547 is also looking for an eighth member.
The Coulee includes Arcadia (340), Black River Falls (539), Gale–Ettrick–Trempealeau (416), Onalsaka Luther (267), Viroqua (384), West Salem (547) and Westby (327).
Erickson said there is more than one proposal on how to integrate SWC schools into new conferences should the SWC disband. He does not expect a football-only conference as the WIAA is typically not in favor of that type of alignment.
SWC, MVC and Coulee representatives have until Jan. 31 to send their proposals to the WIAA, with hopes of an answer at the WIAA’s January meeting