BIRMINGHAM, Ala.- The Southwestern Athletic Conference has announced the creation of the SWAC Football Officials Evaluation Committee (FOEC).
The FOEC is a broad-based group of constituents internal and external to the SWAC that will consist of current league head coaches, football administrators, external professional officiating members and the SWAC Coordinator of Officials. The group will provide perspective and insight related to officiating in the conference in addition to assisting the league with the recruiting, and development of its officials.
“During this offseason when we began to look at different initiatives that could be implemented to enhance the sport of football within the Southwestern Athletic Conference the formation of this group quickly became a critical focal point within our strategies to reach the next level of high quality officiating in the SWAC,” said SWAC Commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland. “This group will feature a broad array of professional football administrators, coaches, and staff that will collectively provide input as it relates to all matters concerning officiating in our league.”
“The committees’ primary focus will be to assist the conference office with evaluating, developing, training, and recruiting the best football officials in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). As we’ve said in the past one of our key objectives here at the conference office is to make the overall quality of play in our league the best not only at the FCS level but across all levels of collegiate football. The formation of this group is undoubtedly a strategic step in that direction and we truly look forward to seeing some of the key initiatives that are created and implemented from this body that will assist us with enhancing student-athlete well-being, professional development, and the growth and training of our former student-athletes that seek to become officials.”
The league has announced that the official implementation of this committee will take place this spring with many of the recommendations and initiatives slated to be enacted in time for the upcoming 2020 SWAC football season.
”We envision this committee as serving as a global broad-based initiative that will assist the conference office with evaluating and expanding our current pool of officials,” said SWAC Senior Associate Commissioner Dr. Jason Cable. “In addition, we will seek to continue to expose our former student-athletes to careers in collegiate football officiating while providing them opportunities for advancement. This initiative is an important next step in the overall development of our officiating which is critical to ensure that the SWAC stays on the cutting edge of identifying, training, evaluating and retaining high-quality officials.”
In years past the Southwestern Athletic Conference has had the unique privilege of serving as one of the key pools for minority officials that have advanced to Power Five conferences as evident by the significant numbers of FBS officials that got their respective initial starts officiating in the SWAC.
“Over the course of the years minority officials from within the SWAC ranks have gone on to excel at the highest levels of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS),” said Cable. “That truly speaks volumes as to the caliber of some of the officials we’ve officiate within our conference. This initiative will assist in elevating our officials to continue to be one of the best groups in the nation while enhancing health and safety as well the overall quality of play in our league.”