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NFL partners with SWAC and MEAC to increase minority opportunities

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The NFL has announced a partnership with the SWAC and MEAC to "increase opportunities for ethnic minorities -- both professionals and students -- interested in pursuing careers in football administration."

The NFL says it plans to provide internships among its 32 teams and at the league offices in New York, while also incorporating existing HBCU personnel -- trainers, video coordinators, equipment staff -- into NFL events such as its regional combines.

"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," NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said in a statement. "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."

Additionally, a summit before the annual Celebration Bowl, pitting the champions of the respective conferences, will feature panel discussions for the benefit of the participating players to discuss non-playing opportunities in the NFL.

"We are elated to continue our partnership with the National Football League, which includes our current officiating involvement, to advancing the NFL's diversity and inclusion initiatives with a strategic plan to increase diversity in all areas of employment at the league office and the clubs," said Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Commissioner Dennis Thomas. "The MEAC is pleased to work collaboratively with the NFL to achieve its diversity and inclusion goals."

Added SWAC commissioner Duer Sharp: "The Southwestern Athletic Conference is excited to partner with the NFL and MEAC to ensure that our student-athletes and students have exposure to superior professional development and the different career contingencies that the NFL and professional sports have to offer. This partnership is cutting edge and will allow our stakeholders and respective organizations the opportunity to foster long term relationships that will ultimately increase our visibility from campuses to corner offices. We are grateful that the NFL has taken such a profound stance in recognizing the potential of our student athletes, administrators, coaches and officials."

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