Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association
The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association, or S. I. A. A. was one of the first collegiate athletic conferences formed in the United States. Twenty-seven (almost a quarter) of the current Division I FBS (formerly Division I-A) football programs can claim membership in this conference, as can at least nineteen other schools. Every member of the current Southeastern Conference except for Arkansas, as well as eight of the twelve members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, can claim membership. (Duke and Wake Forest did not participate in the league; Boston College is a historically northern school; and Florida State did not sponsor football until after the league dissolved.)
The S. I. A. A. was founded December 21, 1894, by Dr. William Dudley, Dean of the Vanderbilt University Medical College. The original members included Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Vanderbilt. Clemson, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Tulane would join a year later. (Data from Wikipedia article).
In the 'teens, when questions of player eligibility were being wrangled about and several schools were accused of and found to have recruited "ringers" (ineligible athletes, sometimes brought in from long distances to enhance team line-ups), S. I. A. A. was said to stand for "stick in anybody available."
The conference eventually disbanded in 1942 with the onset of American involvement in World War II. (Reference: Roger Saylor, Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (PDF), College Football Historical Society, The LA84 Foundation)
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