Murray State joins the Missouri Valley Conference

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Murray State guard Trae Hannibal (2) drives to the basket around Auburn guard Zep Jasper (12) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

MURRAY, Ky. (AP) — Murray State will become the 11th member of the Missouri Valley Conference on July 1.

University officials announced Friday the Board of Regents accepted an invitation from the Missouri Valley Conference and will be leaving the Ohio Valley Conference.

The MVC does not include football or rifle, so Murray State is working to join the Missouri Valley Football Conference in that sport. Murray State’s rifle program, which is sixth in the nation, will continue competing in the Ohio Valley Conference.

Murray State is the second OVC program to announce plans to join the Missouri Valley Conference on July 1. Belmont announced Sept. 28 the Bruins had accepted their invitation to join the league.

Austin Peay announced Sept. 17 it was leaving the OVC on July 1 for the ASUN. Both Eastern Kentucky and Jacksonville State left the OVC for the ASUN earlier this year, and the OVC sued both schools in August contending each school didn’t pay a $1 million exit fee.

The Ohio Valley Conference has added the University of Little Rock starting July 1 and reached a football scheduling deal with the Southland Conference starting in 2022. OVC Commissioner Beth DeBauche said in a statement the league is talking with universities about joining the conference.

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