BIRMINGHAM, Ala.- The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) has announced the addition Bethune-Cookman University as a full member effective with the 2021-22 academic year. The decision was reached during the executive meeting of the SWAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors.
"Bethune-Cookman's move to the Southwestern Athletic Conference is one that is clearly in the best interest of the University, particularly during this major shift in higher education and intercollegiate athletics," said President Dr. E. LaBrent Chrite. "We believe this is a logical next step in the evolution of our University. Moreover, it reflects our commitment to strengthening the University's long-term competitiveness and viability, while providing the best possible experience for our student-athletes.”
“We’re extremely excited to welcome Bethune-Cookman University to the Southwestern Athletic Conference,” said SWAC Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland. “The Wildcats undoubtedly align with our core principles and strategic plan; and they also align with our overall vision and forward movement within our strategic plan. The addition also brings to our league an institution with academic prowess, a world-renowned marching band, along with an enthusiastic base of alumni, fans and supporters.”
The Wildcats sponsor 17 varsity sports at the Division I level, with all 17 of those sports sponsored by the Southwestern Athletic Conference: football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s track & field, baseball, softball, men’s and women’s golf, women’s volleyball and women’s bowling.
“Bethune-Cookman’s alliance with the Southwestern Athletic Conference from a competitive standpoint made perfect sense and strengthens us in all of the sports in which the Wildcats sponsor,” said McClelland. “Many of our member institutions have competed against BCU for decades and will now have that opportunity on a yearly basis. Bethune-Cookman's addition to the Southwestern Athletic Conference ultimately puts us in a great position to expand our brand in a manner that will bring a high level of value to our league and membership.”