Beginning this fall, the IUPUI athletics teams will represent a new league in NCAA Division I Athletics. The Jaguars announced Wednesday that the University is leaving the Summit League for the Horizon League effective July 1.
After Valparaiso left the Horizon for the Missouri Valley Conference, a slot opened up for a mid-major school in the Midwest to join the league. The Horizon League’s headquarters are also currently based in Indianapolis, meaning the stars all aligned fairly quickly.
Not only will the competition stiffen for the Jag’s across the board in all sports, but the travel and time away from home will be minimized for all student athletes.
IUPUI joins a league that consists exclusively of schools located in the Midwest. Those institutions include Cleveland State, The University of Detroit, The University of Green Bay, The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, North Kentucky, University of Illinois-Chicago, Oakland University located in Rochester, Michigan, Wright State located in Fairborn, Ohio, and Youngstown State located in Youngstown, Ohio.
Many spoke out in regard to IUPUI’s midweek announcement, including the Jags’ Athletic Director, Dr. Roderick Perry.
“As we strive to continue to enhance our brand, we are excited to build upon our past successes to create additional student and fan interest in regional rivalries the Horizon League offers,” he said. “As an institution and athletics department, our mission, vision and core values align closely with the Horizon League. This is an important step forward in the life of our athletics department. We are looking forward to becoming an active member striving to compete for Championships.”
IUPUI Sports Information Director, Edgar Holdaway also believes it is a big step for IUPUI, not just in athletics, but also as an entire institution.
“I can say that when you make a conference move, you’re evaluated as a prospective member in a number of different categories, and our athletic success certainly played a role in making us a viable candidate,” he said. “It wasn’t the sole reason, but definitely played a major role.”
IUPUI will participate in 18 of the 19 offered sports by the Horizon League, and see an immediate enhancement of competition, provided by a league with an already rich history of athletic success.