Southwestern Athletic Conference

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The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) is a college athletic conference headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, which is made up of historically black universities in the Southern United States. It participates in the NCAA's Division I for all sports; in football, it participates in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), still frequently referred to by its former designation of Division I-AA.

The SWAC is one of two conferences (the other being the Ivy League) that does not participate in the FCS football playoffs, and is the only one of the two whose members offer a full complement of scholarships for football.[1] The SWAC instead splits its schools into two divisions, and plays a conference championship game. Furthermore, one SWAC game, the Bayou Classic between Southern and Grambling State, is positioned on the schedule after the NCAA tournament has begun. In addition, Alabama State plays Division II rival Tuskegee annually on Thanksgiving Day (The Turkey Day Classic). These moves have been criticized by other conferences containing historically black universities[citation needed], especially the only other Division I conference made up entirely of such schools, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, which annually places its champion into the FCS tournament.

Contents

History

In 1920, athletic officials from six Texas HBCUs — C.H. Fuller of Bishop College, Red Randolph and C.H. Patterson of Paul Quinn College, E.G. Evans, H.J. Evans and H.J. Starns of Prairie View A&M, D.C. Fuller of Texas College and G. Whitte Jordan of Wiley College — met in Houston, Texas, to discuss common interests. At this meeting, they agreed to form a new league, the SWAC.

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