ROCHESTER, Mich. – Oakland University is moving to the Horizon League, giving the conference a second school from the state of Michigan.
Oakland announced Tuesday that it will leave the Summit League and join the Horizon on July 1. The school will compete in all 18 of its intercollegiate sports.
Athletic director Tracy Huth says the move allows the school to compete with “institutions with outstanding academic profiles and values” – and it will also be the start of a new conference rivalry with the Detroit Titans, who are already in the Horizon League.
Oakland’s Board of Trustees accepted the invitation from the Horizon on Tuesday. The Golden Grizzlies will start competing in the league in the fall.
Oakland and Summit League statements
“Oakland University has been a member of The Summit League for the past 15 years and we wish them well in the future. In the ever-changing college athletics landscape, this move was rumored and anticipated for several months. Although it comes at a very late time in the year, we have adjusted our schedules accordingly and sent them to our member institutions today.
“The Summit League remains steadfast in its commitment to strengthen as we move forward through the conference realignment that has transpired across the country. Our current members believe that the league’s present core of committed institutions gives us a solid foundation in which to build upon in the future.”
– Tom Douple, Summit League Commissioner
“League affiliation has to be about student-athlete experiences and welfare first and foremost. Oakland was so motivated in accepting their invitation to join the Horizon League. They are able to enhance student experiences because of the tighter geographical location of Horizon League institutions. Our decision-making process on Summit League members is continuous as demonstrated by recent universities who selected to join The Summit League – Omaha and Denver. The Summit League is better because of their membership. The President’s Council membership committee continues to give leadership, working with the Commissioner on how to continue the ongoing work to strengthen The Summit League and enhance student-athlete experiences. We did not start by reacting to someone else’s decision. We are purposeful and will continue to be so.”
– Dr. David Chicoine, South Dakota State University President and Chair of The Summit League President’s Council