KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri-Kansas City is leaving the Summit League for the Western Athletic Conference, effective July 1.
UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton announced the move Thursday, saying it lines up with the school’s goals in what he called community engagement and financial strength.
The Kangaroos’ departure puts the Summit League back at nine schools for 2013-14, as Denver recently announced its intention to leave what has been an unstable WAC to join the Summit.
“We wish UMKC all the best in the future,” Summit League Commissioner Tom Douple said through a press release. “We remain steadfast in strengthening our league and are excited about the University of Denver joining us as a new member in 2013-14.”
The rest of the Summit includes UNO, South Dakota, South Dakota State, North Dakota State, Western Illinois, Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne, IUPUI and Oakland.
UNO Athletic Director Trev Alberts couldn’t be reached for comment late Thursday night.
Oral Roberts left the Summit for the Southland Conference beginning in 2012-13, several months after UNO had joined the league.
UMKC joined the Summit League — then known as the Mid-Continent Conference — in 1994, seven years after joining Division I as an independent.
The WAC and UMKC said more details will be disclosed at a news conference Feb. 14.
The Kangaroos will be immediately eligible for postseason play at the conference and NCAA levels in each of their 16 sports.
The other eight schools scheduled to compete in the WAC for 2013-14 are Cal State-Bakersfield, Chicago State, Grand Canyon, Idaho, New Mexico State, Seattle, Texas-Pan American and Utah Valley. Only Idaho, New Mexico State and Seattle are holdovers from 2012-13, and Idaho is leaving for the Big Sky Conference in 2014.
The WAC has undergone major upheaval lately, with San Jose State, Utah State, Louisiana Tech, Texas-San Antonio, Texas-Arlington and Texas State joining Denver in bolting after this year. Because of the defections, the WAC will no longer sponsor football as a league sport.
Denver, Seattle, Texas-Arlington, Texas-San Antonio and Texas State all joined the league in 2012, replacing schools such as Boise State, Fresno State, Hawaii and Nevada.