The Southeastern Conference Schools were founded in December, 1932. Thirteen universities that, up until then, had been part of the Southern Conference, decided to form a separate body. They were all situated northwest of the Appalachian Mountains and, geographically, it made sense that they create a unified system. Ten of those members have remained with the Conference and a handful of newer members joined at later dates. The ten original members are listed below:
- The University of Alabama
- The University of Florida
- The University of Georgia
- The University of Kentucky
- The University of Mississippi
- The University of Tennessee
- Louisiana State University
- Mississippi State University
- Vanderbilt University
- Auburn University
Other members, who joined the Southeastern Conference Schools following its inception, are:
- Sewanee (The University of the South)
- Georgia Tech
- Tulane University
- Texas A&M University and University of Missouri will also be joining in 2012 (in the summer months)
The SEC schools primarily earn money through televising or airing their games. Southeastern Conference Schools are usually aired on CBS and ESPN and they make considerable profits from advertisers who pay to promote their products during SEC games. The current commissioner of the SEC is Michael Silve, an attorney and sports executive. He was once the assistant director of athletics at Dartmouth College and he is also a former judge. Although football is the most watched sport hosted by the SEC, they also support nineteen other sporting events for both men and women ranging from baseball to golf, swimming and diving, long distance track, tennis and volleyball.
The SEC is also known for providing a multitude of scholarships for high-performing individuals in their particular sport so they can continue their pursuit of athletics in college. In fact, in 1935, the SEC made history when it was the first Conference to award scholarships for athletics. The SEC has also helped to build large stadiums to support different athletic events, from the 102,000 capacity Neyland Stadium in Tennessee for football to the 24,500 capacity Rupp Arena for basketball in Kentucky.
The schools in the SEC compete against one another for titles, and currently Alabama holds the most with an 813-316-43 record or a 71.2 percent win record. Western Division schools compete against the Eastern Division schools to arrive at a final leader. There are a host of bowl games that teams participate in as well, including the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, the Outback Bowl in Tampa, FL and the Music City Bowl in Nashville Tennessee. The National Championship Game is one of the most watched football games on television. Southeastern Conference Schools and their athletics programs have become very popular through their participation in this association.