Confirmed: SWAC to return to 9-game mandate

Southwestern Athletic Conference commissioner Duer Sharp says the league’s Council of Presidents simply changed their minds about a seven-game scheduling mandate for football.

“They all were open to the idea when it was first suggested,” said Sharp, himself an early proponent of a matrix that has allowed four open dates a year. “I think they all found out it was a little bit tougher than what they thought it was going be to get quality opponents.”

The SWAC announced a move today back to a previously used nine-game mandate, one that only leaves two available spots for out-of-conference opponents.

In many ways, the switch helps shore up a growing public relations problem for the league, admitted Sharp, who once served as an interim athletics director at Grambling.

The problem: A deflating number of out-of-conference games being played against lower classification teams — Division II and NAIA. (See TheDerisoReport.com’s examination of this trend here.)

The additional dates weren’t being used to upsell the conference, Sharp said. A succession of speedbump games took the wind out of efforts to move the league forward.

“When I was at Grambling, people were always calling you wanting to play,” Sharp said. “Grambling doesn’t have to solicit games, but there are those schools who do. For those who don’t have the name of a Grambling or Jackson State or Southern, it hurts their ability to get those games. When you went to the 7-game mandate, you went with the hopes they would play up, to get some revenue games. It just never worked out that way.”

To critics who say some programs are being punished for their success, Sharp says: “That’s part of being in a conference. Instead of focusing on your institution specifically, you have to look at what’s good for the conference as a whole.”

Sharp described support for the measure as coming from all sides, with little factionalization amongst the presidents — be they from rural or urban institutions.

“I think in the end, they were all of one voice,” Sharp said. “Even some of the bigger schools who shouldn’t have a problem getting those games were saying they would go back for the betterment of the conference.”

He added that there were almost enough votes among the Council of Presidents to reverse the seven-game mandate last year, but that the motion was put off.

ORIGINAL UPDATE:
TheDerisoReport.com has confirmed that a release is pending that announces a return to the 9-game conference schedule for Southwestern Athletic Conference football in 2010.

We’ll return this afternoon with exclusive comments from SWAC Commissioner Duer Sharp.

SECOND UPDATE:
The nine-game conference schedule will be in place for a minimum of four years through at least the 2013 football season. The SWAC last played a nine-game Conference schedule for three seasons from 2005-07. Since the SWAC expanded to 10 teams with full membership prior to the 1999 season, the seven-game format was used from 2000-2004, and from 2008 and the upcoming 2009 season.

Other key sport changes include:

The three-team football tie-breaker criteria has been amended. In 2009, the seventh tie-breaker criteria will be best point differential among the tied teams. (Here is our take on the rule change.)

Conference baseball games will be played in three 9-inning games, consisting of two 9-inning games on Day 1 of the series, and one 9-inning game on Day 2. A 10-run rule will be in effect after seven innings.

The 2011 SWAC Basketball Tournament will now be played one week earlier on the first weekend of March. The Conference basketball season will start on the third weekend in December, 2010 with two games played. The schedule will resume on the first weekend of January, 2011.

Advertisements

8 comments

  1. I hate the SWAC, this is a dump move, this conference is always moving back in time, why in the world would we be playing everybody in the SWAC and then what is the reason for the SWAC championship

  2. I hate the SWAC, this is a dump move, this conference is always moving back in time, why in the world would we be playing everybody in the SWAC and then what is the reason for the SWAC championship

  3. We are one. The SWAC can only be as good as its weakest team. While it may be easier for the Big three to get upper division games, the other schools may have problems. If we as fans fill our home games, we can help solve any budge problems. I believe it was a noble effort to try a seven game schedule. We must keep trying to improve. Maybe one day a seven game schedule will work for all of the schools.

  4. We are one. The SWAC can only be as good as its weakest team. While it may be easier for the Big three to get upper division games, the other schools may have problems. If we as fans fill our home games, we can help solve any budge problems. I believe it was a noble effort to try a seven game schedule. We must keep trying to improve. Maybe one day a seven game schedule will work for all of the schools.

  5. The SWAC's image has taken a hit with this move… It can still work though with some modifications:

    For the SWAC…

    * Eliminate the SCG… allow possibility of some team making the FCS playoffs
    * Issue a mandate to disallow scheduling of any D2 or lower division school
    (exemption to Bama State for TDC)
    * Encourage scheduling non-conf games for first two weeks of season
    * Negotiate with NCAA playoffs to delay start of playoff one week

    Grambling:

    * Season Opener vs BCS conference school
    * Home and Home with Ranked FCS program (two year deal involving various schools)
    * Negotiate to alternate the Delta4Literacy Classic between Little Rock and Shreveport
    * Designate the Home opener as the Eddie Robinson Legends Classic

  6. The SWAC’s image has taken a hit with this move… It can still work though with some modifications:

    For the SWAC…

    * Eliminate the SCG… allow possibility of some team making the FCS playoffs
    * Issue a mandate to disallow scheduling of any D2 or lower division school
    (exemption to Bama State for TDC)
    * Encourage scheduling non-conf games for first two weeks of season
    * Negotiate with NCAA playoffs to delay start of playoff one week

    Grambling:

    * Season Opener vs BCS conference school
    * Home and Home with Ranked FCS program (two year deal involving various schools)
    * Negotiate to alternate the Delta4Literacy Classic between Little Rock and Shreveport
    * Designate the Home opener as the Eddie Robinson Legends Classic

  7. I don't understand why the schools that were having such bad problems don't sign up to play each other and allow the other school to go and make money for their programs, We can no longer just sit around and watch every conf. advance and we stay in the same mode year after year even ya'll equal on the east coast is expanding and changing into a two division conf. and we are sitting around just trying to find people to play, and something is seriously wrong with your program when you can't find anybody to play, find a miles or stillman, or a Delta State.

  8. I don’t understand why the schools that were having such bad problems don’t sign up to play each other and allow the other school to go and make money for their programs, We can no longer just sit around and watch every conf. advance and we stay in the same mode year after year even ya’ll equal on the east coast is expanding and changing into a two division conf. and we are sitting around just trying to find people to play, and something is seriously wrong with your program when you can’t find anybody to play, find a miles or stillman, or a Delta State.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s