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Mississippi Athletic Conference administrators approved Burlington's request Wednesday to leave the league following the 2018-19 season.

Paul Flynn, the MAC's executive secretary, released a 17-word statement: "The MAC principals voted today to allow Burlington to exit the MAC after the 2018-19 year."

Burlington will join the Southeast Conference starting in 2019-20. The Grayhounds will become the sixth member of the conference along with Fairfield, Fort Madison, Keokuk, Mount Pleasant and Washington.

Activities director Zach Shay told the Quad-City Times last week travel, expenses and declining enrollment were the primary factors in Burlington's decision to leave the MAC after four decades.

According to the latest Board of Education documents, Burlington is seventh among MAC schools in enrollment for 2018-19 (803 students for grades 9-11). Burlington is ahead of Clinton (742), North Scott (717) and Assumption (343).

With Burlington's departure, the MAC will be left with nine members — Assumption, Bettendorf, Clinton, Davenport Central, Davenport North, Davenport West, Muscatine, North Scott and Pleasant Valley.

As of last week, there had been no formal discussions among administrators about bringing in a 10th school.

It leaves the conference with just seven programs for girls and boys swimming as Assumption and North Scott don't field their own teams.

For girls and boys basketball, it will give each school five nonconference dates as opposed to three right now.

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Sports Editor

Prep sports editor, with emphasis on covering the Mississippi Athletic Conference and Iowa area high schools. I've been in sports journalism for 17 years, the last five at the Quad-City Times.