MIC drops Carmel, Center Grove


Carmel coach Ryan Osborn and Ben Davis coach Don Carlisle talk prior to the 2019 Class 4A state championship game. Carmel and Center Grove were voted out of the MIC yesterday.

staff report

In a move that promises to shake up the landscape of Indiana high school sports, the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference principals voted yesterday to drop original members Carmel and Center Grove from the conference.

The MIC originally formed in 1996 and have always included Carmel and Center Grove. The original membership also included Terre Haute North and Terre Haute South but those schools were replaced with Pike and Lawrence Central. Carmel and Center Grove are planning to petition the Hoosier Crossroads Conference.

The MIC will field six teams beginning with the 2022 spring athletic season. They are Ben Davis, Pike, North Central, Lawrence Central, Lawrence North and Warren Central.

In announcing the move, the six MIC principals released the following statement.

The principals from the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference from Ben Davis High School, Lawrence Central High School, Lawrence North High School, North Central High School, Pike High School and Warren Central High School want to share with our communities some decisions we have made regarding the future of the MIC conference

During the 199697 school year, 8 schools came together with a clear vision: The Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference provides a model for interscholastic excellence. Within a framework of appreciation and support of the unique characteristics of member schools, the Conference enhances student opportunities and achievement in all areas of each schools program.The 8 schools that formed the MIC were from urban, rural and suburban areas around Indianapolis. Those unique characteristics of the member schools were the bedrock of this conference

The MIC was formed as more than an athletic conference; the founders wanted to enhance student opportunities and achievement in all areas of each schools programs. Each year the MIC holds an academic banquet where department chairs and administrators from all the schools come together and learn from each other. Many of us who came into administration through our schools learned of the MIC Academic Banquet well before we understood the MIC as an athletic conference. Each year we hold a student leadership conference, a MIC Choir festival, a charitable fundraiser in ceramics entitled Empty Bowls, a MIC brain game, and we were in the process of adding a MIC Jazz festival. The collegiality of the MIC went well beyond athletics. All of our programs, from Performing Arts, to JROTC, from bowling to spell bowl, continue to be competitive statewide and nationally on a yearly basis. The principals have worked together for the past 24 years to create a community of learners

This past fall it came to our attention that for athletic reasons, as well as a desire to culturally align(as reported in the media) with surrounding suburban schools, Carmel and Center Grove were seeking placement in a different conference. We value the historical relationships with these two communities, and while this news was sad to those of us who understand the rich history, we also understand that these two schools no longer share the vision that we are more than an athletic conference, that athletics should not drive our decisions, and that our unique characteristics are what make us strong

On Monday, December 13th, the 6 remaining principals made the difficult decision to vote Center Grove and Carmel out of the conference. Article V, section 4 of the MIC Constitution allows for the removal of other schools with a unanimous vote of the remaining schools and just cause. This vote will allow these two schools to seek a conference that aligns with their visions

Over the next few months, we will be in discussions with other school systems who value the diversity our conference offers, who want to engage in a strong community of educators who believe the conference should be more than athletics, but who also, as we have said in the MIC for years, want to play the best in order to be the best.The MIC was founded on these beliefs. If we find school districts who want to compete at the highest level, in every sport, and push our students and staff to be the very best in the state, all while helping to create a diverse yet unified community, then they will be considered great candidates

Until we find such candidates, we will remain a powerful 6 and compete against other powerful schools in neighboring states if opportunities should arise. The 6 schools will honor all athletic contracts through the 202223 school year; however, during the spring season of 2022, the MIC Conference will comprise solely of the 6 schools listed below

We believe Indianapolis, Indiana and the country needs unification, not separation. The MIC is built on understanding our differences and learning from each other. Our goals, as outlined by the founders of the MIC, are that the conference: 1) provides an environment in which sportsmanship is valued and displayed, 2) recognizes student achievement in a variety of endeavors, 3) raises the level of expectations and competition and 4) provides opportunities for the exchange of ideas, programs and people. Should we find other schools who share our vision and will affirm these goals, we will entertain expansion.”