The Florida A&M Board of Trustees voted 5-0 to leave the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and join the Southwestern Atlantic (SWAC). FAMU will likely start SWAC play in 2021 but will likely have to pay an exit fee to the MEAC and can be subject to playing out the conference schedule for four years, however with the exit of Hampton two years ago, most other MEAC schools did not want to play them once it was known they were leaving the conference.
This makes all the sense in the world for Florida A&M. The MEAC is on “shaky” ground right as the aforementioned Hampton already left the conference, North Carolina A&T also made the decision to leave for the Big South Conference in 2019. With only seven football playing schools remaining, financial instability is ever present, especially when you consider the financial and enrollment issues with some of the schools within the remaining institutions.
FAMU serves to gain a great deal from shifting conferences. Financially, it should get better media, apparel, and travel deals. The Rattlers led the MEAC in travel due to most of the schools being concentrated around the states of Virginia and North Carolina. The SWAC also provides some major HBCU “heavy hitters” that will build rivalries for years to come. FAMU played Southern University this past football season and the attendance and atmosphere was phenomenal, so much so that the idea of them one day joining the conference got even more traction. Overall, while excitement is building in Tallahassee, the MEAC must wonder is this signaling the end.