Duer Sharp’s resignation from the SWAC is now complete. The Southwestern Athletic Conference announced today that Sharp left his post as commissioner officially on December 31, 2017. HBCU Gameday reported his resignation on November 30.
“On behalf of the Council of Presidents and Chancellors, we thank Mr. Sharp for his outstanding leadership to the Conference,” said Chairman of Council of Presidents and Chancellors Dr. Andrew Hugine. “During his tenure, the conference experienced significant growth in programs and exposure nationally. As Mr. Sharp pursues other interests, we wish him well.”
Taking Sharp’s place on an interim basis will be Edgar Gantt, an Associate Commissioner of the SWAC.
Duer Sharp thanked many in an official release on his nearly ten-year run as head of the SWAC.
“I want to express my gratitude to all of the Council of Presidents during my tenure for the opportunity. I also want to thank all of the league office staff members and student-athletes, past and present, that helped build the SWAC brand through their hard work and effort,” Sharp said.
HBCU Gameday also reported that a memo sent from the NCAA in November regarding the mismanagement of funds by the SWAC office from the Student-Athlete Opportunity Fund (SAOF) played a role in Sharp’s resignation.
One of Sharp’s most notable contributions during his tenure may be the formation of the Celebration Bowl. Under his leadership, Sharp helped secure the Celebration Bowl sponsored by ESPN after extending the conference’s relationship with the network. Sharp also made the move to end the SWAC Championship game for football to provide more emphasis for the Celebration Bowl.
Gantt moves up for now
According to the SWAC website, Gantt was elevated to Associate Commissioner in August 2013. He joined the league in August 2010 as an Assistant Commissioner for Compliance. His previous duties included day-to-day oversight of the Conference’s operations relating to strategic planning, governance, compliance and student-athlete services, NCAA, and institutional relations. Gantt worked with the baseball, football, and basketball officiating programs, scheduling strategies for various sports.