Impressive sports

You are right Mr. Kaye, NIU is not a sports powerhouse. I, however, do not think that means we are a sports failure. There is large area between these two extremes, and NIU ranks pretty well within that range. I think you were a fool to believe NIU would become a “consistent top 25 Division I school”. The resources required to accomplish that are immense. Huge institutions like Wisconsin have not even been able to achieve that goal.

Northern is not a bad sports school. We might even be a pretty good sports school compared to most Division I schools. Our men’s basketball team went NCAA last year making them better than 80 percent of the other Division I teams. They also went NCAA in 1982. Even with the depleted bench they have this year they are outperforming anyone’s preseason expectations. Our women’s basketball team was WNIT last year and NCAA in 1990.

They are consistently a strong team. Our football teams have shown up in the AP polls in 1984, 1989, and 1990 at least. They won the Mid American Conference in 1983. They have pounded a top 25 team, defeated Big Ten and Big Eight opponents, and played some other tough teams very well in recent years. They have had losing seasons only four times in the last ten years. The performance of our less visible sports programs is similarly successful. This is a list of accomplishments most Division I schools can not match.

I agree we have little business playing top 10 football teams, but we have every business playing the likes of Wisconsin, Army, and Southern Mississippi. These teams are realistic challenges that can bring growth to our programs. Going back to the Mid American Conference and the likes of Ball State would be a nonchallenge. Just because we are not a top 25 school does not mean we should quit trying. I want to see NIU sports challenged to the next level. You, Mr. Kaye, do not. You want us to quit. That is a loser mentality we would be foolhardy to recognize.

Brian C. Nigbor

Alumnus 1981