Hurdles remain in West Aurora’s quest to join UEC
By Rick Armstrong firstname.lastname@example.org February 12, 2013 7:00PM
Updated: March 14, 2013 6:40AM
Tired of hearing about another “conference shuffle” involving high school sports?
Better get used to it.
Glenbard East got the go-ahead — in a 6-1 vote Monday night by its school board — to join West Aurora and exit the DuPage Valley Conference for the Upstate Eight. That doesn’t mean, however, there’s smooth sailing ahead for such a move.
“As much as last night could potentially be a big step, it really didn’t solve all our problems,” West Aurora athletic director Jason Buckley said Tuesday. “It’s one more piece put in place, but there’s still a lot of that puzzle to go.”
West Aurora’s school board earlier this year voted to OK such a move and accept an invitation from the Upstate Eight to join the league in a package deal with Glenbard East that would expand the UEC from 14 teams to 16, starting with the 2014-15 school year.
But the DuPage Valley Conference’s Board of Control, made up of member school principals, put a crimp in that plan. It recently ruled that this school year cannot count toward the two years notice required by league bylaws to exit the league.
Notice should have been given by last Dec. 1, which means the schools can’t leave until the 2015-16 school year.
“We’d both like to leave by the ’14-15 school year but we’ve both said we’re gonna honor the bylaws of the DVC,” said Buckley, who added he doesn’t know if the UEC will be willing to extend its invitation another year.
Another possibility would be if two other schools could be found to join the DVC for the 2014-15 school year to replace West and Glenbard East.
“I don’t know how much (the DVC Board of Control) has reached out to other people or other schools to see if they’re interested,” Buckley said. “There’s been a lot of speculation and rumors about certain schools. I don’t know that to be totally accurate, but I’m sure they’ve put feelers out.”
Most of the rumors center on the three District 204 schools — Neuqua Valley, Waubonsie Valley, Metea Valley — and suggest two of them may move to the DVC. It’s also been suggested that some DVC schools would balk at being joined by Neuqua Valley. With 4,072 students, it would have 900 more than Naperville North, which would be the league’s second largest school at 3,141 if West Aurora (3,400) left.
Metea Valley athletic director Tom Schweer said such a proposal, “hasn’t come across my table. … from Metea’s standpoint, I’ve heard rumors but it’s not a discussion we’ve had.”
Neuqua Valley athletic director Barb Barrows couldn’t be reached for comment and Waubonsie Valley AD Mike Rogowski, who is retiring at the end of the school year, chose not to comment.