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Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

The student news site of the University of Northern Iowa

Northern Iowan

UNI to SEC: Shocking move explained

UNI will join the SEC.

The French Fry is completely satire. Any resemblance to any real person is completely coincidental. The statements in the French Fry do not reflect the views of the Northern Iowan, nor do they reflect the views of the advertisements outside of this insert. 

Just when it seemed like the college sports conference realignment wheel had stopped spinning, the SEC seized headlines again when it announced the addition of four new universities: Washington State, San Diego State, Connecticut and the UNI Panthers. The odd and unexpected assortment of additions were part of an effort to become the first national football conference.

“Our Four Corners Plan has enabled the SEC to become the first truly nationwide NCAA conference, with a team in every corner of the United States,” Greg Sankey, the SEC commissioner, announced. “The Big Ten claimed to be, as they stretched from New Jersey to California, but can they really claim any of the South? No.”

 The oddest member of the new group was undoubtedly the Panthers. UNI was the only FCS member to receive an invitation and be in the middle of the U.S., not on a corner. “To be honest, we needed to make it an even amount. We already had the southeast corner covered, and only needed three other teams, so they became the fourth addition. The Big 12 and Big Ten each have a school from Iowa, so it made sense for us to also have one to prove our superiority. Plus, they’re right in the middle of the country, which we didn’t have much control over,” Sankey explained. “Of course, the most important reason we added Northern Iowa is the UNI Dome, as we didn’t have any football teams with domed stadiums. Well, we do now, and the Big Ten and Big 12 don’t.”

Sankey was also asked about his plan regarding these schools’ other sports. Sankey appeared taken aback by the question. “Other sports? They have other sports? As long as they play football and basketball, I could care less.”

Interim athletic director for UNI Bob Bowlsby also gave a statement on the surprise relocation. “I know this move might come as a shock to many of you. To be honest, it came as a shock to me, too. I can assure you, much thought and consideration was put into the 45 minutes we took to make this momentous decision. There are only two constants in this new world of college football: the Big Ten and the SEC. Any kind of offer from either is too good to pass up. Plus, did you see the money they offered us?”

The specifics on the cash in the deal have not been released yet, but sources say that the new schools might get a “junior” cut of “only” $30 million, which would be almost double UNI’s current athletics budget. “Of course, some of that increased revenue will have to go to NIL funds to lure top athletes, facility upgrades to catch up to the other schools, and staff pay raises. So, will it really bring in that much extra for the university? Maybe, but probably not,” Bowlsby clarified.

Some of the athletes seemed excited. One quarterback, who wished to remain anonymous, told me, “I’m excited to get a chance to prove my talent against the SEC once I win the starting QB job. If I can win a few games and really shine, I have a much higher chance of getting on NFL draft boards.”

However, there are some detractors to the upcoming move. One anonymous offensive lineman said, “I know some of the guys are excited for the step-up in competition, but have they seen those defensive linemen in the SEC? Don’t get me wrong. I plan to put in the work. I’m just saying, it’ll be a miracle if we all survive the Georgia game.”

A protest movement to stop the upcoming conference change involving athletes in other sports has sprung up recently. “It might not be a big deal for the football team, since they only play one game a week. But for us, playing in Connecticut followed by San Diego in the same week is ridiculous,” one unnamed volleyball player mentioned as a reason she opposed the move.

One cross country runner also mentioned the issue of conflicts with academics. “I care about my academic performance too, and having a cross country meet in the state of Florida the same day as an exam is a hassle. My professors have worked with me and my schedule, but still, it is kind of annoying.”

The Missouri Valley Conference also reached out with a statement, saying they were disappointed in the news, especially considering their own plans. “We’ve been in talks with the Mountain West and Big Sky to bring back the PAC-12. Once we do, they’ll be sorry for jumping ship!”

Despite the controversies, it seems like neither party involved will change their minds. Sankey was asked if there were any potential NCAA violations with the new moves that would warrant reconsideration. “Rules? We’re the SEC. We are college football. And if you think we’re going to stop here, you’ve got another thing coming. We won’t stop until the Big Ten and NCAA come to us on their knees begging for mercy. Then I will control college sports, a crucial step in my evil plan to take over the world!” Sankey concluded the press conference with a diabolical laugh that reporters found slightly unusual but shrugged off.

As this article was going to press, we received unconfirmed reports that the ACC is in talks to add Drake University so that they are not the only Power 5 — I mean, Power 4 — conference without a team from Iowa.

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