Oakland University heading to Horizon League

ROCHESTER, Mich. (WXYZ) - Oakland University announced today that the school has accepted an invitation to join the Horizon League.

The move was voted on during a special Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday where the move was discussed and voted on.

Oakland will compete in 18 of the 19 Horizon League sports. The lone exception will be men's tennis.

"Oakland University is pleased to be the newest member of the Horizon League," school president Gary Russi said in a press release. "The universities in this conference are strong academically and they value the student-athlete experience. Oakland fits well with them and we look forward to being part of their tradition of excellence."

The move will be effective July 1, 2013 and follows a report last month in the Green Bay Press Gazette that claimed Oakland's move to the Horizon League was a "done deal,"

The Golden Grizzlies currently play in the Summit League and are subject to intense travel schedules because many of the teams are based in the upper Midwest and the Dakotas. Oakland has been a member of the Summit League, and it's predecessor the Mid-Con conference, since becoming a Division 1 school in 1997. 

Head Coach Greg Kampe has regularly campaigned for Oakland to join the Horizon League, pointing out the natural rivalry with the University of Detroit Mercy would bolster local interest in the conference.

Oakland is also expected to benefit from a more beneficial travel schedule. Other Horizon League schools include Cleveland State University, University of Illinois at Chicago, Loyola University Chicago, Valparaiso University, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Wright State University and Youngstown State University.

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