Pac-12 and SWAC form 1st basketball series between Power 5, HBCUs
The Pac-12 and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) are forming a basketball educational and scheduling partnership.
In a release Monday, the Pac-12 and the SWAC called the agreement “a first-of-its-kind annual home-and-home series” between a power conference and a conference of historically Black college and universities (HBCU).
The partnership in men’s and women’s basketball will begin in November 2022 with two-year home-and-home series through 2026.
“This is a game changer and the opportunity for a collaboration of this significant magnitude has never occurred in the history of HBCU Athletics,” SWAC commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland said in a release. “We applaud the Pac-12 and its leadership for having the foresight and vision to put this historical initiative together. The Pac-12 has shown a steadfast commitment towards playing an active role in diversity initiatives and impactful collaborations with HBCUs and this partnership is a win-win for both conferences as our respective missions are closely aligned.”
As part of the partnership, student-athletes will participate in social justice and antiracism educational components as part of the games. The programming will be a collaboration between leadership from the two participating basketball programs.
Athletic departments also will facilitate private meetings between athletic directors and their respective senior staff.
“As part of our Pac-12 Impact initiative to find ways to support and promote diversity and inclusion through sport, we could not be more proud to join with the SWAC on this first-of-its-kind initiative,” Pac-12 deputy commissioner and men’s basketball sport administrator Jamie Zaninovich said in a release.
“All credit goes to the basketball head coaches and athletics directors from both conferences for wanting to go above and beyond by creating a truly inclusive and meaningful partnership that will help raise awareness of the important role of HBCUs in higher education.”
The first home-and-home series will include Southern and Arizona, Florida A&M and Oregon, Alabama State and USC, Arizona State and Texas Southern, Colorado and Grambling, and Washington State against Prairie View A&M.
The schedule has been mapped out for the first two years of the series with matchups for 2024-25 and 2025-26 to be announced later.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.