The Horizon League picks IUPUI to replace Valpo and might add more teams in future
IUPUI is leaving the Summit League to begin play in the Horizon this season
Less than two months removed Valparaiso to the Missouri Valley Conference, the Horizon League has tabbed its replacement. IUPUI was officially named the 10th member of the Horizon League on Wednesday morning, just in time for the start of the fiscal year on July 1.
IUPUI's move to the Horizon League means it is leaving the Summit League. The Summit League will now be at eight teams for the 2017-18 season.
"We are excited to welcome IUPUI to the Horizon League family," Horizon League commissioner Jon LeCrone said. "The Jaguars bring us tremendous competitive potential, particularly in men's basketball, along with an engaged and energized city. Their addition solidifies our broad community partnerships in Indianapolis and is the right school at the right time."
IUPUI -- which is short for Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis -- joined Division I 19 years ago. The Jaguars made the NCAA Tournament once, in 2003. The school last finished above .500 in men's basketball in 2010-11, under former coach Ron Hunter. Last season, the Jags were 14-18.
IUPUI made sense from a geographical and potential budget standpoint for the Horizon League. Sources told CBS Sports that IUPUI didn't have the basketball budget of other Horizon League nominees, but a commitment going forward to spending more on hoops figures to be a big part of the equation. Geographically, the school being located in Indianapolis (where the Horizon League is headquartered) gave IUPUI a leg up.
It's a big week for the school, as it's also currently hosting the 2017 USA Swimming & Diving National Championships, which includes the likes of Olympic stars Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel.
The upcoming season will be the 39th in the history of the Horizon League. There is some scuttlebutt that IUPUI's inclusion could be one phase toward expansion. Eventually going to 12 teams might be on the table, one industry source told CBS Sports. Growing from 10 to 12 teams is also an ongoing debate for the Missouri Valley. We should know more about whether or not expansion is coming to these conferences in the fall or winter.
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