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UMKC leaving Summit League to join WAC on July 1, 2013

Feb 7, 2013, 7:05 PM EDT

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After a quiet period we’ve got more movement in college athletics.

This news comes as a bit of a surprise to many as UMKC announced on Thursday that it would be leaving the Summit League to join the Western Athletic Conference, effective July 1, 2013. With the move the Kangaroos become the ninth member of what is to be a reconfigured WAC, a number that will drop down to eight in 2014 when Idaho moves its non-football sports to the Big Sky (football will be an FBS independent).

The number would be eight if the WAC were to stay were it is from a membership standpoint, but with conference realignment being what it currently it wouldn’t be a shock to anyone if more movement were on the horizon.

“We are extremely pleased with the addition of UMKC to the WAC family,” WAC interim commissioner Jeff Hurd said in the statement released by the conference. “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.”

At the end of the current academic year the WAC loses seven members. Denver, coincidentally, will join the Summit League while San Jose State and Utah State are both headed to the Mountain West. Louisiana Tech and UTSA are moving to Conference USA, and UT-Arlington and Texas State will both move to the Sun Belt.

That leaves Idaho, New Mexico State and Seattle. Those three schools will now be joined by Cal-State Bakersfield, Chicago State, Grand Canyon, UMKC, Texas-Pan American and Utah Valley.

With UMKC’s decision to jump to the WAC the Summit League will still have nine members due to Denver’s arrival. But with college administrators still waiting to see which schools receive invitations to join the seven non-football schools splitting from the Big East, who knows if the tumbling dominoes could eventually result in the league losing more schools down the line.

Photo credit: University of Missouri-Kansas City

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej

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