Sonja Stills has called the MEAC office home for years. But she’s in her first month as the point-woman for the conference and she say that she’s still getting adjusted to what all that means.
Take last week, for example. Stills was at the NCAA Convention with the rest of the leaders of the world of intercollegiate athletics with her laptop getting work done — until Alabama State Director of Athletics Dr. Jason Cable stopped her.
“He’s like, ‘you know, you don’t see any commissioner around here with a laptop laid out in a hotel,” she recalled with a laugh. “You know you’re a commissioner now.”
Yes, the buck stops with Stills now. She was officially announced as the next commissioner last fall, and immediately began the work of putting together a team that can help her move the MEAC forward.
Stills talked about those hires and much more in an exclusive interview with HBCU Gameday. The full interview is available below.
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The new NCAA constitution
“Is it perfect? No. But I think it’s the best thing that could have come from the constitutional committee because, you know, nothing’s going to be perfect for everybody. But I think it it’s tremendously puts an emphasis on student athlete first, their mental health and their physical health. And it’s something a foundation that we need to to grow from.”
HBCU representation at the NCAA level
“There is one particular issue or one thing that came out of the Constitution is the HBCU ex-officio member of the Board of Governors. And so that particular, we’re grateful that we have a voice in the room for four HBCUs.
And that’s that’s extremely important. But we want to work towards the future where we are a voting member and on the board of governors. I mean, since it’s just a nine member board, we want to be able to to make sure that even if we leave the room, our voice is still there. So we think that will come in time. We want to, as they begin to look at the criteria, we want to be able to be able to select who that individual will be to serve on the board, to have our voice in.”
“We’re going to take our time, be methodical, be strategic about who we bring into the conference, make sure that they align with those academically, athletically and just make sure they’re going to be a good fit. We see what’s going on around the around the nation in regards to members moving around in conferences, but we’re staying steadfast in what we believe in — in the MEAC and our legacy, the culture of being HBCUs.”