Florida A&M Special Committee on Athletics votes to exit MEAC, join SWAC in 2021
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – Florida A&M’s Special Committee on Athletics has voted to exit the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and join the Southwestern Athletic Conference, effective the summer of 2021.
The vote was unanimous.
The motion now heads to the full Board of Trustees for a final vote on Thursday.
"A lot to get done in a short amount of time to make sure it's done with high quality," Trustee Craig Reed said during the call.
Committee members say a penalty of $250,000, which is the exit fee from the conference, will be taken form FAMU's expected 2020 distribution from the conference.
"We've kind of been here before and I would like to make sure that we don't repeat the mistakes of the past with over promising," Trustee Nicole Wallace Said.
When asked directly if he approved of the move, university president Dr. Larry Robinson simply said, "Yes."
"Dr. Wallace has a copy of the MEAC by-laws related to this transition," Dr. Robinson continued. "I think it's important to cover ourselves on all bases."
The vote will end a nearly 40-year conference affiliation in the MEAC; the Rattlers joined the conference in 1979 and left for one season in 1985. FAMU re-joined the conference full time in 1986, with the only other absence from the league coming in 2004, when attempting to jump to the FBS level in football. During the transition, FAMU remained a MEAC member in all other sports.
FAMU becomes the first new member of the SWAC since 1999, when Alabama A&M joined.
FAMU is the second program to leave the MEAC next summer, along with North Carolina A&T,
The SWAC is currently comprised of 10 programs: Alabama A&M, Alabama State University, Alcorn State Uinversity, Jackson State University, Mississippi Valey State University, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Grambling State University, Prairie View A&M, Southern University and Texas Southern University.
FAMU says it will be financially beneficial to join the SWAC, highlighting extra potential revenue from success in football, specifically.
FAMU’s 2020 football schedule features the return-game of a home-and-home with SWAC member Southern. Since 2010, FAMU is 3-3 against current members of the SWAC.