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UMKC set for return to Summit League in 2020-21

UMKC Men's Basketball 1
Posted at 9:04 PM, Jun 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-20 22:04:42-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — UMKC has announced it will be switching athletic conferences.

The Kangaroos will join the Summit League before the 2020-21 school year.

“We’re thankful to the WAC and their commitment to Division I excellence. We accepted the invitation to return to the Summit League because, after careful review, we believe it will help us achieve our goals for UMKC Athletics,” UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal said. “Under the leadership of Athletics Director Brandon Martin, we are elevating UMKC Athletics and creating a fan experience that is more engaging for our students and our community. A move to the Summit League will support those goals.”

UMKC has been in the WAC since 2013. Prior to that, the Roos were in the Summit League.

“We’re thrilled to have the UMKC Roos back in the Summit League,” Commissioner Tom Douple said. “We are looking forward to the 2020-21 season.”

UMKC Athletics Director Brandon Martin said the move will save the department a significant amount of money.

“These changes are about competitive excellence, positioning our student-athletes and teams to win conference and NCAA post-season championships,” Martin said. “This also will help inspire our Roo Nation, elevating the fan experience, creating rivalries and partnerships that make games not only competitive but fun and exciting. This, coupled with fiscal savings, is a win-win.”

Current Summit League schools include: Denver, North Dakota, North Dakota State, Omaha, Oral Roberts, Purdue-Fort Wayne, South Dakota, South Dakota State, and Western Illinois.

The move takes effect on July 1, 2020. The University of Missouri System Board of Curators approved the move at a meeting Thursday in Columbia.

“Athletics is an important part of the college experience and we support the vision of UMKC to elevate its competitiveness, support its student-athletes and further engage the campus community while creating a sound fiscal foundation,” Chair of the Board of Curators Jon Sundvold said. “It’s an exciting time for the university.”