Kansas City is leaving the Summit League after 19 years.  UMKC is joining the Western Athletic Conference beginning next school year.

The Kangaroos will join eight other schools in the conference, which features schools mainly in the West and Southwest. The Roos new conference competition for 2013-14 will consist of Cal State-Bakersfield, Chicago State, Grand Canyon (Ariz.), Idaho, New Mexico State, Seattle, Texas-Pan American and Utah Valley.

UMKC athletic director Tim Hall, in a prepared statement, called it a “new era” in UMKC athletics:

It not only solidifies our membership for the 2013-14 season, but also gives us a strong core of institutions that will help the WAC reestablish itself as a top Division I conference.

The Kangaroos’ departure puts the Summit League back at nine schools for 2013-14, as Denver recently announced its intention to leave the WAC to join the Summit.

In a press release, Summit League Commissioner Tom Douple said:

We wish UMKC all the best in the future.  We remain steadfast in strengthening our league and are excited about the University of Denver joining us as a new member in 2013-14.

UMKC's basketball teams are struggling in Summit League play this season.  The Roo men are in 8th place with a 3-8 record, the women are tied for sixth at 4-6.
South Dakota plays UMKC in basketball this weekend.  The men play in Kansas City tomorrow night, while the women host the Roos tomorrow night.