Twelve years ago, the Bay Valley Conference was composed of eleven small teams that were similar in size, philosophy and location. In addition to the BVC, two major conferences had bigger schools and more strength that had dissolved. Sacramento City, American River, Delta, Diablo Valley, Laney and Santa Rosa could not get into other conferences and were applying to move into the Bay Valley Conference. However, the BVC were reluctant to accept these colleges because of their bigger size and strength. Not only would accepting these colleges make the league bigger, but it would be unfair competition for some of the smaller colleges.
Realistically, the BVC leaders knew that these colleges would have to move into a conference to be able to play and to show good faith, they accepted Laney, Delta and Diablo Valley in hopes that another conference would take in the other three. However, the other three colleges really wanted to be in the BVC because of close proximity, the colleges would be closer together and not have to travel as far. So they took the issue to the State Commissioner of California Community Colleges of Athletics who granted the colleges their request.
For the next twelve years, the athletic directors and coaches tried to work together to make the conferences work together by having a more competitive balance. According to the Yuba College athletic director and president of the BVC league, Rod Beilby, the competition was unfair due to the lack of size of many colleges, but there was little that could be done to resolve the issue. He continued to say that the colleges could not split into two conferences to make it fair because there must be at least seven teams to make a conference. The six colleges that were added to the BVC would not have enough teams to make a conference, but now that Cosumnes and Sierra have grown in size and can compete at that level, the colleges decided to make the split.
The new conference is called the Big Seven and is composed of Sacramento City, American River, Santa Rosa, Delta, Diablo Valley, Sierra and Cosumnes River. Yuba was on the bubble to go into either conference, but the Yuba coaches unanimously voted to remain in the Bay Valley Conference so that all the sports at Yuba would have a fair chance in the smaller league. This will take effect in July, so this is Yuba’s last year in the conference.
Beilby said, ” That this also constitutes double duty for all the colleges because we have to make new schedules and new constitutions. Although the league is splitting in two, we still have to work together to schedule non-conference games. For me, I am the president of the BVC and will be the president of the new conference to make sure it works.”
Next year, Yuba sports with the exception of football, will be in a new BVC and can expect a very competitive schedule