The United Athletic Conference announced its arrival on the FCS landscape in grand fashion at its first Media Day at Texas Live! The UAC opened the show on ESPN+ by revealing its new logo, followed by comments from Executive Director Oliver Luck.
It was clear from the beginning the UAC intends to be considered one of the top conferences in the division, and they intentionally chose to hold Media Day at the Texas Rangers entertainment venue.
The event was intended for the media, but fans and alums were encouraged to join. Some programs set up tables with some swag for their attendees. The UAC is the first school to hold Media Day at Texas Live! Judging by the vibe, it could become a popular destination for other conferences. Every administrative member in attendance iterated that this was only the beginning.
Even acknowledging the UAC hasn’t been recognized as an official FCS conference wasn’t going to place a cloud over the celebration. Luck made a point to state that the UAC will continue to operate as an FCS conference.
“We are somewhat disappointed the NCAA hasn’t recognized us as an official FCS conference,” Luck said. “We will continue to work as the United Athletic Conference.”
Many in the conference believe not being recognized as an official conference is more of a finality than an obstacle. Luck said the UAC will continue to have an automatic qualifier similar to last year's ASUN-WAC alliance.
The UAC announcing itself at an entertainment venue next to Globe Life Park only enhanced questions many pundits have about their commitment to FCS with their stated desire to join the FBS eventually.
“FCS is where we are, and FCS is 100 percent our focus,” Luck said. “We are committed to performing at the highest level regardless of the level.”
While Luck expressed the UAC’s commitment to FCS, he made it clear the focus of the members is to enhance the experience for the student-athletes. For now, that includes a multimedia rights partnership to create opportunities for the athletes.
Whether enhancing the experience includes a move to the FBS is to be determined. But the focus on advancing appears to be five years down the road and likely closer to 10 years.
Until recently, Luck was the only member of the conference office. The need for more organizational structure was evident at times on Friday. However, the UAC has added to its staff, and that staff will no doubt be ready to put on another great show next year.
This article is available to our Digital Subscribers.
Click "Subscribe Now" to see a list of subscription offers.
Already a Subscriber? Sign In to access this content.