Butler County Times Gazette
  • Jayhawk Conference realigning basketball divisions

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  • The Jayhawk Conference will have a new look next year for basketball after college presidents approved a change that will split the 19 community colleges into three divisions next season. Starting in 2013-2014, there will be a West, East and East Division II.
    In the new alignment, Butler Community College will move from the West to the East, while Highland, Johnson County, Kansas City and Fort Scott form the new East Division II.
    "It does the same thing we've done in softball and volleyball," said Jayhawk Conference commissioner Bryce Roderick. "It put the Division I schools together and the Division II schools together.
    "It also gives us a chance to balance out the East and the West in Division I with Butler moving over to the East. With the Division II schools coming from the east, it made it difficult to have a balance for the region tournament."
    Roderick said he didn't know the exact vote, but it took two-thirds of the presidents (13) to vote for the proposal for it to pass.
    The realignment process started this year when Fort Scott and Kansas City announced their intention to move from NJCAA Division I to Division II which meant that four teams in the East would be playing at the Division II level.
    The West will now have eight teams including Barton, Hutchinson, Pratt, Cloud County, Dodge City, Garden City, Colby and Seward County. The East will be made up of seven teams including Butler, Coffeyville, Cowley, Independence, Allen, Labette, and Neosho County.
    "We kind of knew it was coming when the four schools went to Division II in the East," said Dodge City men's basketball coach Kyle Campbell. "We knew things were going to have to change and Butler made the most sense. It's not going to change much for us except lose one less team in the conference.
    Northwest Tech will remain an independent in Division I basketball and will be seeded on the East, meaning the current post season format will remain in place.

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