Change divisions

As another season of Huskie football is about to commence, I feel that it may be helpful to reflect upon what has been accomplished in the last several years, most notably since Dr. Bringham removed NIU from the Mid-American Conference.

We are now about to begin play in the Big West Conference, appropriately referred to as the “Big Mess” Conference by a major sports publication for its confused geography. Here we will tangle with the likes of Nevada and Arkansas State, the latter being generally recognized as the worst Division I football team in the country, for the privilege of playing the MAC champion in the Las Vegas Bowl, formerly the California Bowl. In men’s basketball, we will compete in the “Big Crummy” (my name for it) Mid-Continent Conference against third-rate teams like Eastern and Western Illinois. At least it was possible to send a busload of Huskie football fans to Ball State to watch the game; do you expect anybody to go to Arkansas State?

In short, there has been no progress since my days as a student; in fact, we have regressed as our athletic decisions selfishly guided by the football team have been an unmitigated disaster. As an alumnus, I know I speak for many others who are embarrassed.

I have a suggestion: Since NIU graduates and students aren’t very pretentious, why don’t we ask the MAC very nicely to let us back in? That way our men’s and women’s programs can once again be aligned and in a progressive conference which is well respected around the country and which provided outstanding competition and excitement for NIU students. If they say no, I suggest we say “pretty please”, and if this does not work, we should just get down on our hands and knees and grovel. Maybe then the athletic department and its administrators will stop embarrassing this university.

David M. Stepanich

B.S. Economics, 1987