116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - The Iowa Conference is about to expand, and beyond the state's borders.
Multiple sources said Friday the league is expected to add Nebraska Wesleyan University as its ninth member. An official announcement is anticipated Monday.
NWU is located in Lincoln, Neb. and has an enrollment of about 2,000 undergraduate students. Neither the school or the IIAC would confirm or deny the move.
'Assumptions are being made that the Iowa Conference is not in a position to confirm,” the conference said in a late Friday afternoon statement.
'I really don't have any comment to give you at this time,” said Nebraska Wesleyan Assistant Athletics Director/Senior Women's Administrator Jo Bunstock. 'Nebraska Wesleyan has been dual affiliated for quite some time, and we always evaluate that to make sure it's the right decision for us. At this time, we can't say much more about it than that.”
Nebraska Wesleyan competes in both NCAA Division III and the NAIA, depending on sport. The school recently announced it was beginning a varsity wrestling program, another indication of this Iowa Conference move.
The IIAC was created in 1922 and consists of eight schools: Coe, Dubuque, Wartburg, Central, Luther, Simpson, Buena Vista and Loras. It was an 11-team league as late as 2002, with William Penn leaving for the NAIA and Upper Iowa to NCAA Division II.
Cornell College left after the 2011-12 academic year to rejoin the Midwest Conference. Speculation is Nebraska Wesleyan's addition is in large part a security blanket for the IIAC, so it will maintain automatic qualifier status for D-III regional and national tournaments.
Conferences must have at least seven schools for 'AQ” status. The league has been approached by numerous schools over the years about inclusion.
l Comments: (319) 398-8259; firstname.lastname@example.org