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IUPUI Withdraws from Summit League

South Dakota State vs IUPUI Summit League Basketball Championship
Dave Eggen/Inertia

The Summit League will be an eight-team league for the 2017-18 season, after Indiana – Purdue, Indianapolis (IUPUI) has announced it will leave the conference, effective June 30.

The Jaguars first joined the then Mid-Continent Conference in 1998. The conference changed its name to the Summit League in 2008.

IUPUI enjoyed limited success in the league.

In 2000, The men’s soccer team won the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament and later defeated Marist in a NCAA Tournament play-in game, before losing to SMU in their only NCAA Tournament. The men’s tennis team won the Summit League title in 2012. The men’s golf team won conference crowns in 2005 and 2012. IUPUI’s men’s cross country team won the Summit League championship in 2014 and 2015.

The Jaguars women’s tennis teams won back-to-back Mid-Continent Conference Tournaments in 2003 and 2004 before losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament each year. The women’s soccer team won the 2009 Summit League title. The volleyball team captured titles in 2012 and 2013.

The Summit League issued a statement from Commissioner Tom Douple:

I was first notified on Friday morning (June 23) by IUPUI Chancellor Paydar that they will be withdrawing from our league, effective June 30. He stated to me that they enjoyed their membership in The Summit League, but geography was the factor in their decision to switch leagues.

IUPUI was a 20-year member of our league and while we will miss the relationships forged over that time, The Summit League remains a solid entity going forward. The recent addition of the University of North Dakota for the fall of 2018 is a move that strengthens the quality of league membership.

We will continue our efforts to explore the expansion options that we currently have and create new membership options for the future. When membership changes have occurred in The Summit League, there has been short term disappointment, but in the long term, the end result has proven to be a stronger league.

The geography of the Summit League took a dramatic turn west with the admission of South Dakota State and North Dakota State in 2007. That westward expansion continued with the addition of South Dakota in 2011, Nebraska – Omaha in 2012, and Denver in 2013.

The departure leaves only two schools east of the Dakotas – Western Illinois and Indiana – Purdue, Fort Wayne (IPFW).

The Summit League won’t be an eight-member conference for long. North Dakota is leaving the Big Sky Conference to join the Summit for the 2018-19 season.

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