With York College departing, Capital Athletic Conference ventures far and wide to survive

CAC logo

York College will officially exit the Capital Athletic Conference on July 1, when the school will join the Pennsylvania-based Middle Atlantic Conference.

The Spartans will become just one of several schools that have recently abandoned, or will abandon, the CAC.

The CAC, however, is not willing to simply disappear. In fact, the CAC has ventured far and wide to find a way to survive.

Tuesday, the CAC announced an expansion to 11 member institutions, with six schools accepting invitations to join the conference, becoming official members effective June 15, 2020. Two of the new members are from California, while the others are from Michigan, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and New York.

Most of the current CAC members are located in Virginia and Maryland.

The CAC Board of Directors voted unanimously to offer full membership to six members of the American Collegiate Athletic Conference, including: the University of California-Santa Cruz, Finlandia University (Michigan), Mills College (California), Mount Mary University (Wisconsin), Pine Manor College (Massachusetts) and Pratt Institute (New York).

The CAC will consist of 11 full-time NCAA Division III members for the 2020-21 academic year. The Conference will reduce to eight in 2021-2022 when Southern Virginia University, St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Pine Manor College depart. Christopher Newport University, the University of Mary Washington and Salisbury University will remain with the CAC along with the incoming members from the ACAA.

The conference is expected to be rebranded with a new name and logo over the coming months.

If the CAC had not expanded, it would have been down to just five schools for the upcoming school year and only three in the 2021-2022 school year.

The newcomers will play the holdover CAC members only in the conference tournaments, not in the regular season. The holdover CAC members will continue to play each other in the regular season.

Only six of the 11 teams will advance to the conference tournaments in men’s and women’s basketball and most other sports in the upcoming school year — the top four holdover teams and the top two newcomers.

The expansion should allow the new conference to maintain its automatic NCAA Division III playoff berths. A conference needs seven members in a sport to have an automatic bid.