Hey media, show NIU some love

By Chris Jurmann

Trying to keep up with NIU sports once the Northern Star shut down for Winter Break was about as simple as naming five members of the basketball team.

I know you probably can’t, but don’t feel bad because the two problems go hand in hand.

There isn’t enough coverage of Huskie sports on television, in the newspapers or even online.

When the NIU football team was rolling, the coverage was there, the town was excited, we knew all the players’ names and applications for NIU rose by almost 30 percent.

Unfortunately, once the basketball season picked up, locating an NIU basketball score in a Chicago-based newspaper or on TV became virtually impossible, unless of course they were beating UIC.

It feels like the national media is quicker to catch on to NIU than the Chicago media. I remember seeing the NIU football team featured in USA Today and on SportsCenter before it ever appeared in the Chicago Tribune or on NBC.

There seems to be a bias against NIU, like we’re the forgotten major athletic program in Illinois, banished only to be seen in Rockford.

It just makes you wonder: Why is there no love for NIU sports?

At first, I thought maybe it was because we were in DeKalb, and that was just too far to be picked up by Chicago. But, then I remembered the No. 1 collegiate program in Illinois was U of I.

I also thought it could be because we haven’t had much success as a program in any sport lately to warrant any attention. However, Northwestern quickly came to mind as perhaps the worst basketball program in a major conference. Yet, it receives more attention than we do on television.

Finally, I considered the fact that we weren’t in one of those aforementioned “major” conferences and, perhaps, that was why we didn’t receive much attention. Then I remembered hearing and reading plenty about Loyola and UIC of the “oh-so-powerful” Horizon League.

The answer must be a combination of the three. We just have little to offer the Chicago media until we start proving ourselves as a top program in all sports and force our way on the air and in the papers.

For those who can’t wait for NIU sports to become good enough to make the papers and television, head to NIUHuskies.com. Even though the university is covering itself, it does an excellent job with every NIU sport. It should keep you informed until we make a bigger media splash or the Cubs and Sox meet in the World.