SWAC commissioner explains no band travel and spring football schedule


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - This season will look a lot different for the Southwestern Athletic Conference, but one upside is two Magic City Classics for Birmingham.

We spoke to the SWAC commissioner today who says some sacrifices were necessary to make the season work.

For instance, bands can’t travel and they won’t be performing at the spring classic, but he says it’s one way of limiting potential exposures during the pandemic.

Alabama A&M, Alabama State and the other 8 teams that make up SWAC will also have an abbreviated spring season.

“We settled on the number of 6, and we do have a championship game, so in the FCS the maximum number of games you can participate in a regular year is 11, so we are adding 6 to that, for a total of 17,” said Charles McClelland, SWAC Commissioner.

Commissioner McClelland says in comparison to the Power 5, the numbers are similar for teams who make the playoffs and beyond.

“May 1 is our championship game and we won’t pick back up until Labor Day Weekend,” he said.

He says limiting band travel is all part of keeping students as safe as possible.

“We have some that are upwards of 400, band members, they are on 8 buses, and now those 8 buses will have to be 24 buses,” he said.

They would also have to be COVID-tested multiple times.

He hopes the fall season is “normal” including a return to bands traveling.... and being at the classic that everyone loves.

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