The ever-changing Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association is adjusting its membership again.
This time, it’s working with another conference in what the leagues are calling a scheduling alliance.
Starting next season, Lincoln University and Southwest Baptist of the MIAA will play football in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. The schools will remain full members of the MIAA in all other sports. The agreement is for four years.
The MIAA will have 12 football teams next season, and the plan is for every school to play a complete round-robin 11-game schedule.
It also opens the possibility of continuing the Northwest Missouri-Pittsburg State game at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Fall Classic is scheduled for Oct. 19 this year, and it was believed to be the final one because the Bearcats and Gorillas were going to rotate off each other’s schedule for the next two years.
But now there will be no interruption in the series. The schools have to work with the league and the Chiefs on future schedules.
Also, Lincoln's new conference schedule will allow that school to continue playing a game in Kansas City. Last month, more than 20,000 attended the first Missouri Classic game against Grambling at Arrowhead.
Lincoln and Southwest Baptist join a Great Lakes Valley Conference with eight current members that sponsor football, including three in Missouri: William Jewell, Truman State and Missouri S&T.
Over the last six years, MIAA membership has been in a state of flux. Nebraska-Omaha has joined and left; Lincoln returned after an absence; Southwest Baptist has operated some years as a football independent; Lindenwood, Nebraska-Kearney, Central Oklahoma and Northeastern State joined; and Truman State left.