Monthly Archives: September 2012
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.
How ugly have the first two games of Savannah State’s 2012 season been? To use a biblical term– abominable! In fact, the best question to ask about the direction of teams like Savannah State comes from The World’s All-Time Best Seller. Not to get into theology, but thinking of SSU’s losses to Oklahoma State and Florida State respectively, I am reminded of the question Jesus asked his disciples: For what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his soul?
Exchange the words “man” for “program” and there you have the Savannah State situation in a nutshell. The last two weeks this historical black university has subjected itself to brutal losses at the hands of major college football programs for $850,000.
These “money games” are nothing new in college football. Teams at the lower end of the Division I spectrum have been handed wads of cash to play teams they have no business competing against for years and in return, high-profile schools get to beat up on them. But the Tigers took it to a whole new level over the past weeks, losing the two games by a combined score of 139-0. And the Florida State game ended early thanks to
divine intervention lightning.
While SSU Athletic Director Donald Sterling has said he plans on playing at least two “money games” per year, head coach coach Steve Davenport sounded as if he wasn’t so sure about that proposition.
“You get paid for certain things, but I don’t know if at the end of the day, some things are worth the payments you get,” Davenport told the Associated Press. “But we’ll see. Those are conversations we’ll have.”
A conversation Savannah State, as well as some other HBCUs should be having is whether or not they belong in Division I. Losses like this may help the bottom line of a struggling athletic department and may be good for a cupcake win but in the long haul, they are neither good for the student-athletes or the HBCU brand in particular.
To say Savannah State is no football powerhouse is an understatement. The football team won less than 20 games total in their first ten years as a Division I-AA Independent football team. Last season, the team was the worst in the MEAC conference, posting a 1-10 record overall. Appalachian State ’06, Savannah State is not.
Simply put, Savannah State had no business out on the field with either OK State or FSU the past two weeks. Surely the coaches knew this and in their heart of hearts, even the players had to know this. I’m sure they practiced hard and talked a good game. But everyone knew what the end result would be. The coaches and administration can spin to the media all they want about “competition” but simply put, they did their program a huge disservice. What self-respecting athlete would want to play for a school that would embarrass itself and them by playing in games they have no hope, or even intention, of winning?
Prior to the FSU game, Davenport was reported to have told his team “We’re going to forget about Oklahoma State, and next week we’re going to forget about Florida State.” This was prior to the FSU game, according to the Savannah Morning News.
This is not to pick on Savannah State exclusively, though. While this may be an extreme case, it is far from a solitary one. Many cash-strapped HBCUs find themselves auctioning off games to the highest bidders in an effort to keep afloat athletic programs that just don’t have the resources to compete on a Division I level.
I witnessed this situation first hand during my time at Winston-Salem State University. WSSU announced its intention to move to Division I during my freshman year and spent the majority of my time there in transition to the MEAC. For a multitude of reasons, the money necessary to complete the move was not there in the end. Even though I was against moving back to Division II at the time, I can concede that I’m happier with them being a competitive DII school than seeing my university become the laughingstock of the college football world.
“I hate to see players put into positions where there is that much of a disparity,” the former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said in a telephone interview before Saturday’s game. Referring to Oklahoma State’s 84-point win, he added, “To see that score that we saw last week, I don’t see any positives in that.”
Me either, Lloyd. A wise man once told me, if you can’t pay for the car note and the gas, maybe you don’t need a BMW.
Overall, HBCUs are proud institutions with a spectacular history of doing more with less and making it work. No one game can change that. But in today’s Division I football, the lines between the “haves” and the “have nots” are greater than ever. Schools like Savannah State must fully weigh the cost of remaining in Division I and if they can’t do it without laying down while allowing big-time programs to get their jollies off of them, perhaps they should reassess their aspirations.
St. Augustine’s University came into Saturday’s game against New Haven with revenge on its mind but left just a little short of redemption. Twelfth-ranked New Haven came up with a 24-21 win the soggy turf at Durham County Stadium as St. Aug was unable to produce any points on its final drive.
It was a frustrating end to a frustrating game for the Falcons, who were hoping to avenge last year’s 50-14 loss to the Chargers. After a blanket of rain saturated the stadium shortly before kickoff, the game was delayed for nearly 30 minutes early in the second quarter. At that point, the Falcons led 7-0.
“Despite the weather, despite the delays, our guys came to play tonight,” said St. Aug coach Michael Costa. “They’re no. 12 in the country, we didn’t make them look like no. 12.
Shortly after play resumed, the Chargers (2-0) responded by driving down the field and tying the game after a five yard touchdown pass from Ronnie Nelson to Kameel Lashley. They added to their lead just before halftime when Chris Scifo kicked a 20 yard field goal as time expired in the first half, giving his team a 10-7.
Costa admitted his team’s performance after the delay was not as sharp as he would have liked.
“They had a little more intensity. We were a little flat,” he said. “We talked about that just before we came out, but we got it back together and we got back in the game.”
New Haven picked up where it left off as the second half started, quickly scoring on a 23 yard toss from Nelson to Jason Thompson to take a 17-10 lead with 8:09 remaining in the third quarter.
St. Aug (1-1) responded with a touchdown drive of its own, going 75 yards in 12 plays before being capped off by a five-yard touchdown run by freshman Roderick Davenport, cutting the margin to 17-14.
Just when it appeared that St. Aug had finally taken momentum from New Haven, disaster struck. St. Aug fumbled a lateral deep in its own territory and New Haven quickly took advantage, scoring on a five yard run less than a minute later and taking a 24-14 lead with 9:50 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Chargers looked to have a firm grasp on the game at that point, but it quickly unraveled when Nelson’s pass was intercepted by the Falcon’s Dante Devouse with less than five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
“We can’t make mistakes and lose focus,” Costa said. “We have to keep grinding.”
Six plays later, St. Aug’s Teddy Bacote found Brian Richards in the endzone for the second time on the day, this one a 13-yard strike through the heart of the New Haven defense and cutting the lead to 24-21 with 3:53 remaining.
The Falcons managed to stop the Charger offense on the next drive, but were pinned back at their own 10 after the punt with less than two minutes remaining and no timeouts. The Falcons managed to make a few first downs, but a failed fourth down conversion sealed the victory for New Haven.
Bacote finished 27 of 40 passing for 194 yards and two touchdowns. Richards caught 14 of those passes for 124 yards. Bacote noted that despite his team’s failure to avenge last year’s defeat at the hands of New Haven, he and his team left it all on the field.
“This shows we’re gonna battle and fight for what we want,” he said. “I’m proud of my team’s effort tonight.”
For Costa, the near-miss was a revelation on how his team has matured since last season.
“We’re doing things a lot different, we’re doing things a lot better and the kids believe in what we’re doing,” he said. “We’ve learned from last year. That shows we’re growing and maturing because we’ve learned from our mistakes.”
Bethune-Cookman at South Carolina State
Out of all the marquee games in the conference this week, this battle in Orangeburg may have the most impact come the end of the season. SC State and BCU were predicted to finish second and third in the conference respectively and both are coming off impressive non-conference wins.
SC State dominated Georgia State last week, picking up a 33-3 win in the Georgia Dome. Redshirt junior quarterback Richard Cue threw for three touchdowns and a career-high 300 yards. BCU trailed Alabama State 21-0 in the first half before reeling off 38 unanswered points to take home the MEAC/SWAC Challenge crown.
As spectacular as last week’s win was, BCU cannot get down three touchdowns in Orangeburg and expect to win the game. SC State’s defense stifled GA State and will look to do the same against BCU.
Bottom Line: Whoever wins this game will have a huge leg up come playoff time.
Old Dominion at Hampton
Hampton returns to the confines of Armstrong Stadium to find itself jumping out of the frying pan and into the fryer as it hosts local rival Old Dominion. Looking to rebound from last week’s 41-31 loss at Tennessee Tech, Hampton finds itself up against one of the FCS Division’s top teams from its backyard in ODU. The Monarchs are currently ranked fifth in the country and have supplanted the Pirates as the Tidewater’s premiere team in the division by defeating them both times the two teams have met.
Last week ODU defeated Duquesne 57-23 in it’s home opener as quarterback Taylor Heinicke threw for nearly 500 yards and four touchdowns. Not good for a Hampton team that allowed Tennessee Tech to throw for 339 yards and four touchdowns. Heinicke did, however throw three interceptions, so there may be some opportunities to take advantage of there.
Hampton’s offense will also be under the microscope to produce better numbers all around. They gained only 89 yards rushing against Tennessee Tech, averaging a scant three yards per game. The offense played better in the second half, but was still out-gained nearly 3 to 1 last week.
Bottom Line: If the Pirates hope to have any chance at an upset, the running game must be more productive and keep the ODU offense and their own defense off the field for the majority of the game.
Norfolk State at Liberty
No offense to Virginia State, but the Spartans season starts here. NSU was simply dominant defensively against VSU, recording seven sacks, 17 tackles for loss and four takeaways. Linebacker Jamal Giddens was named the NCAA’s FCS Defensive Player of The Week despite not playing in the game’s second half.
They will face a much tougher opponent this week as they travel to Lynchburg to take on Liberty. The Flames came very close to upsetting the ACC’s Wake Forest in Winston-Salem last week, eventually losing 20-17. They out gained the Demon Deacons by 70 yards Simply put– the Spartan defense will be in for a test.
Offensively, the Spartans will need more out of quarterback Nico Flores if they want to pick up the win on the road. Flores was 13 for 24 passing for just 93 yards against VSU, also throwing two interceptions. The running game was solid with 223 yards, but 64 of those yards came on one run by Brendon Riddick.
Bottom Line: Flores and the offense will have to do better if Norfolk State wants to defeat Liberty and stay ranked in the FCS Top 25.
Delaware State vs. Delaware
Delaware State definitely turned some heads last week when it defeated Virginia Military Institute 17-10 last week. This week the Hornets take on their in-state rival, Delaware. Delaware has won all three meetings between the state’s only Division I schools. The have outscored DSU 116-14 in those matchups. The Hens are ranked 15th in the FCS and are coming off a 41-21 win over West Chester.
North Carolina Central at Elon
North Carolina Central comes into this game high off of last week’s 54-31 win over Fayetteville State, their first at home since 2010. Conversely, Elon must have had a long ride down I-40 last week after the 62-0 beating they took at the hands of North Carolina.
Eagles showed some flashes on offense last week as new starting quarterback Matt Goggans continued to build a repoir with his teammates. The transfer completed 15 of 26 passes for 223 yards and one touchdown in his NCCU debut. The Eagles ground game was solid, gaining 197 yards as a collective unit.
Two areas of concern for NCCU: Tackling and special teams. Several FSU drives were prolonged by missed tackles last week and the special teams unit had both punts and kicks blocked.
Bottom line: Fundamental tackling and crisp special team play will be needed to ensure NCCU gets off to a 2-0 start.
Savannah State at Florida State
This one makes the notable list for all the wrong reasons. One week after an embarrassing 84-0 loss, Savannah State is listed as a 70 1/2 underdog to Florida State. On the bright side, at least the ride to Tallahassee to pick up the check is closer than the flight out to Oklahoma last week.
Bottom line: SSU can’t lose any worse than last week. Can it?
Howard At Rutgers
West Va. State at NC A&T
FAMU at Oklahoma