Chicago State to search for new conference

CHICAGO -- Chicago State University announced Wednesday it is withdrawing its membership in the Mid-Continent Conference.

Chicago State president Elnora Daniel said in a statement that the university will seek membership in a new conference that reflects its evolving institutional profile, which includes expansion and enhanced "access to other metropolitan communities."

The Cougars will compete as an NCAA Division I independent during the 2006-07 school year but will play non-conference contests against Mid-Con schools in volleyball and men's and women's basketball.

"We have enjoyed our tenure in the Mid-Continent Conference and look forward to future athletic successes," Daniel said.

Chicago State joined the Mid-Continent Conference in 1994. Its men's basketball team reached the final of the Mid-Continent tournament last season, falling to Oral Roberts 85-72.