Ten high schools are planning to secede from the South Inter-Conference Association at the end of the year: Andrew, Bradley-Bourbonnais, Bolingbrook, Homewood-Flossmoor, Joliet, Lincoln- Way Central, Lincoln-Way East, Lockport, Sandburg, and Stagg. If you know anything about the south suburbs, you'll see the pattern. These high schools represent the more affluent (and whitest) communities in the south suburbs.
"It takes a large group of white students out of the knockings and I think that is important to keep the conference balanced. So, there is a huge impact when they leave. They're taking the bulk of the white population out of SICA," said Robert K. Wilhite, Thornton Factional superintendent.
Black student athletes in lower income neighborhoods east of Interstate 57 are less likely, if ever to compete against more affluent whites west of the expressway. While the defecting superintendents concede that economics is part of the reason they will leave racial issues were not considered.
"Race in this whole thing is absolutely not a problem. It has never been a problem for the seven of us in our entire careers and as far as I'm concerned, it's never been an issue when it's come to a decision for me, whether it be racially motivated or not. Absolutely is not an issue," said Wyllie.
Wyllie says the new conference would be called the southwest suburban conference and would begin operating in all sports except football beginning next fall. Football will have to wait a while because of SICA contracts already in place.
The list of schools that will remain in SICA, according to this obviously outdated and badly-kept SICA website: Argo, Bloom Township (incl. Bloom Trail), Bremen, Crete-Monee, Eisenhower, Hillcrest, Kankakee, Oak Forest, Oak Lawn, Reavis, Rich Central, Rich East, Rich South, Richards, Romeoville, Shepard, Thornton Fractional North, Thornton Fractional South, Thornridge, Thornton, Thornwood, Tinley Park.
Hmm. Surprised Argo didn't bail with the rest.