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SWAC announces addition of Florida A&M as full member

1 month 2 days 10 hours ago Friday, June 05 2020 Jun 5, 2020 June 05, 2020 9:23 AM June 05, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ
Photo: FAMU Forward

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.- The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) will add Florida A&M University as a full member effective with the 2021-22 academic year.

The unanimous decision was reached during a special executive 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 of Florida A&M sponsor 14 varsity sports at the Division I level, with all 14 of those sports sponsored by the Southwestern Athletic Conference: 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.  

Florida A&M’s athletics history dates back to 1907 as an independent member. The university has won 15 Black College Football National Championships and holds the distinction of being the first and only HBCU to win the FCS National Championship (formerly NCAA Division I-AA) in 1978. 

Florida A&M is the alma mater for many notable athletic alumni, such as former Major League Baseball great Vince Coleman, MLB Hall of Famer Andre Dawson, tennis legend Alethea Gibson, Olympic Gold Medalist “Bullet” Bob Hayes, former MLB player and manager Hal McRae, former NFL and Super Bowl winner Nate Newton and former NFL player Ken Riley.

With the addition of Florida A&M, the Southwestern Athletic Conference will now have three members 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).  

The league will begin exploring adjustments to future scheduling and championship formats with Florida A&M’s addition in the 2021-22 academic year.

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