SWAC and Pac-12 ink agreement
Fred Jeter | 10/21/2021, noon
The historically Black Southwestern Athletic Conference, or SWAC, and the Pacific-12 Conference, or Pac-12, have shaken hands on a historic scheduling agreement.
Starting with the 2022-23 basketball season, the conferences will play home-and-home games in a four- year arrangement.
“It kind of evens the playing field,” said SWAC Commissioner Charles McClelland.
Previous interaction between the conferences always involved the SWAC school traveling to the Pac-12 campus for a financial guarantee.
Under the new deal, no money will change hands, but the final scores may be more favorable to SWAC affiliates.
In 2022-23, Southern University of Louisiana will travel to the University of Arizona, Florida A&M University will travel to the University of Oregon and Alabama State University will travel to the University of Southern California.
Also that season, the University of Washington will play at Prairie View A&M University in Texas, the University of Colorado will play at Grambling State University in Louisiana, and Arizona State University will play at Texas Southern University.
SWAC schools have gone 0-12 against Pac-12 op- ponents the past two seasons, with every game at the Pac-12 site. The change figures to enhance SWAC’s poor attendance. The conference ranks 29th of 32 Division I conferences in tickets sold, with an average of only about 1,600 per contest.
The SWAC is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., while the Pac-12 operates out of San Francisco.
The SWAC and the MEAC, or Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, are the only historically Black NCAA Divi- sion I conferences. A similar arrangement between MEAC and the ACC, or Atlantic Coast Conference, would be another step in leveling the playing field.
The Pac-12 has 15 NCAA championships, tying the ACC for first in that category.