Not only does the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference keep growing, it’s also breaking new ground. On Oct. 2, the Division 2-based conference announced the addition of Alabama’s Spring Hill College to its ranks. The Roman-Catholic Liberal Arts school will be the first non-Historically Black College or University affiliated with the SIAC.
The SIAC becomes the second major HBCU based sports conference to add a non-HBCU, joining the CIAA who added Chowan University in 2007.
“We are pleased about the prospect of Spring Hill College becoming a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference,” SIAC Commissioner Greg Moore said. “Not only is Spring Hill College an institution with strong academics and athletics, but they were also cited by Dr. King for its commitment to racial justice and equality in his ‘Letter from a Birmingham Jail.’”
Spring Hill is currently a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC). They do not, however, currently field a football team. In August, he SIAC announced Central State would be joining the conference on a football only basis. Spring Hill will continue to hold membership in the NAIA and the SSAC through the 2013-2014 academic year, but will play a full schedule against SIAC opponents beginning in 2014-2015.
What has been a good year for Winston-Salem State coach Bobby Collins just got better. After leading his team to its first CIAA Tournament title in over a dozen years and its second consecutive D2 NCAA appearance, Collins was given a three year extension according to the Winston-Salem Journal’s John Dell.
“We want to continue to play for championships and win championships,” said Collins. ”This will really help us in recruiting because kids are always wondering how long you might be at one school and this shows me a lot.”
The former Hampton coach was hired by former WSSU Athletic Director Chico Caldwell prior to the 2006-2007 season. I was at his initial press conference where he talked about building a winning Division I program. Obviously, Collins had no way of knowing the changes that would soon come his team’s way. Caldwell resigned his post during Collin’s third season, and the Rams headed back to Division 2 and the CIAA the following season. Since the move back to D2, Collins has recorded a stellar 40-15 record and has become one of only two coaches (joining NC A&T’s Cal Irvin) to win both MEAC and CIAA Tournament Championships.
According to reports, Collins will make approximately $110,000 per year for the next three seasons, which will keep him under contract until 2015-2016.
The Rams look to have a good shot at repeating last season’s success, as they will return all five starters from last season’s 21-9 team.
Having been around Collins in his first years at WSSU, I can say with confidence he’s as much of a teacher as he is a coach. He really cares about his players and builds them up. My gut tells me he really wants to be a Division I coach. He had some success on that level, leading Hampton to an MEAC title and that’s why he came to Winston. If he can keep the Rams winning championships, he may very well get his shot at a DI job again. For now, he’ll look to keep the Rams atop the CIAA.
“The challenge for me is keep our guys hungry,” Collins said. “Now I can’t wait to get the season started.”
Both Morgan State’s Donald Hill-Eley and North Carolina A&T’s Rod Broadway know that a true assessment of where their teams stand will start on Thursday night in Greensboro. After playing non-FCS opponents in their last two games, the longtime MEAC foes will open up conference play in front of a national audience as ESPNU will broadcast live from Aggie Stadium.
After an opening week loss to Coastal Carolina, the Aggies (2-1) spent their last two weeks pummeling Division II opponents. First there was a 77-0 shellacking of West Virginia State and then a 40-7 win over Virginia Union of Lynchburg.
“I think we’re moving in the right direction, but I don’t think the last two games are a good gauge of where we are as a football team,” Broadway said during his weekly teleconference. “I think we’ll have a lot more answers after this game than we have right now on the direction we’re moving and what we’ll need to get done as far as the football team is concern.”
Conversely, the Bears (2-1) are coming off back-to-back defeats at the hands of Football Bowl Subdivision Opponents Buffalo and Akron. Despite his team’s 66-6 loss to Akron the last time his team took the field, Hill-Eley had plenty of positives to draw upon heading into Thursday’s game.
“They don’t quit. These young men find a way to keep fighting,” he said. “We went against Buffalo and were able to put up 34 points against an FBS team that was very physical and wanted to dominate us. We played Akron good for a half.”
The two teams have had ten days to recover since their last games. The coaches both said that break proved beneficial for their teams.
‘We had some bruises and lumps and we needed to recover,” Hill-Eley said. “Recovery is just as important as preparation.”
When asked if it was more difficult to prepare for a team that had a few extra days of rest, Broadway said the fact that both teams had identical made the opponents time between games a moot point.
“We’re in the same boat. I don’t think that the advantage is to anyone in this situation,” he said. “We had an opportunity to work and to hopefully get better during the week.”
Simply put, both coaches are looking forward to seeing where their teams stand underneath the bright lights of Aggie Stadium for a rare Thursday night game.
“Looking at that team, they can run the ball well, throw the ball well and they have a very staunch defense,” Hill-Eley said. “Everything that I just said is paper work, but Thursday night at 7:30, everything is going to be tested.”
The rare opportunity to play in front of a national audience was obviously a bonus in Broadway’s mind.
“We’re looking forward to playing again,” Broadway said. “I think our guys are excited about playing, we’re excited about playing as the game is going to be played on TV and hopefully we’ll have a good showing on TV.”
PRINCESS ANNE, MD – (Sept. 20, 2012) – The University of Maryland Eastern Shore announced on Sept. 20 the formation of a task force to help the institution assess a study that outlines what fielding an NCAA Division I football team would take. UMES last fielded a football team in 1979, when the university had fewer than 1,000 students.
Earlier this year, the UMES administration hired a consulting firm to help it identify factors that should be considered in weighing such a decision.
President Juliette B. Bell said the Alden & Associates report provides a roadmap to follow in addressing the feasibility of offering football as part of UMES’ sports line-up.
“We still have a long way to go before a decision can be made,” Bell said. “But it is important to have this independent perspective of what our institution should consider when assessing whether adding a football program makes sense.”
The consultant’s report provides a snapshot of the current state of athletics at UMES and projects what would be needed to restart a football program. It also assesses the potential impact the addition of an NCAA-eligible football team would have on the university.
“Ultimately, our decision will be one that puts the best interest of our students and our university’s mission at the forefront,” Bell said.
Bell noted that the consultants put together a scenario using a three-year phase-in as a model for starting a football program. It estimates the first year would cost just under $1 million; the second year $3.6 million; and year 3, the first year for competitive play, is projected at nearly $3.9 million.
Embedded in those numbers is the suggestion UMES add intercollegiate sports opportunities for female athletes to remain in compliance with federal gender-equity laws as well as the assumption the university would also develop a full-fledged marching band.
“That is a sizeable investment,” Bell said, “And it does not include the estimated $21 million in capital funds needed for improving existing facilities and building new ones, including a football stadium.”
Bell met with the 17-member task force this morning to provide the panel copies of the Alden study along with a charge to evaluate the consultant’s findings.
“I’m looking for these volunteers to draw on expertise from their respective fields to provide their assessment of what is contained in the report and what is best for UMES,” Bell said.
Bell asked the task force, chaired by Dr. Earl S. Richardson, to complete its work by December. Dr. Richardson is a UMES alumnus and president emeritus of Morgan State University, which fields a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference football team.
Once the task force completes its work, the university will then focus on making a decision on whether to add intercollegiate football at UMES.
The Alden study focuses on the projected investments UMES would need to make for a team to compete in the Football Championship Subdivision. Specifically, the report addresses scholarships, financial aid, coaches, uniforms, travel and facility needs.
Once a determination was made that a study was necessary to make an objective decision about re-establishing a football team, the study was paid for with $35,000 raised for the Hawks for Football Fund within the university’s foundation.
Eleven of MEAC’s 13 member institutions field football teams that compete against such institutions as the University of Delaware, James Madison University and Towson University. UMES has produced 25 NFL players to date, including Hall Of Fame offensive lineman Art Shell.
UMES currently fields teams in seven men’s sports and eight women’s sports at the Division I level. The university also has a club team recognized as a sanctioned student activity through the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.
Long before Norfolk State became known for completing one of the biggest upsets in college basketball history, the Spartan Legion thrived. Once a staple of CIAA entertainment, the Spartan Legion has been wowing crowds up and down the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference since 1997. The Legion consists of 250 staff, student musicians and dancers and has performed at events both stateside and internationally. In addition to cheering on both the 2011 MEAC football champions and the 2012 MEAC Basketball Tournament Champions, the Legion has also performed for President Obama.
Watch the Norfolk State University Spartan Legion perform “Be Scared” at the 2012 Labor Day Classic vs. Virginia State.
HAMPTON, Va. – After dominating the MEAC for the past three years, the Hampton University women’s basketball team is looking score big non-conference wins in 2013. The team released its 2012-13 schedule, on Thursday. It includes three non-conference home games and two in-season tournaments.
The three-time defending MEAC Tournament champion will open the season on Nov. 9, when they travel to Hattiesburg, Miss. to take on Southern Mississippi, before squaring off against Mississippi State on Nov. 12 in Starksville, Miss.
Fourth-year head coach David Rix and the Pirates will have their home opener Nov. 16 , when they welcome LSU to the Convocation Center, before taking on Chicago State at home on Nov. 18.
From there, Hampton will head to the U.S. Virgin Islands on Nov. 22-24 for the 2012 Paradise Jam, in which it will square off against the likes of South Carolina, DePaul, and Florida Gulf Coast. It then opens MEAC play on Dec. 1, taking on South Carolina State in Orangeburg, S.C., before heading to Savannah, Ga. to take on Savannah State on Dec. 3.
The Pirates will be in Baltimore, Md. on Dec. 7 to take on Maryland Baltimore County, before traveling to Toledo, Ohio on Dec. 20-21 for the Toledo Tournament, where they will take on Prairie View A&M and either Toledo or Evansville.
After Christmas, Hampton will head to Jersey City, N.J. on Dec. 27 to face St. Peters, before heading to Blacksburg, Va. on Dec. 30 to take on Virginia Tech. The final non-conference home game will be on Jan. 2, when they take on the ACC’s Boston College, before heading to Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6 to take on American in their non-conference finale.
After playing at Howard on Jan. 12 to resume conference play, Hampton will return home to face Morgan State on Jan. 19 and Coppin State on Jan. 21. A trip across the James River to face Norfolk State in Echols Hall comes on Jan. 26, before returning home on Jan. 28 to face Howard.
Hampton will head to Baltimore, Md. to take on Morgan State on Feb. 2 and Coppin State on Feb. 4, before returning to the Convocation Center on Feb. 11 to take on Delaware State and on Feb. 18 to square off against Norfolk State.
The Pirates will then hit the road for the last time in the regular season, taking on Maryland Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, Md. on Feb. 23, before heading to Dover, Del. on Feb. 25 to face Delaware State.
Hampton’s last three regular season games will be at home, starting on March 2 against Florida A&M, followed by Bethune-Cookman on March 4 and before closing the regular season on March 7 against North Carolina Central.
The 2012-13 MEAC Basketball Tournament will be held March 11-16 in Norfolk, Va.
When North Carolina Central women’s head coach Vanessa Taylor helped put together her team’s 2012-13 schedule, she did so with a purpose. Coming off a season where her team finished 1-15 in the MEAC and 3-27 overall, Taylor knows recruiting efforts will be vital to her team find the talent necessary to help them find Division I success.
“We are playing a lot of regional teams to begin to assist us in area recruitment,” Taylor said. ““We think the schedule we put together will give us the opportunity to play in some highly-competitive games.”
Of the 13 non-conference games, all played before the New Year, three are at home and eight will be held in North Carolina. The other two contests are in South Carolina and Virginia. Non-conference games of note include the season-opener on Nov. 10 against UNC-Charlotte, East Carolina and North Carolina on Dec. 12.
The Eagles will kickoff their second season in the MEAC on the road against rival North Carolina A&T and close on the road against Hampton on March 7.
Though the position of Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) commissioner was filled as recently as last November, Jacqie Carpenter has had her sights on it for close to a decade.
In one of her first days as an administrator for the NCAA in 2003, the Hampton University alumna was asked about her dream job by her new boss.
“I told them I’d love to be a commissioner in a conference,” she said. “I had worked in the conference and at the institutions, but when I went to the NCAA, I got to see it from another perspective. I realized that although I loved working on the campus, I was more interested in working with a larger group of administrators.”
Little did she know, less than a decade later she would be named the conference’s first full-time female commissioner. Carpenter was hired in August and assumed her duties as head of the nation’s oldest HBCU conference Sept. 4.
“It’s humbling,” Carpenter said of her historic appointment. “We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us as a staff. Right now we’re trying to evaluate where we are and get to where we need to be, but I’m humbled to be in this position.”
Prior to being hired as commissioner, Carpenter worked in several capacities within the NCAA. She served as director of Championships and Alliances, director of the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship and on the leadership team of the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.
Dr. Mickey L. Burnim, chairman of the CIAA Board of Directors, confirmed that Carpenter’s experience working within the NCAA definitely stood out on her resume.
“She is a very talented athletics leader who brings rich and varied experience and skills from years at the NCAA,” Burnim said. “We welcome her tremendous enthusiasm for the future of the CIAA. These are the principal reasons that the board chose her to lead our conference to a higher level of excellence.”
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Three games into the 2012 season, Jordan Reid is back where he anticipated being this season–starting at quarterback for North Carolina Central. The redshirt junior from High Point impressed NCCU head coach Henry Frazier with his performance in Saturday’s 54-17 loss to Duke.
“Man, if I don’t put Jordan out there, they’re going to run me out of town,” Frazier said. “I was born at night, not last night. We’ll throw Jordan out there, we’ll hand the ball to him and give him a week of running with the starters and let him have his opportunity.”
Reid threw for 218 yards after replacing Matt Goggans in the first quarter against Duke. He completed 17 of his 26 passes and also rushed for a score.
“That was the best I’ve seen him look,” Frazier said. “He came in, he was composed; he ran the ball a little bit, he threw some strikes. I was happy for him. You could see the confidence.”
“My confidence is always high,” Reid said. “You have to have that at the quarterback position, because it’s contagious throughout the team.”
The High Point native is in his third year at NCCU. He arrived in Durham in 2009 after redshirting his freshman year at Winston-Salem State. Saturday will be his second collegiate start, both of them coming at Savannah State.