May 09, 2017

(STATS) - Valparaiso will stay in the Pioneer Football League when its other sports programs make an expected move to the Missouri Valley Conference this summer.

The Missouri Valley announced Tuesday the university in northwest Indiana was extended an invitation, effective July 1. Valparaiso is expected to accept the invite and leave the Horizon League.

But the Crusaders would still play FCS football in the PFL, a school spokesman said. The PFL is a non-scholarship league whose membership isn't nearly as strong as the scholarship programs of the Missouri Valley Football Conference, which is separate from the conference, but managed by MVC officials. Only five full-time members of the conference play in the 10-team MVFC.

Valparaiso has struggled in football. Last year's three PFL wins marked its highest total since 2003.

Murray State, which has an FCS scholarship program in the Ohio Valley Conference, was one of the other universities considered for the Missouri Valley bid. The conference is replacing Wichita State, which is leaving to join the American Athletic Conference on July 1.

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