The NFL and HBCUs

The NFL is proud of the legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) on professional football.

Throughout the league's history, athletes from HBCUs have exemplified a standard of excellence on and off the field.

In May 2016, the NFL launched Strength of HBCUs, Impacting Pro Football Since 1948 in partnership with two preeminent HBCU athletic conferences — the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). Since then, the initiative has expanded to include the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) and Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA).

Read Troy Vincent, Sr.'s Reflections on Black excellence and the NFL's role in driving generational impact.

The NFL's Partnership with HBCUs

The partnership celebrates and honors the historical impact of HBCUs and their players on the game and provides career opportunities in the game of football.

“The NFL’s partnership with HBCUs has deep roots in football’s history,” said Troy Vincent, Sr., NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations. “We’re working together to honor the rich history of HBCUs and provide opportunities to students and administrators from these great institutions.”

The NFL’s partnership with HBCUs works to:

  • Celebrate history. Whether it’s celebrating personal or team successes or positively impacting communities across the country, the influence of players from HBCUs is woven into the fabric of the NFL.
  • Increase opportunities. Programs and initiatives celebrate HBCUs and their players and create opportunities for students and athletic administrators from these institutions.
  • Provide access. Career forums, workshops, internships and other opportunities equip HBCU students, players and coaches with access to programs to develop the skills needed to work or play in professional football.