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Northern Illinois had to schedule Florida State to avoid laying off athletics department employees

Like seemingly every state in the union these days, Illinois is slashing budgets for higher education. And like every other public school in the Land of Lincoln, Northern Illinois is forced to figure out how to make do without.

To solve his own budget crisis, NIU AD Sean Frazier asked his football team to pick up the slack -- with a road trip to Florida State.

The Huskies already had a tough non-conference slate planned, and now Rod Carey and company will have to take another shot to the chin to provide for the rest of the department.

"This is about being as lean a department that we could possibly be and we're as lean as we could possibly get right now, so this money helps us keep the wolves at the door and save people's jobs and do things, quite frankly, to help our university and to help our department," Frazier told the Daily Chronicle.

In addition to their trip to Tallahassee, the 2018 Huskies will also host Utah and make visits to Iowa and BYU. This is actually nothing new for Northern Illinois. This fall they'll host Boston College and make visits to Nebraska and San Diego State. The 2019 schedule calls for trips to Utah, Nebraska and Vanderbilt, and in 2020 they've got Iowa, Maryland and BYU lined up.

And there's no guarantees the Huskies won't be asked to play addition "buy" games in those years, too.

"As we endure a third year without a state budget in Illinois, these types of games will become more important," Frazier said in an athletics department statement. "If this budget situation continues, we will look at even more opportunities to go on the road for 'buy' games at the expense of home games, as we continue to work to consistently fill Huskie Stadium."