NEW YORK (AP) The NFL will partner with the Mid-Eastern Athletic and Southwestern Athletic conferences to increase opportunities for ethnic minorities interested in careers in football administration.
The league said Friday the agreement with the two historically black college conferences is to give qualified professionals and students the skills for such jobs.
The MEAC has 11 schools, the SWAC 10. Personnel from the conferences will take part in programs that include internships at the team and league level. They will work with trainers, video directors and equipment managers. Networking and mentorship opportunities will be available.
At the annual game between the MEAC and SWAC champions panel discussions featuring NFL and club personnel who have played college football will be held for students competing in the game.
''Our partnership with the MEAC and SWAC is not only important for our pipeline of qualified individuals at all levels of football, but also to improve the NFL's goals for diversity and inclusion,'' said Troy Vincent, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations.
''With this partnership, we are making steady progress in developing future coaches, officials, scouts, managers, front office personnel and others through effective football resources, educational programs and internships.''
Aenaes Williams, a Pro Football Hall of Fame member who attended Southern University, called the partnership an ''outstanding'' development.
''Many students, executives and other talented individuals, who may not have known about all of the avenues available to them in the NFL off the field, will have more of a chance to engage in activities and opportunities that will prepare them for a rewarding career in the game,'' Williams said.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL