Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association
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Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association
Members72 (total)
RegionSouthern United States
Deep South
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association locations

The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA) was one of the first collegiate athletic conferences in the United States. Twenty-seven of the current Division I FBS (formerly Division I-A) football programs were members of this conference at some point, as were at least 19 other schools. Every member of the current Southeastern Conference except Arkansas and Missouri, as well as six of the 15 current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference plus the University of Texas at Austin, now of the Big 12 Conference (and previously of the now defunct Southwest Conference), formerly held membership in the SIAA.


Conference Presidents
William Lofland Dudley 1894-1912
Walter Riggs 1912-1915
Buz M. Walker 1917
Henry D. Phillips 1919-1922
J. W. Provine 1927-1942

The SIAA was founded on December 21, 1894, by Dr. William Dudley, a chemistry professor at Vanderbilt,[1] at the Kimball House in Atlanta.[2] Dudley was a member of the Vanderbilt Athletic Association, formed in 1886 with Dr. W. M. Baskerville as president. Most students at Vanderbilt were members. The early sports played on the Vanderbilt campus were baseball, bicycling, and track and field events.[3] Dudley was primarily responsible for the formation of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The first advance in the direction of its formation was in March 1888 when the Vanderbilt Athletic Association endeavored to secure track and field meets at Vanderbilt from Southwestern Presbyterian University, Sewanee, and Tennessee. Sewanee's opposition stopped it from occurring.[4]

The original members were Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Johns Hopkins, North Carolina, Sewanee, Vanderbilt, and Virginia.[5][6] Virginia and North Carolina soon dropped out, even before the inaugural 1895 season.[7][8]

Central (Eastern Kentucky), Clemson, Cumberland, Kentucky, LSU, Mercer, Mississippi A&M (Mississippi State), Southwestern Presbyterian University, Texas, Tulane, and the University of Nashville joined the following year in 1895 as invited charter members.[9][10] The conference was originally formed for "the development and purification of college athletics throughout the South".[11] They crafted a constitution, created an Executive Committee, elected officers, and set rules for:[11]

  • annual conventions
  • officiating
  • limiting players to five years of eligibility
  • banning professional athletes
  • requiring athletes to attend the school they represent
  • banning instructors and professors from playing
  • suspensions of individuals and schools
  • expenses
Kimball House

The league did not, however, sponsor much in the way of championship competition for its member schools. It did hold an annual track and field competition for a trophy, and it also held some basketball tournaments over the years, but apparently some member schools did not compete in the tournament during some years, and sometimes non-member southern schools were even allowed to compete in it as well. In 1903, a single-game football playoff occurred, but it seems to have been coordinated more so by the two competing schools (Clemson and Cumberland) than the conference itself. Several other efforts over the years by individual schools (rather than by the SIAA) to hold a conference title game fell through. Most SIAA titles claimed by schools in various sports were actually more mythical in nature than officially sanctioned by the league. Indeed, some schools centrally-located in the conference played far more conference games than others on the periphery, making it difficult to form a fair comparison to determine just which team was truly the best, especially once the league began to constantly expand its membership.

In 1915, a disagreement arose within the conference regarding the eligibility of freshman athletes, the so-called "one-year rule." Generally, the larger universities opposed the eligibility of freshman players, while the smaller schools favored it. As a result, some of the large universities formed the Southern Intercollegiate Conference (now the Southern Conference), which used the one-year rule, while still maintaining membership within the SIAA.[12]

At the conference's annual meeting on December 10, 1920, the SIAA rejected proposals to ban freshman athletes and abolish paid summer baseball.[13] In protest, some schools that had voted in favor of the propositions immediately announced they would seek to form a new conference.[13] On February 25, 1921, Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Mississippi State, and Tennessee left the SIAA to form the Southern Conference, along with non-SIAA members Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Washington and Lee.[14] In 1922, the Southern Conference underwent an expansion and added six more members, all at the expense of the SIAA: Florida, Louisiana State, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tulane, and Vanderbilt.[12]

With the departure of most of the major colleges, the SIAA became a de facto small college conference in 1923. In the 1920s and 1930s, the SIAA increased its membership with the addition of many additional small universities. The conference eventually disbanded in 1942 with the onset of American involvement in World War II.[12] League archives were kept at Vanderbilt, the league's founding school, but the building housing the archives was eventually gutted with fire, taking countless irreplaceable items pertaining to the SIAA's history with it.

In 1947 there was an attempt, led by Western Kentucky, to revive the SIAA. Western Kentucky hosted an SIAA basketball tournament that turned out to be little more than an invitational tournament because former SIAA members declined to participate.[15]


Original charter members are denoted in boldface. Invited charter members are denoted with an asterisk.[9] In the era in which the SIAA operated, teams tended to join in December; therefore, the first year of conference play in a given sport was often the following calendar year.[16]

Conference affiliations reflect those for the 2016-17 school year.

School City State Tenure Conference left for Current conference
Alabama Tuscaloosa Alabama 1895-1917, 1919-1921[5][14] Southern Conference Southeastern Conference
Auburn Auburn Alabama 1895-1921[5][14] Southern Conference Southeastern Conference
Centenary Shreveport Louisiana 1925-1941 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (D-III)
Central University Richmond Kentucky 1896-1897, 1899-1900 merged with Centre College in 1901
Centre Danville Kentucky 1910-1917, 1919-1941[] Southern Athletic Association (D-III)
Chattanooga Chattanooga Tennessee 1914-1916, 1919-1932[] Dixie Conference Southern Conference
The Citadel Charleston South Carolina 1908-1935[17] Southern Conference Southern Conference
Clemson Clemson South Carolina 1896-1921[9][14] Southern Conference Atlantic Coast Conference
Cumberland* Lebanon Tennessee 1896-1907[9] Mid-South Conference (NAIA)
Delta State Cleveland Mississippi 1936-1941[] Gulf South Conference (D-II)
Emory & Henry Emory Virginia 1936-1941[] Old Dominion Athletic Conference (D-III)
Erskine Due West South Carolina 1925-1941[18] Conference Carolinas (D-II)
Florida Gainesville Florida 1912-1917, 1919-1921 Southern Conference Southeastern Conference
Furman Greenville South Carolina 1902-1904, 1906-1910, 1914-1929, 1932-1935[] Southern Conference Southern Conference
Georgetown (Kentucky) Georgetown Kentucky 1915-1916, 1919-1941[] Mid-South Conference (NAIA)
Georgia Athens Georgia 1895-1916, 1919-1921[5][14] Southern Conference Southeastern Conference
Georgia Tech Atlanta Georgia 1896-1900,[19] 1902-1913, 1916-1921[14] Southern Conference Atlantic Coast Conference
Howard College (Samford) Homewood Alabama 1909-1912, 1914-1917, 1919-1931[] Dixie Conference Southern Conference
Jacksonville State Jacksonville Alabama 1939-1940[] Ohio Valley Conference
Johns Hopkins Maryland Part of 1894[5] Centennial Conference (D-III)
Kentucky* Lexington Kentucky 1896[9]-1904, 1911-1916, 1919-1921[14] Southern Conference Southeastern Conference
Kentucky Wesleyan Owensboro Kentucky 1925-1930[] Great Midwest Athletic Conference (D-II)
Louisiana College Pineville Louisiana 1922-1941[] American Southwest Conference (D-III)
Louisiana State* Baton Rouge Louisiana 1896-1917, 1919-1921[9] Southern Conference Southeastern Conference
Louisiana Tech Ruston Louisiana 1925-1942[] Louisiana Intercollegiate Conference Conference USA
Louisville Louisville Kentucky 1914-1941[] Atlantic Coast Conference
Loyola (New Orleans) New Orleans Louisiana 1925, 1930-1937[] Southern States Athletic Conference (NAIA)
Memphis State (Memphis) Memphis Tennessee 1935-1942[] Independent American Athletic Conference
Mercer* Macon Georgia 1896-1937[9] Southern Conference
Miami (Florida) Coral Gables Florida 1929-1942[] Independent Atlantic Coast Conference
Middle Tennessee Murfreesboro Tennessee 1931-1942[] Conference USA
Millsaps Jackson Mississippi 1908-1909, 1913-1938[] Southern Athletic Association (D-III)
Mississippi Oxford Mississippi 1898-1921 Southern Conference Southeastern Conference
Mississippi College Clinton Mississippi 1910-1917, 1919-1941[] American Southwest Conference (D-III)
Mississippi A&M* (Mississippi State) Starkville Mississippi 1896-1921[9][14] Southern Conference Southeastern Conference
Morehead State Morehead Kentucky 1934-1942[] Ohio Valley Conference
Murray State Murray Kentucky 1931-1942[] Ohio Valley Conference
Nashville* Nashville Tennessee 1896-1900,[19] 1902-1908[9] University closed in 1909
Newberry Newberry South Carolina 1922-1942[] South Atlantic Conference (D-II)
North Carolina Chapel Hill North Carolina Part of 1894,[5] 1899-1901[19] South Atlantic Intercollegiate Athletic Association Atlantic Coast Conference
Northwestern State Natchitoches Louisiana 1928-1941[] Southland Conference
Oglethorpe Atlanta Georgia 1919-1929[20][21], 1937-1941[22] Southern Athletic Association (D-III)
Presbyterian Clinton South Carolina 1921-1942[] Big South Conference
Rollins Winter Park Florida 1925-1942[] Sunshine State Conference (D-II)
University of the South (Sewanee) Sewanee Tennessee 1895-1900, 1902-1924[5][19] Southern Conference Southern Athletic Association (D-III)
South Carolina Columbia South Carolina 1915-1921 Southern Conference Southeastern Conference
Southern (Florida) Lakeland Florida 1925-1930[] Sunshine State Conference (D-II)
Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg Mississippi 1928-1941[] Conference USA
Southern University (Birmingham-Southern) Birmingham Alabama 1901-1912; 1930-1931[] Dixie Conference Southern Athletic Association (D-III)
Southwestern Presbyterian* (Rhodes) Memphis Tennessee 1896[9]-1900, 1902-1903[] Southern Athletic Association (D-III)
Southwestern Louisiana (Louisiana-Lafayette) Lafayette Louisiana 1925-1942[] Sun Belt Conference
Spring Hill Mobile Alabama 1927-1931[] Dixie Conference Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (D-II)
Stetson DeLand Florida 1925-1931, 1933-1940[] Atlantic Sun Conference (Pioneer Football League for football)
Tampa Tampa Florida 1936-1942 Sunshine State Conference (D-II)
Tennessee Knoxville Tennessee 1897-1916, 1919-1921[14] Southern Conference Southeastern Conference
Tennessee Tech Cookeville Tennessee 1933-1942[] Ohio Valley Conference
Texas* Austin Texas 1896-1906[9] Independent Big 12 Conference
Texas A&M College Station Texas 1903-1906, 1912-1914[] Southwest Conference Southeastern Conference
Transylvania Lexington Kentucky 1914-1916, 1919-1924, 1926-1941[] Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (D-III)
Trinity College (Duke) Durham North Carolina 1903[23]-1912[] Atlantic Coast Conference
Troy State (Troy) Troy Alabama 1936-1942[] no team (WWII) Sun Belt Conference
Tulane* New Orleans Louisiana 1896[9]-1906, 1911-1917, 1919-1921 Southern Conference American Athletic Conference
Union (Kentucky) Barbourville Kentucky 1933-1941 Appalachian Athletic Conference (NAIA)
Union (Tennessee) Jackson Tennessee 1925-1942 Gulf South Conference (NCAA D-II)
Vanderbilt Nashville Tennessee 1895-1924[5] Southern Conference Southeastern Conference
Virginia Charlottesville Virginia Part of 1894[5]
Western Kentucky Bowling Green Kentucky 1926-1942 Conference USA
Wofford Spartanburg South Carolina 1903-1942[23] Southern Conference



Jacksonville State UniversityTroy UniversityUniversity of TampaEmory and Henry CollegeDelta State UniversityUniversity of MemphisMorehead State UniversityUnion College (Kentucky)Tennessee Technological UniversityMurray State UniversityMiddle Tennessee State UniversityUniversity of MiamiUniversity of Southern MississippiNorthwestern State UniversitySpring Hill CollegeWestern Kentucky UniversityUnion UniversityStetson UniversityUniversity of Louisiana at LafayetteFlorida Southern CollegeRollins CollegeLoyola University New OrleansLouisiana Tech UniversityKentucky Wesleyan CollegeCentenary College of LouisianaErskine CollegeLouisiana CollegePresbyterian CollegeNewberry CollegeBirmingham-Southern CollegeMillsaps CollegeOglethorpe UniversityWofford CollegeUniversity of South CarolinaTransylvania UniversityGeorgetown College (Kentucky)University of LouisvilleUniversity of Tennessee at ChattanoogaUniversity of FloridaCentre CollegeMississippi CollegeSamford UniversityThe Citadel, The Military College of South CarolinaDuke UniversityBirmingham-Southern CollegeFurman UniversityUniversity of MississippiEastern Kentucky UniversityUniversity of TennesseeTulane UniversityUniversity of Texas at AustinRhodes CollegeUniversity of NashvilleMississippi State UniversityMercer UniversityLouisiana State UniversityUniversity of KentuckyCumberland UniversityClemson UniversityGeorgia Institute of TechnologyVanderbilt UniversitySewanee: The University of the SouthUniversity of GeorgiaAuburn UniversityUniversity of AlabamaUniversity of VirginiaUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillJohns Hopkins University

Conference champions


  1. ^ Greg Roza, Football in the SEC (Southeastern Conference), p. 1, 2007, ISBN 1-4042-1919-6.
  2. ^ "S. I. A. A. Was Started At The Kimball House". The Atlanta Constitution. December 17, 1905. p. 1. Retrieved 2016 – via access
  3. ^ William L Traughber (August 25, 2005). "William Dudley: a Father of Vanderbilt Athletics".
  4. ^ closed access "Vanderbilt Paper Tells How First Efforts Succeeded in Formation of S. I. A. A. Order". Macon Telegraph. April 12, 1921.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i "S. I. A. A." Times-Democrat. January 18, 1895. p. 3. Retrieved 2016 – via access
  6. ^ "Tulane Topics". January 18, 1895. p. 11. Retrieved 2016 – via access
  7. ^ "To Make Strong Men". The Atlanta Constitution. December 23, 1895. p. 7. Retrieved 2016 – via access
  8. ^ "A Foot Ball Sensation". The Tennessean. November 23, 1895. p. 6. Retrieved 2016 – via access
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Bailey, John Wendell (1924). Handbook of Southern Intercollegiate Track and Field Athletics. Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College. p. 14.
  10. ^ WBB Media Guide.pdf
  11. ^ a b Southern Inter-Collegiate Athletic Association (PDF). Athens, GA: E. D. Stone. 1895. Retrieved 2011.
  12. ^ a b c d Roger Saylor, Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (PDF), College Football Historical Society, The LA84 Foundation, retrieved March 1, 2009.
  13. ^ a b "NEW COLLEGE BODY PLANNED IN SOUTH; Twelve Universities Take Steps to Break Away From Intercollegiate A. A" (PDF). The New York Times. December 12, 1920.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i "The Southern Conference". Southern Conference. Retrieved 2011.
  15. ^ SIAA having trouble filling basketball tournament, [1], The Paducah Sun-Democrat 02 Mar 1947 Page 16, retrieved April 30, 2019.
  16. ^ Association, National Collegiate Athletic (1 January 1921). "Proceedings of the ... Annual Convention of the National Collegiate Athletic Association". The Association – via Google Books.
  17. ^ "Milestones-CFA Through The Years".
  18. ^ "Palmetto Members", Greenville News, Greenville, SC, p. 6, December 13, 1924
  19. ^ a b c d "Athletic Blacklist Has Widespread Effect". The Charlotte News. December 14, 1901. p. 11. Retrieved 2015 – via access
  20. ^ "Colleges Favor Mass Athletics", Tuscaloosa News, Tuscaloosa, AL, p. 1, February 18, 1919
  21. ^ "S.I.A.A. Will Not Be Split, Head of Organization Says", Tennessean, Nashville, TN, p. 10, December 16, 1929
  22. ^ "Sports Advisor Proposal Before S.I.A.A. Members", The Town Talk, Alexandria, LA, p. 11, December 7, 1936
  23. ^ a b "Southern Athletic Association". The Courier Journal. December 21, 1902. p. 26. Retrieved 2017 – via access

External links

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