SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Changes are coming to the Summit League and Missouri Valley Football Conference. 

On Friday, Western Illinois announced it will join the Ohio Valley Conference for all of its Division I athletic programs. The Leathernecks will compete in the MVFC football season in 2023 but leave before the 2024 season. 

All of the other sports will leave the Summit League starting this fall. WIU received an invitation from the OVC on Thursday and it is effective July 1. 

WIU, based in Macomb, Illinois, was a founding member of both the Summit League and the MVFC, when they were known as the Mid-Continent Conference and the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conferences. 

The Summit League, now based in Sioux Falls, said Western Illinois will leave the conference on June 30, 2023. 

“Despite today’s news, the Summit League’s foundation is strong. Our focus remains on being a leading Division I conference with a resolute commitment to broad-based competitive success, high academic achievement, and preparing future leaders,” Commissioner Josh Fenton said in a statement. “The League and its member institutions are aligned and will continue working on bold strategies to further strengthen the membership and enhance the experiences for our student-athletes.”

The other members of the Summit League are Denver, University of Missouri-Kansas City, North Dakota, North Dakota State, Omaha, Oral Roberts, St. Thomas, South Dakota and South Dakota State.