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Syracuse, Mid-Eastern Athletic Form 10-Year Alliance

Paul Steinbach

Syracuse University and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announced Thursday that they have signed a first-of-its-kind agreement, creating an alliance designed to connect institutions, students-athletes, staff and alumni.

As reported by Syracuse University, the 10-year partnership, which is already underway, creates multiple opportunities for collaboration between Syracuse and the MEAC’s member institutions.

One of the key components of the alliance is an athletics scheduling agreement that has a goal of up to 50 competitions between Syracuse, a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and the MEAC institutions over the course of the next 10 years. Contracts have already been signed between Syracuse and Morgan State in football (scheduled for 2029) and between Syracuse and Morgan State in women’s basketball (Nov. 17, 2021). In spring 2022, Syracuse softball will play Maryland Eastern Shore and Coppin State.

Additional elements of the alliance include:

  • Athletics Department Internship Exchange: The 10-week internship at Syracuse will be open to a student from a MEAC institution and for a Syracuse student at one of the MEAC institutions or the conference office.
  • Compliance Matters Seminar: A series of rules compliance workshops involving Syracuse and MEAC institutions.
  • Student-Athlete Development Seminars: Syracuse’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) will partner with MEAC member SAAC bodies to conduct virtual workshops.
  • Athletics Revenue Generation Conference: A seminar, focusing on revenue generation strategies for increased funding for athletics, will be held with Syracuse, the MEAC and MEAC institutional staffs.
  • Women In Athletics Leadership Conference: The MEAC will invite Syracuse to partner with the league’s Women in Athletics Conference, which is held every two years. The workshop is designed to increase the awareness of opportunities available to women athletic administrators and to assist them in their professional development.
  • Visiting Professorships/Lectureships: A Syracuse faculty member will be invited to visit a MEAC institution to conduct a weeklong series of lectures in an academic department. A faculty member from a mutually agreed-upon MEAC university will be invited to visit Syracuse to hold a weeklong series of lectures in an academic department.

“First, I would like to thank John Wildhack, director of athletics at Syracuse University, for his vision and progressive leadership on this alliance,” said Dennis Thomas, commissioner of the MEAC. “Our member institutions look forward to working with Syracuse to implement our shared vision of cooperation to ameliorate and procure opportunities for our student-athletes, both athletically and academically. Our membership, along with Syracuse, looks forward to assisting our constituents to lead this collaboration through sports competitions and academic engagement.”

Said Wildhack, “On behalf of Syracuse Athletics, I would like to thank Commissioner Thomas for his enthusiastic support of this unprecedented agreement. My thanks extend to the MEAC staff and Syracuse Athletics and University staff who have worked diligently to make this idea a reality. We are excited with the opportunities this alliance will create for MEAC institutions, Syracuse University, thousands of student-athletes, coaches and staff from MEAC institutions and Syracuse University.”

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