Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association
Members72 (total)
RegionSouthern United States

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 12 current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference plus the University of Texas, now of the Big 12 Conference (and previously of the now defunct Southwest Conference), formerly held membership in the SIAA.


The SIAA was founded on December 21, 1894, by Dr. William Dudley, a chemistry professor at Vanderbilt.[1] The original members were Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Sewanee, and Vanderbilt. Clemson, Cumberland, Kentucky, LSU, Mercer, Mississippi, Mississippi A&M (Mississippi State), Southwestern Presbyterian University, Tennessee, Texas, Tulane, and the University of Nashville joined the following year in 1895 as invited charter members.[2] The conference was originally formed for "the development and purification of college athletics throughout the South".[3] They crafted a constitution, created an Executive Committee, elected officers, and set rules for[3]:

  • 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

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.[4]

At the conference's annual meeting on December 10, 1920, the SIAA rejected proposals to ban freshman athletes and abolish paid summer baseball.[5] In protest, some schools that had voted in favor of the propositions immediately announced they would seek to form a new conference.[5] 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 & Lee.[6] 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.[4]

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.[4] 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.


Original charter members are denoted in boldface. Invited charter members are denoted with an asterisk.[2]

School City State Tenure Conference left for Current conference
Alabama Tuscaloosa Alabama 1894–1917, 1919–1922 Southern Conference Southeastern Conference
Auburn Auburn Alabama 1894–1914, 1916–1922 Southern Conference Southeastern Conference
Centenary Shreveport Louisiana 1925–1941 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (D-III)
Centre Danville Kentucky 1910–1941 Southern Athletic Association (D-III)
Chattanooga Chattanooga Tennessee 1914–1916, 1919–1932 Southern Conference
The Citadel Charleston South Carolina 1909–1935 Southern Conference Southern Conference
Clemson* Clemson South Carolina 1895–1922 Southern Conference Atlantic Coast Conference
Cumberland* Lebanon Tennessee 1895–1903 TranSouth Athletic Conference (NAIA)
Dahlonega (North Georgia) Dahlonega Georgia 1908–1909 Peach Belt Conference (D-II)
Davidson Davidson North Carolina 1898–1906 Southern Conference
Delta State Cleveland Mississippi 1936–1941 Gulf South Conference (D-II)
Eastern Kentucky Richmond Kentucky 1930–1942 Ohio Valley Conference
Emory & Henry Emory Virginia 1936–1941 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (D-III)
Erskine Due West South Carolina 1923–1941 Conference Carolinas (D-II)
Florida Gainesville Florida 1910–1917, 1919–1922 Southern Conference Southeastern Conference
Furman Greenville South Carolina 1898–1899, 1906–1910, 1920–1929, 1932–1935 Southern Conference Southern Conference
Georgetown (Kentucky) Georgetown Kentucky 1915–1941 Mid-South Conference (NAIA)
Georgia Athens Georgia 1894–1914, 1916, 1919–1922 Southern Conference Southeastern Conference
Georgia Tech Atlanta Georgia 1894–1913, 1916–1922 Southern Conference Atlantic Coast Conference
Gordon Military College Barnesville Georgia 1906–1910 Georgia Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA)
Howard College (Samford) Homewood Alabama 1909–1912, 1914–1917, 1919–1931, 1933–1938 Southern Conference
Jacksonville State Jacksonville Alabama 1939–1940 Ohio Valley Conference
Kentucky* Lexington Kentucky 1895–1903, 1911–1922 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 1895–1917, 1919–1923 Southern Conference Southeastern Conference
Louisiana Tech Ruston Louisiana 1925–1942 Louisiana Intercollegiate Conference Western Athletic Conference (Conference USA in 2013)
Louisville Louisville Kentucky 1914–1941 Big East Conference
Loyola (New Orleans) New Orleans Louisiana 1925, 1930–1937 Southern States Athletic Conference (NAIA)
Memphis State (Memphis) Memphis Tennessee 1935–1942 Independent Conference USA (Big East Conference in 2013)
Memphis University School Memphis Tennessee 1908–1910 Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (HS)
Mercer* Macon Georgia 1895–1937 Atlantic Sun Conference (Pioneer Football League for football starting in 2013)
Miami (Florida) Coral Gables Florida 1929–1942 Independent Atlantic Coast Conference
Middle Tennessee Murfreesboro Tennessee 1931–1942 Sun Belt Conference
Millsaps Jackson Mississippi 1908–1909, 1913–1938 Southern Athletic Association (D-III)
Mississippi* Oxford Mississippi 1895–1912, 1914–1922 Southern Conference Southeastern Conference
Mississippi College Clinton Mississippi 1910–1917, 1919–1941 American Southwest Conference (D-III)
Mississippi A&M* (Mississippi State) Starkville Mississippi 1895–1922 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 1895–1908 University closed in 1909
Newberry Newberry South Carolina 1922–1942 South Atlantic Conference (D-II)
North Carolina Chapel Hill North Carolina 1894–1901 South Atlantic Intercollegiate Athletic Association Atlantic Coast Conference
North Carolina A&M (NC State) Raleigh North Carolina 1898–1906 South Atlantic Intercollegiate Athletic Association Atlantic Coast Conference
Northwestern State Natchitoches Louisiana 1928–1941 Southland Conference
Oglethorpe Atlanta Georgia 1920–1925 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 1894–1924 Southern Conference Southern Athletic Association (D-III)
South Carolina Columbia South Carolina 1916–1922 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 Southern Athletic Association (D-III)
Southwestern Presbyterian* (Rhodes) Memphis Tennessee 1895–1903 Southern Athletic Association (D-III)
Southwestern Louisiana (Louisiana–Lafayette) Lafayette Louisiana 1925–1942 Sun Belt Conference
Spring Hill Mobile Alabama 1927–1931 Southern States Athletic Conference (NAIA)
Stetson DeLand Florida 1925–1931, 1933–1940 Atlantic Sun Conference
Tampa Tampa Florida 1936–1942 Sunshine State Conference (D-II)
Tennessee* Knoxville Tennessee 1895–1916, 1919–1922 Southern Conference Southeastern Conference
Tennessee Tech Cookeville Tennessee 1933–1942 Ohio Valley Conference
Texas* Austin Texas 1895–1906 Independent Big 12 Conference
Texas A&M College Station Texas 1903–1908, 1913–1914 Southwest Conference Southeastern Conference
Transylvania Lexington Kentucky 1915–1924, 1926–1941 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (D-III)
Trinity College (Duke) Durham North Carolina 1903–1912 Atlantic Coast Conference
Troy State (Troy) Troy Alabama 1936–1942 no team (WWII) Sun Belt Conference
Tulane* New Orleans Louisiana 1894–1906, 1911–1917, 1919–1922 Southern Conference Conference USA
Union (Kentucky) Barbourville Kentucky 1933–1941 Appalachian Athletic Conference (NAIA)
Union (Tennessee) Jackson Tennessee 1925–1942 Gulf South Conference (NCAA DII)
Vanderbilt Nashville Tennessee 1894–1924 Southern Conference Southeastern Conference
Virginia Tech Blacksburg Virginia 1898 Atlantic Coast Conference
Western Kentucky Bowling Green Kentucky 1921–1942 Sun Belt Conference
Wofford Spartanburg South Carolina 1903–1942 Southern Conference
  1. Greg Roza, Football in the SEC (Southeastern Conference), p. 1, 2007, ISBN 1-4042-1919-6.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bailey, John Wendell (1924). Handbook of Southern Intercollegiate Track and Field Athletics. Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College. p. 14.
  3. 3.0 3.1 (PDF) Southern Inter-Collegiate Athletic Association. Athens, GA: E. D. Stone. 1895. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Roger Saylor, Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (PDF), College Football Historical Society, The LA84 Foundation, retrieved March 1, 2009.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "NEW COLLEGE BODY PLANNED IN SOUTH; Twelve Universities Take Steps to Break Away From Intercollegiate A. A". The New York Times. December 12, 1920.
  6. "The Southern Conference". Southern Conference. Retrieved 13 October 2011.


Jacksonville State UniversityTroy UniversityUniversity of TampaEmory and Henry CollegeDelta State UniversityUniversity of MemphisMorehead State UniversityUnion College (Kentucky)Tennessee Technological UniversityMurray State UniversityMiddle Tennessee State UniversityEastern Kentucky UniversityUniversity of MiamiUniversity of Southern MississippiNorthwestern State UniversitySpring Hill CollegeUnion UniversityStetson UniversityUniversity of Louisiana at LafayetteFlorida Southern CollegeRollins CollegeLoyola University New OrleansLouisiana Tech UniversityKentucky Wesleyan CollegeCentenary College of LouisianaLouisiana CollegePresbyterian CollegeNewberry CollegeErskine CollegeWestern Kentucky UniversityBirmingham-Southern CollegeOglethorpe UniversityMillsaps CollegeWofford CollegeUniversity of South CarolinaTransylvania UniversityGeorgetown College (Kentucky)University of LouisvilleUniversity of Tennessee at ChattanoogaUniversity of FloridaMississippi CollegeCentre CollegeSamford UniversityThe Citadel, The Military College of South CarolinaMemphis University SchoolNorth Georgia College & State UniversityGordon College (Georgia)Texas Agricultural and Mechanical UniversityDuke UniversityBirmingham–Southern CollegeFurman UniversityVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityNorth Carolina State UniversityDavidson CollegeUniversity of TennesseeTulane UniversityUniversity of Texas at AustinRhodes CollegeUniversity of NashvilleUniversity of MississippiMississippi State UniversityMercer UniversityLouisiana State UniversityUniversity of KentuckyCumberland CollegeClemson UniversityGeorgia Institute of TechnologyVanderbilt UniversitySewanee: The University of the SouthUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillUniversity of GeorgiaAuburn UniversityUniversity of Alabama


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