BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WJTV) — The Florida A&M Board of Trustees voted unanimously for the university to leave the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and join the Southwestern Athletic Conference. This decision was confirmed during Thursday’s Zoom teleconference.
FAMU’s membership in the SWAC will be effective for the 2021-22 school year, jumping the league to eleven institutions.
Rattlers head coach Willie Simmons is no stranger to the SWAC, he served as the head coach at Prairie View A&M for three seasons.
SWAC Commissioner Charles McClelland believes they will make a great asset to an already competitive league.
“Had it not been for the fact that their football team had APR issues last year, they would have represented the MEAC in the Celebration Bowl,” said McClelland. “North Carolina A&T was actually the number two team. So, you’re bringing in and instantaneous competitive program to an already competitive league. I now think that we are the premier league. Matter of fact, I know that we are the premier league.”
McClelland, a Jackson native, spoke on Florida A&M and Jackson State’s long-standing rivalry as well.
“The rivalry between Jackson State and Florida A&M, again I grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, and as a kid there were certain teams that you were waiting to come to Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium. FAMU was one of them. You always heard about their band. You wanted them go up against the Sonic Boom of the South, I wanted to see the band.”
McClelland’s full interview with Sports Zone 12’s Samaria Terry.