Horizon League Confirms UIC Post-Season Ban After Flames Leave Conference – NBC Chicago
Spring sports are well underway for the University of Illinois at Chicago, but those athletes will not be able to compete for a conference title or NCAA tournament bid after the Horizon League upheld a rule that prevented the Flames to compete in the playoffs.
The Horizon League made the announcement following the Flames’ decision to join the Missouri Valley Conference.
“None of this should happen. It is a conscious decision by the Horizon League to inflict pain on our student-athletes and it feels like retribution,” said UIC Director of Athletics Michael Lipitz.
The sports director is not alone. Coaches and players share the sentiment against this ban.
According to the Horizon League’s decision, all spring sports will end at the end of the regular season, meaning seniors will have their seasons cut short.
“It’s just heartbreaking. We work so hard all year and we’ve always said that’s our ultimate goal and I’ve been here for a few years and now that’s my ultimate goal personally all my time here and to have it taken away is just terrible,” Jamie told Ahale.
The Horizon League decision came after the UIC asked the athletes to be allowed to play in the playoffs after announcing it would withdraw from the conference.
The board voted against in a statement obtained by NBC-5 News, with the Horizon League commissioner saying in a statement:
“After thoughtful discussion, Board members voted not to waive League Bylaws regarding League Championship eligibility. These provisions have been in place for several years prior to this advice and the Board did not received no grounds for derogation from the regulations which had not been contemplated when the regulations were approved by all of its members, including the UIC.”
The statement added:
“The Board was sensitive to the effects of a league transition on student-athletes, but recognized that ensuring UIC student-athletes’ eligibility for Horizon League Championships was a matter of discretion and discretion. control of the UIC, and could have been ensured by a timely notice”, Julie Roe Lach mentioned.
While some spring sports have started, others are on the way, the school’s athletes say they will continue to compete to win, even without a conference title on the line.
“Shocked, I was shocked that we were supposed to play for a conference championship,” said Cory Moore, a senior baseball player.