Toyota SWAC Football Championship Media Policies




Media outlets planning to cover the Championship game REGARDLESS of the participating teams must apply to the SWAC Communications Department by 10 a.m. on Monday, November 27, 2017.  Credential requests will be considered only for authorized full-time salaried representatives.  Credentials are non-transferable.  All applicants for credentials must adhere to the credentials request guidelines, which can be obtained from Peter Holehan at or online at

Subject to limitations of space, credentials will be assigned to accredited media in accordance with the following general priorities:        

Media outlets that have regularly covered SWAC football during the season.

Media outlets that have covered ALL games of a participating team.

Media outlets at the game site which regularly cover SWAC football on a regional basis.

Media outlets that have covered ALL HOME GAMES of a participating team.

Credentials will not be provided for those under the age of 18.


General Guidelines

Daily Newspapers (Reporters)
Newspaper that does not cover all games of the participating teams on a regular basis may be limited to one seat in the press box.  The daily circulation of the newspaper will be a consideration.

Print Photographers
Print outlets may be limited to one photo credential.  Request for an additional credential will be considered on a space availability basis.

Campus Outlets
One seat will be available for campus outlets from the participating schools.  The participating institutions Sports Information Director will designate which campus outlet will be accredited.

Specialty Publications
One specialty publication designated by the Sports Information Director of the participating institutions will be issued two media credentials (one writer and one photographer) on a space availability basis only. 

Television stations, networks or cable systems, other than ESPN, will not be permitted on the photo deck.  These outlets must utilize video and audio distribution facilities provided by the SWAC for game action footage from the press box angle.  Television stations will be permitted on the sideline to shoot field-level footage during the game.  Television outlets may be limited to two credentials (one reporter and one cameraperson).

The broadcast crew, designated by each participating institution and the SWAC Associate Commissioner for Communications, will be granted a limited number of credentials to air live game action.  Requests from radio stations with a full-time sports director, which air a locally produced daily sportscast and cover SWAC football game sites on a regular basis, will be considered.  A pool reporter will be designated to handle the needs of the national and regional networks.

The following conditions are placed on the use of credentials:
“The working credential is issued for the sole purpose of providing facility access to an accredited agency’s employee who has legitimate working function in connection with this Championship.  It is non-transferable.  Any unauthorized use of this credential subjects the bearer to immediate dismissal from the stadium and prosecution for criminal trespass.  Any secondary use of any picture, audio description, film/tape or drawing of the game taken or made by the accredited organization or individual to whom this credential has been issued is prohibited without the prior specific written approval by the Southwestern Athletic Conference.”


Credential Pickup

Media representatives may pick up credentials in Houston at times and sites as designated by the SWAC Director of Communications Peter Holehan.

Credentials WILL NOT be mailed.

Friday, December 1st          9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (NRG Stadium – West VIP Media Window)  

On Saturday, December 2, unclaimed credentials will be moved to the West VIP Media Window at NRG Stadium and will be available at that location from noon until the 10:00 minute mark of the second quarter. 


Films/Videotapes/Still Photographs for Commercial Purposes

The SWAC reserves all rights to still photographs, film, and videotapes of the SWAC Championship Football Game.  All rights to such material may be assigned to media representatives for news purposes, but otherwise are to be controlled exclusively by the SWAC.



A limited number of media parking passes will be made available.  These will be issued on organization-by-organization priority basis as determined by SWAC Communications Department.  The press parking area is in the “Teal Lot,” located on at the corner of Murworth and Kirby Drive. 


Post-game Interviews

Both head coaches and a minimum of two student-athletes from each team shall be available for interviews after a 10-minute cooling off period.  The timetable for the cooling-off period begins when the head coach enters the dressing room immediately after the game.  The head coach must proceed directly to the dressing room after the game unless requested to remain for a short interview (not to exceed four minutes) by ESPN. 

The players must be available to media for at least 15 minutes in separate interview areas adjacent to the coaches’ interview area.  Equal access for all reporters, regardless of sex, must be provided.  The media will not be allowed in the dressing rooms at any time.

The post game media conference format shall specify that the losing coach and players shall be scheduled in the interview room first, followed by the winning coach and players.  The interview with the losing coach should not exceed 10 minutes. 

Regardless of any personal regular-season radio or television contracts, the coach is first obligated to the entire media staffing the Championship game and must report to the interview room immediately after the 10-minute cooling-off period.  The coach cannot delay a post-game interview with covering media to conduct a program for a single radio, newspaper, or television unless requested to grant a short interview (not to exceed four minutes) by the television network that has purchased the rights to the championship game.  After fulfilling the commitment to the entire media covering the championship game, the coach and players may participate in the special interviews.


Championship Press Conference

A championship press conference featuring both head coaches and selected players will take place on Friday, December 1, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. in NRG Stadium.



Booth space will be reserved automatically for each competing institution’s official designated radio rights holder. A maximum of six (6) media credentials may be granted to each network. The Eastern Division representative’s network will be assigned Booth 8.51.03 on level eight, while the Western Division representative’s network will be assigned Booth 8.51.02 on level eight.  Telephones lines have already been installed in both booths.

A rights fee of $100 will be charged to the two participating institution’s networks and radio stations with a full-time sports director, which air a locally produced daily sportscast and cover SWAC football game sites on a regular basis.  Market exclusivity will not be granted to the participating networks. If the rights fee is not paid in full prior to noon on Friday, December 1, network’s broadcast right will be revoked.


Sports Information Directors

No later than 10 a.m. on Monday, November 27, each prospective participant’s Sports Information Director shall provide the SWAC Communications Department a list of media representatives from the institution’s geographical area who are likely to staff the championship game (including their fax numbers and email addresses).  Prior to the championship, the SWAC office will contact each sports information director regarding the championship program.



Telephones will be available in the working media area of the NRG Stadium press box.


Television and Photography

Exclusive television rights for the 2017 SWAC Football Championship Game have been awarded to ESPN.  Local television stations may shoot game action from the sidelines.



1.  A visible credential issued by the director of communications is required for admission to the stadium working press, interview room, sideline, and the press box.

2.  A television station, network, or cable system may utilize a maximum of three minutes of game action on sports news broadcast.  Game coverage may be presented only after the game has been completed.

3.  All live reports must be broadcast from a designated area in the stadium.  A member of the media coordination committee will coordinate use of the area.  Live game action may not be visible in the background of live shots.

4.  All media representatives on the field must remain between the 20-yard line and the back of the end zone.

5.  No production company, television network, station, or cable system may install editing or transmission facilities at the stadium (internally or externally) without permission of the SWAC.

6.  Tripods are NOT PERMITTED on any parts of the field.



1.  A visible credential issued by the director of communications is required for admission to the stadium working press, sideline, interview room and the press box. 

2.  A photographer approved to work on the field shall secure a photographer credential.

3.  Photographers working on the field are restricted to the areas behind the 20-yard line and the back of end zone.

4.  No photography equipment shall be attached to the goalposts.

5.  Tripods are NOT PERMITTED on any parts of the field.

6.  Photography messengers shall not loiter around the playing field or obstruct the view of any ticket purchaser.