NIU Athletic Director Frazier talks in-depth on conference realignment at NIU fall sports media day

The Huskies held their fall sports media day Tuesday.
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 11:43 PM CDT
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DEKALB, Ill. (WIFR) - The Huskies held their fall sports media day Tuesday and NIU Athletic Director Sean T. Frazier touched on several topics ranging from NIL, diversity, and his tenth year with NIU. The most discussed topic during his press conference focused on conference realignment.

Earlier this year, the Big Ten announced that USC and UCLA will join its conference in the 2024 season, making for a 16-team league. In 2021, Oklahoma and Texas announced they would be heading to the Southeastern Conference in 2025, if not earlier.

The Mid-American Conference has never had a full member leave the conference and hasn’t added any new members since Buffalo joined in 1998. Frazier sees the recent moves as a shift into a new era of college athletics.

“We are in the age of the mega-conference; I think it’s interesting talking to national and local media as well that ‘ok is this happening? This is already happening’ we have to definitely embrace it,” Frazier said, “I think it’s extremely important that we do things and position our conference...and our league watching it be one of the most stable conferences in the country so we see it but we also understand that it’s here and it’s going to continue to evolve and we have to be the best versions of ourselves to make sure we accept those things.”

“There’s no downside, there have been rumors of us expanding, looking at other institutions, I just think that as we modernize the rules and regulations of the NCAA we have to modernize what we do in the MAC, so the good news is that is happening with our leadership with our presidents, our commissioner, our athletic directors, I think it’s important too is to skate to where the puck is going to be...because we can’t be complacent about what’s going on, we have to be able to look three, four, five, 10 years out to position the conference in a way that we can be very competitive in the process,” Frazier added.

The NIU AD said the MAC has done a good job solidifying its identity and what it wants to be.

“There’s nothing wrong about being us but there is something wrong if you’re not getting better and being on an upward trajectory and that’s what you’re seeing throughout the country,” Frazier said, “Look at the different pieces that make us special and solidify and fortify them so when these mega-conferences get into place, we won’t have to worry about that ‘oh we get what they’re doing over there, but we’re good here.’”

“I think we get ourselves in trouble is when we try to do something because somebody else did it in some other conference, we have to do the thing that works well for us and when we do that, we’ll be very successful,” Frazier said.

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