(FORT WAYNE) – Purdue University Fort Wayne announced Tuesday it will join the Horizon League in 2020.
Officials from the university and the League made the joint announcement on the university’s campus, saying Purdue Fort Wayne will officially become a member on July 1, 2020, in time for the 2020-21 academic and athletic year.
“I think it’s fantastic for our state,” Horizon League Commissioner Jon LeCrone said. “It’s fantastic for our league. The league office is located in Indianapolis, we have a great partner institution in IUPUI, and now we have Purdue Fort Wayne.”
LeCrone says a lot of criteria goes into adding a school to the league, and Purdue Fort Wayne checked all the boxes.
“We use a lot of lenses, like ‘does the school fit our schools academically and athletically?’ and Purdue Fort Wayne certainly does,” he said.
He added that location was another key component.
The timing was right as well, says LeCrone.
The Horizon League recently announced that IUPUI and the Indiana Farmers Coliseum at the state fairgrounds will host the league’s basketball tournament for the next three years.
“We pay a lot of attention in our league to men’s basketball, we want to be highly competitive in men’s basketball,” LeCrone said. “Purdue Fort Wayne has had some history of some success in that sport, and we think they have potential.”
LeCrone believes IUPUI and Purdue Fort Wayne could become a nice rivalry in the future.
“My real hope is that they might one day meet in the championship game at Indiana Farmers (Coliseum), and we sell that building out,” he said.
Purdue Fort Wayne will remain in The Summit League during the 2019-2020 school year, before making the switch, and becoming the 11th member of the Horizon League in 2020.