NWU departs GPAC, commissioner reaction

Last week rumors began that Nebraska Wesleyan was working on its exit from the Great Plains Athletic Conference. On Monday, the school and conference made it official. Conference commissioner Corey Westra released a statement Monday afternoon after the school notified him of their decision.

The move means NWU will enter NCAA DIII as a full affiliate and will be the 9th member of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. It also means travel for sporting events will increase significantly.

Nebraska Wesleyan’s current travel distances:
Briar Cliff – 154
College of St. Mary – 55
Concordia – 30
Dakota Wesleyan – 306
Doane – 28
Dordt – 197
Hastings – 107
Midland – 51
Morningside – 149
Mount Marty – 181
Northwestern – 192
11 schools = 1,450 total miles
Average = 132 miles

Nebraska Wesleyan’s future travel distances:
Buena Vista – 360
Central – 235
Coe – 320
Dubuque – 390
Loras – 390
Luther – 390
Simpson – 210
Wartburg – 330
8 schools = 2,625 miles
Average = 328 miles

If you’re keeping track they are leaving a conference that has 10 schools closer than their new closest opponent.

The move is most definitely interesting. And for those of us who are GPAC at heart (Doane grad) it’s disappointing to see a big rival depart and so much tradition and history thrown away.

Still no word if the Iowa Conference will change its name…

GPAC Commissioner joined me Tuesday morning to discuss the departure and the current state of the conference:

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