Why SWAC Commissioner Charles McClelland says HBCU excellence is nothing new

It’s a good time to be the head of HBCU athletics, especially in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

In recent years, SWAC Commissioner Charles McClelland has extended broadcast deals with ESPN and helped bring major corporate sponsorships like General Motors and Pepsi to the conference. The school programs include coaches who are in the greatest of all-time conversation for football and women’s basketball in Jackson State football coach Deion Sanders and Texas Southern basketball coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke.


On Dec. 17, after the 2021 SWAC Hall of Fame induction, McClelland spoke with rolling out about the current state of his HBCU athletic conference.

How did you feel about the SWAC Hall of Fame ceremony?


I thought it was a wonderful event indicative of the pageantry and all of the accomplishments of our inductees. Geat event. Any time you can induct anybody into any type of Hall of Fame, it’s always a good night.

When you think of the partnerships throughout the years, like the recent one with GM, how does that help?

What a partnership allows us to be able to do things as we’ve done tonight. Within the Southwestern Athletic Conference, the majority of the resources that we get through these partnerships go directly back to the schools. So they are directly supporting student-athletes graduating from HBCUs, and that’s what this athletic thing is all about. Hats off to GM for being proud supporters of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. We could not do it without them.

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