The Missouri Valley Conference might have its replacement for Wichita State.
The league announced Tuesday it has invited Valparaiso University to join the conference, a unanimous decision by the MVC Presidents Council.
Wichita State is joining the American Athletic Conference. Valparaiso is currently a member of the Horizon League and would become the MVC’s 10th school effective July 1.
From Northern Iowa’s point of view, Valparaiso is about 2 hours and 15 minutes closer than a trip to Wichita State.
Valpo is a nine-time NCAA tournament qualifier in men’s basketball, the MVC’s most visible sport. The Crusaders were 24-9 this past season and tied for the Horizon’s regular-season title.
CBS Sports reported the conference does not intend to expand beyond 10 schools. Missouri State University President Cliff Smart tweeted that "the (MVC) expansion committee will continue to meet for the next 9 months to evaluate further expansion opportunities."
According to STATS FCS senior editor Craig Haley, Valpo’s football program – currently in the Pioneer League along with MVC member Drake – wouldn't join the Missouri Valley Football Conference.