The Bismarck Bucks announced on their Facebook page today, October 5, that they will be joining the Indoor Football League for the 2019 season. This is the first time in franchise history that the team will be changing leagues.
Bismarck is the second team to jump from the CIF this year, as the Quad City Steamwheelers joined the IFL in September. Eight teams are confirmed for the CIF for next season, including the West Michigan Ironmen and the expansion team from Enid, Oklahoma. There is still a chance that two more teams may leave the CIF this offseason.
The 2018 season had some difficulties for the Bucks, including the controversial signing of Shawn Oakman, who is awaiting trial on second degree sexual assault charges attached to the Baylor University scandal. The general manager and head coach that hired him, Richard Davis, was let go a month later. KXMD-TV reported that multiple workplace grievances were filed against Davis and his wife, also a then-employee of the Bucks, preventing them from working at the Bismarck Events Center.
The Bucks will also look to bring back their successful running attack for the upcoming season, after they were third in the CIF for rushing yards, touchdowns and yards per game. Xavier Stewart led the Bucks in those categories and was a top five back in the league.