INDIANAPOLIS – Principals from the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference voted unanimously to remove Carmel High School and Center Grove High School from the league Monday.

Those two schools have now applied for admission into the Hoosier Crossroads Conference.

“This past fall it came to our attention that for athletic reasons, as well as a desire to “culturally align” (as reported in the media) with surrounding suburban schools, Carmel and Center Grove were seeking placement in a different conference,” the remaining MIC principals wrote in a letter. “We value the historical relationships with these two communities, and while this news was sad to those of us who understand the rich history, we also understand that these two schools no longer share the vision that we are more than an athletic conference, that athletics should not drive our decisions, and that our unique characteristics are what make us strong.

“This vote will allow these two schools to seek a conference that aligns with their visions.”

“We respect the coaches, faculty, administrators and student-athletes of the MIC Conference,” Carmel and Center Grove wrote in a joint statement. “We have had a long-standing and positive relationships with the MIC Conference and appreciate the 26 years of collaboration and competition with the MIC schools. The decision to request to change conferences is rooted in the belief that this move would provide our schools with the collaboration, competition and support necessary to grow our programs over the next 20 years.”

The six remaining schools (Ben Davis, North Central, Lawrence Central & North, Pike and Warren Central) will honor contracts through the 2022-2023 school year, but only those six will make up the conference for the 2022 spring sports season.

The principals went on to write they will be in discussions with other school districts over the next few months for candidates to replace Carmel and Center Grove.

The Hoosier Crossroads Conference consists of eight suburban schools: Avon, Brownsburg, Fishers, Franklin Central, Hamilton Southeastern, Noblesville, Westfield and Zionsville.

The MIC was established in 1996, while the HCC began play in 2000.