TULSA, Okla. -- Oral Roberts says it will leave the Summit League and join the Southland Conference next July.

University President Mark Rutland announced the move Tuesday and said the change in geography would benefit his athletes.

The 10-member Summit League stretches from Utah to Michigan and Louisiana. Adding Oral Roberts will increase the Southland Conference’s membership to 10, all of them in Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

Oral Roberts had competed in the Summit League since the 1997-98 academic year. The Golden Eagles have won 134 regular-season and tournament championships in the league.

Oral Roberts won the Summit League’s automatic berth to the NCAA basketball tournament from 2006-08 and the conference’s bid to the NCAA baseball tournament the past 14 years in a row.