The Summit League
|The Summit League|
|Division||Division I non-football|
|Sports fielded||19 (men's: 9; women's: 10)|
|Region||Midwestern United States|
|Former names||Association of Mid-Continent Universities (1982–1989)
Mid-Continent Conference (1989–2007)
|Commissioner||Tom Douple (since 2005)|
The Summit League (or The Summit) is an NCAA Division I college athletic conference which operates in the Midwestern United States. On June 1, 2007, the conference changed its name from the Mid-Continent Conference.
Member schools 
Current members 
|Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne||Fort Wayne, Indiana
|Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis||Indianapolis, Indiana
|University of Missouri–Kansas City||Kansas City, Missouri
|University of Nebraska at Omaha||Omaha, Nebraska
|North Dakota State University||Fargo, North Dakota
|Oakland University||Rochester, Michigan
|University of South Dakota||Vermillion, South Dakota
|South Dakota State University||Brookings, South Dakota
|Western Illinois University||Macomb, Illinois
- The Mid-Con did not sponsor women's sports until 1992–93. Before that time, Western Illinois had been a member of the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference, which began as a women's-only conference and added football in 1985; WIU was a member of both sides of the conference. When the Gateway merged its women's side into the Missouri Valley Conference, WIU moved its women's sports into the Mid-Con, but has kept its football team in the Gateway (now known as the Missouri Valley Football Conference) to this day.
- On February 7, 2013, UMKC notified The Summit League that it had accepted an invitation to join the Western Athletic Conference on July 1, 2013.
- On May 7, 2013, Oakland University notified The Summit League that it had accepted an invitation to join the Horizon League on July 1, 2013.
Future members 
|University of Denver||Denver, Colorado
Associate members 
|Institution||Location||Founded||Type||Enrollment||Joined||Nickname||Primary Conference||Summit Sport|
|Eastern Illinois University||Charleston, Illinois||1895||Public||11,651||2010-11||Panthers||OVC||swimming and diving, men's soccer|
|Oral Roberts University||Tulsa, Oklahoma||1963||Private||3,335||2012-13||Golden Eagles||Southland||men's soccer|
Former members 
- NOTE 1: The then-Mid-Continent Conference did not sponsor women's sports until the 1992–93 school year. Cleveland State, UIC, Northern Illinois, Valparaiso, Green Bay, and Wright State were all members of the women's-only North Star Conference until the MCC began sponsoring women's sports, effectively absorbing the NSC.
- NOTE 2: As noted before, the Mid-Con did not sponsor women's sports until 1992–93. Before that time, Eastern Illinois had been a member of the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference, which began as a women's-only conference and added football in 1985; EIU was a member of both sides of the conference. When the Gateway merged its women's side into the Missouri Valley Conference, EIU moved its women's sports into the Mid-Con, but kept its football team in the Gateway until it moved its entire athletic program into the Ohio Valley Conference in 1996.
The conference was created in 1982 as the Association of Mid-Continent Universities (or AMCU or AMCU-8, pronounced Am-cue), which it was known as until 1989. The conference sponsored football from 1982 until 1984 at the Division I-AA level (now Division I FCS), and current members North Dakota State, South Dakota, South Dakota State, and Western Illinois have FCS football programs.
Further growth and addition of women's sports 
In the early 1990s, the conference continued to expand. The University of Akron and Northern Illinois University joined in 1990, followed by Wright State University in 1991. Major change came to the conference in 1992. First, Akron left for the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and was replaced by another Ohio school, Youngstown State University. More significantly, the MCC added women's sports by absorbing the North Star Conference (NSC), a women's-only league whose final seven members had all been in the MCC. All of the final NSC members except for Akron moved their women's sports into the MCC. At the same time, Eastern Illinois and Western Illinois moved their women's sports into the MCC when their former women's sports home, the Gateway Conference, merged into the Missouri Valley Conference. A year later, the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee joined the MCC.
Horizon and ECC transitions 
In 1994, charter members Cleveland State University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay, as well as newer members Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Northern Illinois, and Wright State left the conference to join the Midwestern Collegiate Conference, now known as the Horizon League.
In response, the Mid-Continent absorbed Central Connecticut State University, Chicago State University, the University at Buffalo, Troy State University (now Troy University), and Northeastern Illinois University from the collapsed East Coast Conference. None of these institutions remain in the league.
Missouri-Kansas City, formerly an independent, also joined the Mid-Continent Conference in 1994.
Declining membership 
Eastern Illinois moved to the Ohio Valley Conference in 1996, reducing membership to nine programs. Troy State departed for the Trans America Athletic Conference while Central Connecticut went to the Northeast Conference in 1997. Buffalo joined the MAC in 1998 while Northeastern Illinois ceased athletic operations at that time. Oral Roberts University and Southern Utah University replaced the former pair while Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and Oakland University moved into the latter duo's spots a year later.
Youngstown State switched to the Horizon League in 2001, followed by founding member Valparaiso University in 2007; seven of the nine current Horizon League programs are former Summit League members. Centenary College stepped into Youngstown State's place in 2003, but Chicago State University announced in the spring of 2006 that it would withdraw from the conference to compete as an independent starting in the 2006-07 school year, dropping membership to seven programs.
Renewed expansion 
At the Mid-Continent Conference annual Presidents Council meeting in 2006, conference expansion was discussed at length, and Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), North Dakota State, and South Dakota State were approved for site visits. On August 30, 2006, IPFW accepted an invitation to join the Mid-Continent Conference as a full member starting July 1, 2007. The following day, North Dakota State and South Dakota State also accepted invitations to join the conference.
The Summit League has continued its renewed expansion push with the admission of the University of South Dakota. The Coyotes began conference play in the 2011–12 academic year and become eligible for all championships the following season. Centenary College subsequently announced that it would leave the Summit League following the 2010–2011 campaign.
The University of North Dakota had also been openly rumored to have been courted by the Summit League, but uncertainty over the Fighting Sioux nickname in all likelihood prevented UND's admission. Expectations that UND would join the Summit League came to an end on November 1, 2010, as North Dakota instead accepted an invitation to join the Big Sky Conference, along with now-former Summit League member Southern Utah. The University of South Dakota entered into very brief negotiations to join the Big Sky as well, rather than continuing their plans to join the Summit. However, South Dakota chose instead to remain with the more compact Summit League (along with other Dakota schools, NDSU and SDSU). The University of Nebraska at Omaha transitioned to Division I athletics and joined the Summit League on July 1, 2012. With the departures of Centenary to Division III at the end of the 2010-11 athletic year, and Southern Utah and Oral Roberts for other Division I conferences at the end of the 2011-12 athletic year, the Summit League continues with nine institutions, all within the Midwest geographical region. At that time, The Summit League had not publicly announced its intentions to expand or to remain at 9 schools.
The conference unveiled the University of Denver (DU) as its 10th member on November 27, 2012; the Pioneers will join in July 2013. DU is a member of the WAC for the 2012–13 season, but that will be the case for only one year. Prior to that, the school played in the Sun Belt Conference from 1999–2012. While Denver is slightly outside The Summit's current Midwestern base, travel issues for the other members are minimized by the city's status as a major air hub. Then, with Denver among the eight of ten WAC members leaving for other conferences, that league was searching for new members. On February 7, 2013, it was announced that UMKC would be one of six schools joining the WAC for the 2013-14 season, dropping the Summit league back to nine member schools.
Membership timeline 
Full members Associate member(men's soccer, swimming, and diving)
- Southwest Missouri State adopted its current name of Missouri State University in 2005.
- The two former members that are part of the University of Wisconsin System, namely UW–Green Bay and UW–Milwaukee, now brand themselves for athletic purposes as "Green Bay" and "Milwaukee".
- Troy State adopted its current name of Troy University in 2004.
Sponsored sports 
The Summit League sponsors championship competition in nine men's and ten women's NCAA sanctioned sports. Former full member Eastern Illinois is an Associate member for men's and women's swimming and diving and men's soccer.
|Swimming & Diving||
|Track and Field (Indoor)||
|Track and Field (Outdoor)||
Men's basketball 
Men's basketball in the NCAA tournament 
|1986||Cleveland State||14*||defeated Indiana
defeated Saint Joseph's
lost to Navy
|1987||Southwest Missouri State||13||defeated Clemson
lost to Kansas
|1988||Southwest Missouri State||13||lost to UNLV|
|1989||Southwest Missouri State||14||lost to Seton Hall|
|1990||Southwest Missouri State||9*||lost to North Carolina|
|Northern Iowa||14||defeated Missouri
lost to Minnesota
|1991||Green Bay||12||lost to Michigan State|
|Northern Illinois||13*||lost to St. John's|
|1992||Eastern Illinois||15||lost to Indiana|
|1993||Wright State||16||lost to Indiana|
|1994||Green Bay||12||defeated California
lost to Syracuse
|1996||Valparaiso||14||lost to Arizona|
|1997||Valparaiso||12||lost to Boston College|
|1998||Valparaiso||13||defeated Ole Miss
defeated Florida State
lost to Rhode Island
|1999||Valparaiso||15||lost to Maryland|
|2000||Valparaiso||16||lost to Michigan State|
|2001||Southern Utah||14||lost to Boston College|
|2002||Valparaiso||13||lost to Kentucky|
|2003||IUPUI||16||lost to Kentucky|
|2004||Valparaiso||15||lost to Gonzaga|
|2005||Oakland||16||defeated Alabama A&M**
Lost to North Carolina
|2006||Oral Roberts||16||lost to Memphis|
|2007||Oral Roberts||14||lost to Washington State|
|2008||Oral Roberts||13||lost to Pittsburgh|
|2009||North Dakota State||14||lost to Kansas|
|2010||Oakland||14||lost to Pittsburgh|
|2011||Oakland||13||lost to Texas|
|2012||South Dakota State||14||lost to Baylor|
|2013||South Dakota State||13||lost to Michigan|
* At-large bid
** Opening round game
Future members in gray. Departing members in pink.
See also 
- List of The Summit League championships
- The Summit League Men's Basketball Tournament
- The Summit League Women's Basketball Tournament
- Association of Mid-Continent Universities football
- Eastern Illinois men's soccer joins Summit League , The NCAA News, March 26, 2010
- The Spectrum - www.thespectrum.com
- Press Release. IPFW accepts invitation to join Mid-Continent Conference, Mid-Continent Conference, August 30, 2006.
- Press Release. North Dakota State University accepts invitation to join Mid-Continent Conference, Mid-Continent Conference, August 31, 2006.
- Press Release. South Dakota State University accepts invitation to join Mid-Continent Conference, Mid-Continent Conference, August 31, 2006.
- "Denver Becomes The Summit League's Newest Member" (Press release). The Summit League. November 27, 2012. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
- MSU was known as Southwest Missouri State University until 2005.