With the pending reorganization of the CSC into a “tech only” league, two of its newest public school members Bassick and Harding were about to be thrown to the curb. But now it appears as though the SCC has swooped in to give the Bridgeport schools a new home.
SCC commissioner Al Carbone confirmed the deal Wednesday and announced the move in a press release. The move was approved unanimously by the leagues athletic directors and principals earlier this month, according to the release.
“We are very pleased to welcome Harding and Bassick to the SCC,” Carbone said in a statement. “Football scheduling is getting harder and harder; and any time you can add competitive programs to your league, the better it is for everyone involved.”
“Everyone can look at their (football) schedule and walk away happy,” Chris Johnson, Bridgeport’s citywide director of athletics, said. “We will be able to compete week in and week out. It was an absolute no-brainer for us.”
While the divisional set up has yet to be determined, Harding will likely join SCC Division II (aka “tier II”) and Bassick will like join SCC Division III (aka “tier III”), giving the SCC 22 football-playing schools, according to the press release. The league format and schedules are typically determined after the season.
“This is just a great fit for both sides,” Carbone said. “Doing a one-year football schedule creates challenges with home and away games. A two-year schedule, with the addition of both Harding and Bassick, is a great step in the direction of where we want to go to have a long-term solid football schedule.”
[aesop_image imgwidth=”720″ img=”http://www.gametimect.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Harding-Bassick-to-SCC.png” credit=”Sean Patrick Bowley” align=”center” lightbox=”on” caption=”Bassick and Harding will be come the 21st and 22nd members of the SCC football conference beginning in 2017. (click to expand)” captionposition=”center”]
The expansion is the second in as many years for the SCC. The league added Creed (formerly Hyde Leadership) and its co-op team with Career and Whitney Tech in football last year.
It was not immediately clear in which league Harding and Bassick would place their other sports next year. Carbone said there were no official discussions held regarding the other sports.
Harding and Bassick were members of the FCIAC from 1993-2014 and had little success outside of basketball, until moving all sports to the Constitution State Conference beginning in 2015.
Harding’s football program went 10-0 last year and reached the playoffs for the first time in school history. The No. 2-seeded Presidents lost to No. 7 Notre Dame-West Haven (out of the SCC), 34-0, in the Class L quarterfinals.
The Presidents are 5-1 midway through the 2016 season, making them 15-2 since moving to the CSC.
Bassick’s football program, meanwhile, suffered through the longest football losing streak in state history from 2001-2007 as members of the FCIAC. Since moving to the CSC, the Lions have gone 4-11 (including a forfeit loss).
Bridgeport Central, Bridgeport’s third public school, remains in the FCIAC.
–Joe Morelli contributed to this report