"The kicker's going to be football because those contracts are already sitting out there," NIC secretary-treasurer and Clay athletic director Greg Humnicky said.
"All the other ones, it's not that big of a problem."
The addition of St. Joe and Marian increases NIC membership to nine schools, meaning a round-robin football schedule would have each school playing eight conference games.Humnicky
said the NIC athletic directors hope to meet within the next month with Marian AD Reggie Glon and St. Joe's
"We've got to kind of fold and mix them into the existing schedules," said Humnicky
, who expects that the two will become fully integrated in the 2005-06 school year.
Because NIC members now play seven league and two non-conference games, a round-robin football schedule would eliminate one of the non-conference games.For instance, Penn traditionally plays state powers Valparaiso and Indianapolis Ben Davis -- games that draw big gates and a large media gathering.
Because many of the current NIC schools already play St. Joe
and Marian in non-football sports, Humnicky
said fully-integrating the other 18 sports should be relatively smooth.
"It would be nice if we had a 10th team," Humnicky
"They want to explore the opportunity with us," Humnicky
Other schools mentioned as potential NIC targets include New Prairie, LaPorte and Michigan City, although each appears to be a remote possibility.
"Haven't heard a thing from anybody," said New Prairie AD Keith Kauffman, whose school is a member of the Northern State Conference."I haven't even thought about it.We're pretty content where we're at right now."