IUPUI negotiating Summit League exit

According to the Detroit Daily News, the IUPUI Jaguars are in negotiations to leave the Summit League for the Horizon League. The Jaguars became a target when Valparaiso University departed the Horizon to join the Missouri Valley Conference…which just lost Wichita State. Dizzy yet?

The Indianapolis school is a good fit for the Horizon League which includes more regional rivals like Cleveland State, University of Detroit, University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Northern Kentucky University, Oakland University, University of Illinois-Chicago, Wright State, and Youngstown State.

If the Jaguars bolt the Summit, IUPUI would either join the Horizon for the 2017-18 season or the 2018-19 season. At the moment, it looks like a done deal. According to the article, Horizon Commissioner  Jonathan B. LeCrone told The News on Wednesday that there’s no deadline for a decision, and an entry date hasn’t been determined yet. He also wouldn’t publicly identify the institution, saying only a formal announcement could come in the next three weeks.

The Horizon League is said to have vetted Fort Wayne, another Summit League member, in the recent past. And it may not stop there.  LeCrone has said that the conference could potentially expand to 11, 12, 13, or 14 potential new league members. Surely, some of those additions would be at the further expense of the Summit League.

The Summit League currently has nine members. The loss of the Jaguars would be immediately offset by the addition of the North Dakota Fighting Hawks (yes, those Fighting Hawks), who are set to join the conference in 2018. Losing IUPUI will hurt the Summit League but the potential loss of Fort Wayne and other schools could signal trouble for the Dakota-centric  Summit League. The University of Nebraska-Omaha, another Summit League member, was flirting with the Missouri Valley Conference several months ago but ended up staying in the Summit.