Heading into the SWAC Media Day we asked the fans here at HBCU Gameday what questions did you want answered and the answer was clear, “What’s the deal with cancelling the SWAC Football Championship?” Even though we didn’t get a chance to speak to every coach and player that was in attendance down in Birmingham, we made sure to get a few minutes with Commissioner Duer Sharp.
Out of the four conferences the SWAC has been our final frontier in the HBCU universe, based on nothing more than logistics and location. We are still working through our natural born talents of East Coast bias after all. So it turns out that this was our first SWAC Media Day; and Steven Gaither and I had to connect our faces to our work and introduce ourselves to a few people for the first time, including Commissioner Sharp. Having never met him before my immediate impressions were twofold, he looked pretty young to have been in charge for the past fourteen years and there was no question he was a former football player. Steven and I joked that if we went in too hard on our questions that we might get pancaked right on the set.
After chatting for a few minutes he really came across as a genuine, down to earth person; one that you might enjoy watching a game with while offering up your best arm chair quarterback philosophies. I went directly to my questions on the Championship Game being cancelled and stayed there with a few follow ups, he wasn’t perturbed or making efforts to shift the conversation. Ultimately there wasn’t much else to be said besides it being a financial decision and the title game was the odd man out compared to the Bayou Classic and the Celebration Bowl.
Check out our conversation in the video above if you haven’t already done so. Sharp also entertained me on one of my favorite subjects, “How do you stay ahead in the digital race and maintain the interests of millenials?” You know that group of people who now make up the largest generation in the United States. We’ll have much more SWAC content for you in the weeks leading up to the start of this season, thanks for hanging out with HBCU Gameday.