MEAC/SWAC Challenge Moves to Orlando

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: March 2, 2008

NEW YORK — ESPN Regional Television’s (ERT) MEAC/SWAC Challenge, an annual Historically Black College football game showcasing a team from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), is moving to a new location, Orlando, Fla.

Now in its fourth year, the MEAC-SWAC Challenge game will kick off Sunday, Aug. 31; live on ESPN2 at 2 p.m. ET from the Florida Citrus Bowl. The first three years the game was played at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala.

The game is played annually at a neutral site located within the footprint of one of the conferences. The inaugural MEAC/SWAC Challenge in 2005 showcased the MEAC’s South Carolina State vs. Alabama State of the SWAC, with South Carolina State prevailing, 27-14.

In 2006, the contest went into overtime with the MEAC’s Hampton University defeating the SWAC’s Grambling State, 27-26. Last year, the SWAC earned its first MEAC/SWAC Challenge trophy as Southern defeated Florida A&M, 33-27.

The 2008 matchup will be announced on a later date.

“We are very excited about moving the MEAC/SWAC Challenge to a wonderful travel destination in Orlando and a great sports venue, such as the Florida Citrus Bowl,” said Pete Derzis, senior vice president and general manager, ERT.

“Our goal is to continue to provide sport fans the opportunity to witness and experience HBCU football at its best through this event.”

MEAC Commissioner Dennis Thomas added, “The location of Orlando for the MEAC/SWAC Challenge football game is an excellent move. Orlando is a world class destination with many venues and activities our fans can enjoy. The MEAC/SWAC game should be an outstanding contest at the Citrus Bowl.”

Duer Sharp, SWAC Commissioner said, “I, along with football fans across the country am looking forward to this year’s game and the opportunity to bring SWAC tradition and excitement to the City of Orlando.”

“The MEAC/SWAC Challenge is a great opportunity for the nation to see the caliber of student-athlete and football within both Conferences. I am sure this year’s game will be no different.”