UIC Swimming Starts Petition for Reinstatement after Horizon League Ruling

Photo Courtesy: UIC Swimming and Diving

The Horizon League has banned the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) from competing in the winter conference championships because UIC announced its upcoming departure from the conference.

UIC will be moving to the Missouri Valley Conference next year, but the conference has barred all UIC teams from competing in the postseason for the rest of the season, and likely the spring season.

For the basketball teams, this means they will not have a shot at getting the league’s bid to the NCAA tournament.

For the swimming and diving teams, it means that they cannot participate in the Horizon League Championships, which begin in one week.

The swimming and diving program was understandably upset by the decision, especially with that decision coming just days before the league meet was set to begin.

“This has left everyone in the program shocked, hurt, and angry,” the UIC team wrote in a petition to the league. “To have everything this team has worked hard for over the entire school year be taken away from administrators whose primary job are to be advocates for students…hurts more than we could imagine.”

Read the petition here.

The Horizon League released this statement about the situation, citing the school’s late written notice to leave the conference:

When UIC announced its intent to leave the Horizon League at the end of the 2021-22 season, UIC chose not to comply with the League’s Bylaw requiring that written notice of such intention must be received on or before July 1 one year before the withdrawal date. In this instance, UIC needed to provide notice before July 1, 2022 and remain a member until July 1, 2023 to be in compliance with League Bylaws and preserve 2022 championship opportunities for UIC teams.

The Board is comprised of presidents and chancellors from institutions that have committed to uphold League Bylaws. Those Bylaws provide the same choice to any member institution that wishes to terminate its membership. It is unfortunate for UIC’s teams that UIC elected a path that precludes their participation in championship play and the opportunity to represent the Horizon League in NCAA competition. But this was an informed choice under a longstanding rule.


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Nerida Thomas
9 months ago

The same presidents and chancellors from institutions that have committed to uphold those League Bylaws are also able to make an exemption to those laws and allow UIC to compete. No doubt the other teams would want them in the competition. The last 2 years have been a difficult time throughout the world so why not chose to let this be an act of goodwill.

Peggy Patlan
9 months ago

It’s just not right!!

Maureen Stanley
9 months ago

Very challenging indeed and so disappointing! I am in favor of reinstatement.

D Chiappe
9 months ago

After everything the athletes have been put through over the past two years, why would anyone make such a bone headed decision to leave the conference in the middle of their seasons? Why couldn’t they announce this AFTER all season’s are over so everyone gets the opportunity to perform at their best, since they have all been training hard for months to get to this time of year. The bylaws need to be rewritten so as to NOT punish the athletes for the benefit of the administration’s bonuses. No school should be allowed to make a change of such magnitude during the school year. (And I did read that there are other schools on the East Coast that are going through the same thing). CRAZY.

9 months ago

And we worry about depression and mental health of young adults, so let’s keep them active and involved!
And let’s not shove more rules down their throats & keep them from succeeding.