TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WAFB) - The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) announced Thursday, June 4, it will add Florida A&M University as a full member effective for the 2021-22 academic year.
Officials said the unanimous decision was reached during a special executive session meeting of the SWAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors.
“Florida A&M University is a great fit for the Southwestern Athletic Conference," said Dr. Andrew Hugine, president of Alabama A&M University and chairman of the SWAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors. “FAMU’s strong athletics history, academic mission, along with its location within our natural geographical footprint made this a perfect unification for Florida A&M University and the Southwestern Athletic Conference."
The Rattlers sponsor 14 Division I varsity sports. All 14 of those sports are sponsored by the SWAC: football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s track & field, baseball, softball, men’s golf, women’s volleyball, and women’s bowling.
“While we have had a long-standing relationship competing in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, Florida A&M’s impending move to the Southwestern Athletic Conference is one that is in the best interest of the University,” said FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D. “The positive impacts on student-athletes, cost savings, re-establishment of long-term rivalries, and opportunities to generate revenue are among the key factors in this decision.”
The addition of Florida A&M means the SWAC will now have three universities based in Mississippi (Alcorn State, Jackson State, Mississippi Valley State), two in Alabama (Alabama A&M, Alabama State), two in Louisiana (Grambling State, Southern), two in Texas (Prairie View A&M, Texas Southern), one in Arkansas (Arkansas-Pine Bluff), and one in Florida (Florida A&M).
Officials added the league will begin looking into making changes to future scheduling and championship formats.
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