Superintendents Vote Against Four Big North Conference Schools Joining NMFC
GRAYLING – Superintendents from 20 school districts in northern Michigan met in Grayling on Tuesday and voted to reject the applications of Big North Conference members Cadillac, Gaylord, Petoskey and Alpena from joining the Northern Michigan Football Conference.
This comes after NMFC athletic directors approved the proposal earlier this month.
The vote was split by division and both Petoskey and Gaylord came up one vote shy of the six needed to join.
The four BNC schools are looking for a new conference following the announcement that Traverse City Central and Traverse City West will leave the conference to join the Saginaw Valley League starting in the 2022 season.
Curently the NMFC consists of the Legends, Legacy and Leaders divisions. A fourth division would need to be created in order for the four BNC schools to join the league.
“I think the superintendents just felt like this was just a little too much, too quick. I got the feeling it was a ‘no’ for now, but not a ‘no’ forever,” Frankfort Athletic Director and head of the NMFC Dave Jackson said. “They felt like they wanted to revisit the purpose of the league, what some long range goals are and how did the four Big North teams potentially fit into that model and picture.”
Cadillac, Gaylord, Petoskey and Alpena athletic directors said while they are disappointed the vote did not go through, they will continue next season as a four-team conference.
“I think it would have given us an opportunity to make that league more stable at the lower end of that conference, but at the same time we knew our chances of getting in were 50/50,” said Cadillac Athletic Director Fred Bryant.
Big North Conference athletic directors plan to revisit a possible expansion of the Big North Conference or another proposal to join a different league in the coming years.
“We’re hoping that we can definitely get at least one, two more schools to come in with us in the future to provide a little bit more stability,” said Bryant.