This is the complete press release from the Arcola School District:
Arcola School District Taking Cautious Approach to LOVC Conference Discussion
On Monday November 27, 2017, The Arcola School Board authorized high school principal, Lisa Sigrist to submit the Arcola School District letter of intent to withdraw from the LOVC Conference prior to December 1, 2017 ONLY if the situation on December 1 warrants a change. If the letter is turned in to the LOVC conference president prior to December 1, 2017, the district would leave the LOVC Conference after the 2018-2019 School Year.
District superintendent, Dr. Tom Mulligan explained to the school board that this is a complicated situation and he indicated to the Board that the current conference situation is changing daily. He also indicated that several school districts currently in the LOVC have discussed the possibility of withdrawing from the current conference to create a new conference that would provide a more stable 10-football team conference. Mulligan was clear in saying that this did not mean that only 10 schools would be in the new conference but rather that the goal
would be to have 10 stable football programs (including cooperatives) in the conference.
Dr. Mulligan went on to explain that he was contacted by the Villa Grove Superintendent regarding their concerns about the current organization of the LOVC Conference and the fact that Villa Grove was considering withdrawing from the conference unless a drastic changed
occurred. Mulligan stated the main reason for Villa Grove’s concern was their placement in the southeastern division of the LOVC. He shared their concerns including length of travel time and the inconvenience that causes students and parents; lack of fan attendance at events; uncertainty from year to year of some schools being able to field teams in various activities; and a lack of natural rivalry.
Dr. Mulligan went on to say that the he along with high principal, Mrs. Sigrist and athletic director, Nick Lindsey all share a concern that Villa Grove leaving the conference could cause an unbalance between the southeastern and northwestern divisions, which could eventually lead to
Arcola being forced into the southeast division. Dr. Mulligan indicated that all three of the administrators do NOT feel this would be in the best interest of the district or Arcola high school students.
There is a LOVC Conference meeting scheduled for Tuesday, November 28, 2017 where the conference governing board will discuss the Villa Grove concerns along with possible solutions and also to consider a vote that would extend the deadline to withdraw from December 1, 2017
back to January 1, 2018. This would give all schools more time to have a discussion with their constituents about what is best for each school district.
Dr. Mulligan told the Board the reason he made the recommendation for the authorization to withdraw was in case the vote to extend the deadline was not approved and numerous districts decided to submit their letter to withdraw prior to the December 1 deadline. Dr. Mulligan also informed the Board that the current conference by-laws grant the authority to withdraw from the conference to each school’s principal, which makes it hard to know each district’s intent. Dr. Mulligan indicated that he and Mrs. Sigrist were not comfortable making that move without a special meeting to discuss the situation at a public meeting. He closed the presentation by stating in his opinion, the best scenario is that the deadline to withdraw would be approved and schools would have more time to discuss the situation in detail.