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Syracuse University, MEAC sign agreement involving athletics, seminars, conferences

By Eric Reinhardt (


SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse University and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) on Thursday announced an agreement that will involve Syracuse playing MEAC schools in sports, as well as hosting joint seminars, conferences, and visiting professorships.

The MEAC’s members are historically black colleges and universities.

The 10-year partnership, which is already underway, creates “multiple opportunities” for collaboration between Syracuse and the MEAC’s member institutions.

The agreement involves a goal of up to 50 athletic competitions between Syracuse and MEAC institutions over the next decade.

For example, Syracuse and Morgan State University have already signed contracts for a football game in 2029 and for a women’s basketball contest on Nov. 17 of this year. In the spring of 2022, Syracuse softball will play Maryland Eastern Shore and Coppin State.

The athletics-scheduling agreement is called one of the alliance’s “key components,” per the news release. MEAC schools have for years used the appearance money they receive from playing major-conference schools, like Syracuse, in basketball and football to help fund their athletics budgets.

“First, I would like to thank John Wildhack, director of athletics at Syracuse University, for his vision and progressive leadership on this alliance,” Dennis Thomas, commissioner of the MEAC, said in a statement. “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.”

Additional alliance elements

The agreement also includes an 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 universities or the conference office.

It also includes a compliance-matters seminar which will have a series of rules-compliance workshops involving Syracuse and MEAC members.

In addition, the alliance includes student-athlete development seminars. Syracuse’s student-athlete advisory committee (SAAC) will partner with MEAC member SAAC bodies to conduct virtual workshops.

The agreement also includes conferences, such as an athletics-revenue generation event. It’s described as a seminar focusing on revenue-generation strategies for increased funding for athletics. It’ll be held with Syracuse, the MEAC, and MEAC institutional staffs.

A women-in-athletics leadership conference is also planned, in which the MEAC will invite Syracuse to partner with the league’s women-in-athletics conference, an event that 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.

The agreement also involves visiting professorships and lectures. 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.

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