Saturday, April 25, 2009

Howard's Cooper like every other player: just waiting

After what he calls an "interesting" football career at Howard University, Endor Cooper is like every other college player, anxiously waiting for the results of the 2009 NFL Draft this weekend. He's not sure when or if he'll be selected during the seven-round event, but today and Sunday will determine his future in football. "I'm like the rest of the players," Cooper said, " everybody's wait-ing to see what happens."

Even if he's not picked this weekend, Cooper could be a non-drafted free agent pick up for a team. He said his agent, Greg Hale, told him a week ago that as many as nine teams expressed interest in the 2004 Hylton grad.

Cooper, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound linebacker, could be a quality addition to an NFL club after putting together an impressive senior season with the Bison. He was the lone bright spot on the Howard (1-10) defense, recording more than twice as many solo tackles than any other player on the team with 71. His 98 total stops were nearly as many as any two Bison combined. He was named to the All-Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference first team defense.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Bozeman signs five-year deal with Morgan State

Todd Bozeman now has the MEAC's second-highest annual salary.

Todd Bozeman, who delivered Morgan State's first NCAA Division I basketball tournament berth this season, met a Thursday deadline by signing a five-year contract to remain as Bears coach. Attorneys for both sides negotiated most of the day into the early evening before Bozeman, 45, signed a deal that gives him the second-highest annual salary in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. His base salary is $182,000, ranking behind only Delaware State's Greg Jackson at $225,000 in the MEAC.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to be a college basketball coach," Bozeman said. "I welcome the opportunity to continue to coach my guys." Dr. Earl S. Richardson, Morgan's president, issued a statement to The Baltimore Sun, saying: "We're pleased. We think we have a contract that works for the university and for Coach Bozeman."

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Morgan State gives Coach Bozeman an ultimatum

Coach Bozeman results speak well about his value to Morgan State and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Bozeman is the 2009 Hugh Durham Mid-Major Coach of Year; produced consecutive postseason berths for a program that had one winning season in the 26 years before he got there; won the last two regular-season MEAC titles, and gone to the NIT and the NCAA.

At the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament in mid-March, commissioner Dennis Thomas went out of his way to tell the media they needed to give Todd Bozeman and Morgan State more credit for the school's remarkable turnaround in basketball. Better he should have addressed Morgan's president, Dr. Earl Richardson, who seems to conveniently have forgotten March Madness almost as soon as it ended for the Bears. Almost five weeks after Morgan made its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division I tournament, Bozeman still doesn't have a new contract. His original three-year deal, at a university-friendly salary of $135,000 per year, has expired.

Negotiations that started before the season have gone nowhere. Last week they reached a nadir, when the school gave Bozeman an ultimatum: officials told the coach to take their offer or they would pull it off the table. This for the coach who produced consecutive postseason berths for a program that had one winning season in the 26 years before he got here. Bozeman's Bears have won the last two regular-season MEAC titles, and gone to the NIT and the NCAA.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Quarterback Calvin McNairl stands out at TSU scrimmage

Photo Gallery: TSU's Blue and White scrimmage

Calvin McNairl finished the 2007 season as Tennessee State’s starting quarterback. On Saturday he took a step toward being the starter when the 2009 season kicks off. “The most exciting thing today was that Calvin did a great job directing the team up and down the field,’’ TSU Coach James Webster said after McNairl outshined the other quarterbacks in the annual Blue and White game at Hale Stadium. “He was a threat throwing the football and he was a threat running the football.”

McNairl led the white to a 6-3 victory by engineering the only touchdown scoring drive. He accounted for 64 of the 70 yards (36 passing, 28 rushing) on the drive.
Terrence Wright capped the drive with a 2-yard run into the end zone. While about 1,000 fans watched the white take on the blue Webster and his offensive staff paid more attention to how well McNairl and the other quarterbacks performed. They’re locked in a battle to replace Antonio Heffner.

McNairl spent last season redshirted. The former Henry County star had stepped in as a freshman in 2007 for Heffner, who was injured in the final four games. While McNairl sat the year out the Tigers inherited a pair of transfer QBs – Dominique Grooms from Missouri and Jeremy Perry from Middle Tennessee State - who moved ahead of him on the depth chart.

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‘Ugly’ but ‘decent’ too: Pough cautiously optimistic after SCSU Garnet and Blue game

Oliver “Buddy” Pough took an openminded approach toward Saturday’s annual Garnet and Blue game at Oliver C. Dawson Stadium. With several new faces looking to make a strong impression before 3,177 fans at the culminating scrimmage of the spring practice, Pough truly did not know what to expect. The best-case scenario was to have both sides of the football make big plays and display stretches of consistency. What started out as potentially a convincing win by the Blue team (defense) saw it edge out the Garnet (offense) 17-16.

“It was a spring game,” Pough said. “You see some ugly stuff. You see some pretty decent stuff. It looked like we’re still defensively a little bit ahead and that’s always a good thing because if you can stop people you’ve got a chance to win. So I think that was the case today.” Down 11-0 in the first half, the Garnet rallied to tie the game at 16-16 with 1:24 remaining following a 40-yard field goal in the fourth quarter by Blake Erickson. The Pensacola, Fla., native was a perfect 3-3 in the scrimmage, adding attempts from 20 and 25 yards and an extra point.

VIDEO- 2009 SPRING GAME HIGHLIGHTS: http://thetandd.com/vgallery/#vmix_media_id=3822868

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Delaware State Holds Annual Red/White Spring Game

DOVER, DE - Quarterback Anthony Glaud threw for one touchdown and ran for another to help lead the Red Team to a 27-0 win over the White Team during Delaware State's annual Red/White Spring Game on Saturday, April 18 at Alumni Stadium. The Red Team out-gained the White 279-94 in total yards, accumulating 215 yard through the air on 17-of-25 passing and two touchdowns. Glaud led all passers with 120 yards on 8-of-11 passing, including a 25-yard touchdown pass to Erick Jones. Jones led all Red receivers with four catches for 84 yards and a touchdown. Halfback Jason Randall registered 34 yards on eight carries, including a nine-yard touchdown run to give the Red Team an early 7-0 advantage.

DSU Alumni Stadium

Boston College transfer Chris Johnson completed 5-fo-16 passing for the White Team for 52 yards. Johnson shared snaps with Nick Elko, who threw for 29 yards on 3-of-8 passing for the White Team. Cincinnati transfer Tahree McQueen led the White Team with yards rushing on the ground on five carries. Wideouts Travis Tarpley (35 yards) and Justin Brewton (28 yards) led the White Team with two catches each.

All three quarterback took snaps as part of the Red Team as Elko and Johnson started the contest playing for the White Team. On the day, Johnson completed 9-of-20 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. The Paterson, N.J., native was a perfect 4-of-4 for 58 yards and one touchdown (an 11-yard completion to Donnell Dixon) as a member of the Red Team. Elko threw for 66 yards on 8-of-18 passing on the day.

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Jaguars defense steals the show during SU game

Final score: defense 38, offense 14.

A.W. Mumford Stadium started to empty out. Most players, splattered with water and mud, retreated to a set of shower heads. A few others lingered on the field. Southern University’s spring football finale had wrapped up Saturday, and the Jaguars defense had scored a convincing TKO of the offense. Still, the trash-talking continued. Defensive coordinator Terrence Graves shuffled to a spot near midfield, where he sized up wideout Juamorris Stewart — the only receiver who, against a revamped secondary, did pretty much whatever he wanted.

Graves offered up a shove. It was payback. The way he saw it, officials hadn’t flagged Stewart for pass interference all afternoon. “No one called a push-off,” Stewart admitted, flashing a grin. “Those were some nice refs out there today.” At any rate, on a gray, drizzly Saturday afternoon at SU, spring practice officially reached the finish line. From any angle, Graves’ unit got the best of the Jaguars offense.

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Jackson State receiver can't shake SWAC championship loss to Grambling

JACKSON, Miss. -- Keenan Tillman was little more than a pleasant surprise in 2008. The Jackson State receiver started all season - an accomplishment for any freshman. His numbers (23 receptions, 300 yards) weren't mind-boggling, but they were more than acceptable for someone who was supposed to be overshadowed by three upperclassmen on an offense that didn't exactly make opposing defenses sweat.

Jackson State wide receiver Keenan Tillman takes a hit from TSU's Nahshon Bigham. Tillman got a first down on the play as the ball pops out.

Apparently, "acceptable" didn't sit well with Tillman. "After that (SWAC) championship game, it left a bitter taste in my mouth," he explained. "I don't know ... by the end of this year I don't want that same taste in my mouth. "Every time I go in the weight room and am getting tired, I think about that game and what Grambling did and how they embarrassed us." If the 2009 spring session is any indication, it will be Tillman embarrassing defensive backs in the fall.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

FAMU Rattlers inconsistent in last spring football practice

Taylor does a simulation of Delaware State

Running back Philip Sylvester made his usual big runs. Quarterback Curtis Pulley found a few gaps and his backup Eddie Battle connected with receivers in spots. There were even some big hits by the FAMU's defense, but coach Joe Taylor didn't see the consistency he'd hoped for during Thursday's final spring football practice.

"We've got to finish; every play, every quarter, every half," Taylor said. "It's been a great spring, but I don't know if today was a good finish. "I don't know if the intensity was where it should have been today. I don't think we saw the kind of intensity that we needed to see." Cornerback Curtis Holcomb said he would have especially liked the defense to go out with a little more momentum.

Photo Gallery: Last Spring Practice

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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Addition of Texas Southern underwhelming at best

Texas Southern's AD Charles McClelland takes step up from Texas College and Texas State by adding road games with Louisiana-Monroe and Rutgers to Tigers 2009 schedule for Coach Johnnie Cole second season.

Rutgers loads schedule with cupcakes -- Howard Bison (Sept. 12), Texas Southern, Florida International and Army.

The Scarlet-White game is tomorrow, Rutgers Stadium’s expansion is taking shape and the open slot in the "Rutgers University" 2009 schedule has finally been filled. With Texas Southern. From the Southwest Athletic Conference. Really.

I’m not knocking the thought of a second Football Championship Subdivision (I-AA if you will) opponent, but when Morgan State and Norfolk State look like USC compared to these guys, excuse me if I’m a little underwhelmed. Texas Southern was all of 4-8 last season, falling to mighty 6-6 Arkansas State in a close 83-10 slobberknocker. Three of its four wins were against non-Division I opponents Shaw, Texas College and Concordia College, and they were an impressive 1-6 in the SWAC.

To Rutgers’ credit, it’s not like they didn’t try to get a better opponent. “We have worked diligently for months to complete our 2009 schedule with a Football Bowl Subdivision team,” Athletic Director Tim Pernetti said in a press release. “We were unable to convince any of the institutions with openings to come to Rutgers, including numerous BCS conference opponents.” If they waited this long and worked this hard to try to schedule a better opponent, so be it. I commend that effort. But to settle for Texas Southern is unacceptable. But there are still a bunch of positives to come out of this.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Coach K won't say if Casey Printers his type

But ex-Ticat welcome at tryouts, Kelly says

He's been labelled a clubhouse cancer and a prima donna. And if you were to paint a picture to best describe quarterback Casey Printers' days with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, it would almost certainly involve a mushroom cloud, an enormous crater and several kilometres of scorched earth. And now, just a few weeks after vehemently denying any interest in his services, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are tap-dancing around weekend reports emanating from a Vancouver radio station that Printers is suddenly in their plans.

QB Casey Printers (Florida A&M Rattlers - 2002) has dropped in one season with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from the top paid player in the CFL to unemployed professional quarterback.

"It's beyond me how this story has taken on a life of it's own," head coach Mike Kelly said from San Diego, where the Bombers conducted a free-agent tryout camp on the weekend. "Right now, we're just looking for good players (the club has two more camps scheduled in the next month). These are open tryouts. Joe Montana might walk out and say, 'Hey, I want to throw the ball around' and we'll say, 'OK, let's see what you got.' "I can't turn anybody away from these workouts."

That may be true, but despite his considerable skill set and his glowing credentials -- Printers was the CFL's Most Outstanding Player in 2004 -- the Bombers have until this point repeatedly spit out a polite "no thanks" when his name popped up in recent weeks. They vehemently denied interest in him in January when rumours surfaced that Printers would be traded to the Bombers for Kevin Glenn. And last month, when Printers was cut adrift by the Ticats, the Bombers took a pass on him as well.




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ASU moves ahead with plan to upgrade athletic facilities

Excerpt:

ASU's board of trustees ap­proved two proposals in recent weeks that call for the construc­tion of a new football complex and a complete overhaul of the team's practice field, including the installation of synthetic turf. The football complex project, which is still in the "early plan­ning stage," will cost the school around $6 million, according to Kippy Tate, ASU's vice presi­dent for buildings and grounds, and has an estimated time of completion of 18 months. The new two-story building will be approximately 25,000 square feet and will be located on the north side of Hornet Stadium, where the school's old bus barn currently stands.

Under those current plans, which Tate said are far from be­ing finalized, the bottom floor of the facility will contain the stan­dard facilities for players, in­cluding a locker room, trainer's room, meeting areas and an aca­demic center for tutoring of all student-athletes. The second floor will primarily consist of coaches' offices, a lounge and meeting areas. The field project, which will cost the school around $900,000 and is close to entering the bid­ding stage of the process, should be completed prior to fall drills in August. The new Sprinturf synthetic turf will be identical to the turf in place at Cramton Bowl, where the Hornets play their home games.

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McDonald gives JSU Tigers motivated backup QB

In an ideal world, Jackson State coach Rick Comegy would carry five quarterbacks on the roster. He has just three this spring, and a lot of that has to do with Dedric McDonald. The JSU coaching staff was very selective during the recruiting process last year and just a few quarterbacks drew interest. None signed, but it wasn't the end of the world. "Dedric puts us, not in a comfort zone, but we know we've got a guy that can throw the home run, hit the soft pass and can run," Comegy said. "He does make up for saying, 'Well, we didn't get that guy.' "

McDonald redshirted his freshman year after graduating from Morton. He ran the scout team all year, going against one of the best defenses in the nation on a daily basis. At 6-foot-5, 200 pounds, McDonald stands tall in the pocket and seems to put a perfect spiral on every pass. His arm strength has never been questioned, but his touch has improved since last year and he's carrying himself much differently. "He does throw a very catchable ball, Dedric just seems so natural," receiver Keenan Tillman said. "The difference in Dedric, his first year he accepted that he was a redshirt. This year ... he's more into it. He wants to compete for that starting job.

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Taylor sees good things at FAMU scrimmage

Rattlers All-American KR LeRoy Vann

There were enough good signs during Saturday's practice for Florida A&M football coach Joe Taylor to beam with optimism about his team. Running back Philip Sylvester toyed with the interior defensive linemen, then darted through some holes to score twice. Receiver Kevin Elliott made a leaping catch for another touchdown and quarterback Curtis Pulley showed more efficiency with his passes.

On a scale of 1 to 10, Taylor rated the performance by both the offense and defense as an eight. He also said the team will begin preparation for its season opener against Delaware State, starting with the final two spring practices next week. "We are doing some good things, and like I told them -- all you ever want in life is a chance," Taylor said. "You give yourself a chance when you're competitive. I'm very, very convinced that we will be very competitive this year."

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DSU Hornets' title dream spoiled by Nebraska

CANTON, Mich. -- Delaware State's bid for its first NCAA title in any sport ended when the bowling team lost 4-2 to top-seeded Nebraska in the national semifinals Saturday. The No. 7-seeded Hornets were ahead 2-1 before the Cornhuskers won the last three games. "I am so proud of our team, and how hard the ladies worked all season long," said coach Kim Terrell-Kearney. "Certainly we are disappointed in coming up short of the championship, but we met our match [Saturday]. The loss [Saturday] takes nothing away from the great season we had."

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The Hornets were two wins away from the championship match after taking two of the first three games in the best-of-seven series. Nebraska won the first game 201-193 before Delaware State evened the match with a 215-149 win in game two. Freshman Brooke Peterson had strikes on each of her two throws. The Hornets took the lead in the match with a 204-156 victory in game three. Sophomore Angela Reynolds led the way with two strikes. Nebraska opened game four with four strikes en route to a 244-173 victory.

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President Clinton to speak at FAMU commencement

President Bill Clinton, U.S. Congressman Kendrick Meek and CNN Anchor Soledad O’Brien Keynote FAMU’s 2009 Spring Commencement

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Former President Bill Clinton will lead the line up of speakers scheduled for Florida A&M University’s Spring 2009 Commencement on May 3, 2009. President Clinton, founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation will address students slated to receive degrees at the first of three sessions beginning at 9 a.m. in the new Multipurpose Center Teaching Gymnasium. Other speakers are: U.S. Congressman Kendrick Meek and CNN Anchor/Special Correspondent Soledad O’Brien.

Elected President in 1992, and again in 1996, President Clinton will share his life lessons with graduates and challenge them to “transform ideas into action.” Since 2001, President Clinton has dedicated himself to philanthropy and public service through his foundation. He also joined forces with former President Bush with relief and recovery efforts following the tsunami in the Indian Ocean, and led a nationwide fundraising effort in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

During the early morning session, the University will present an Honorary Doctorate to Elder Ernest Ferrell, President of the National Primitive Baptist Church. Ferrell, a native of Tallahassee, is active in the community and also serves as president and CEO of the Tallahassee Urban League. The second commencement session will be held at 2 p.m. Meek will address the graduating class. Meek an alumnus is one of two Floridians who serves on the Ways and Means Committee and the only Floridian Ways and Means member of the Democratic majority.

Meek earned a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice in 1989 from FAMU. An experienced legislator who served eight years in the Florida House (1995-1998) and Senate (1999-2002), Meek launched the initiative to reduce class sizes in Florida schools. In 2007, Meek was appointed to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. He is one of only 12 members of Congress to represent the United States on the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. Meek is the son of former Congresswoman and alumna Carrie P. Meek.

Soledad O'Brien

At 6 p.m. O’Brien will offer words of advice to graduates. Since joining CNN in 2003, O’Brien has reported breaking news from around the globe. Her award-winning documentaries have helped the nation understand issues affecting the African-American community. One of her most recent projects include CNN Presents: Black in America, a ground breaking initiative that focused on the state of black America 40 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

O’Brien was part of the coverage teams that earned CNN a George Foster Peabody Award for its Katrina coverage and an Alfred I. duPont Award for its coverage of the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia. She has also won an Emmy for her work as a co-host on Discovery Channel’s The Know Zone.

Completing the evening session, President James H. Ammons will present Art Collins, president and CEO for Public Private Partnership, Inc., with an Honorary Doctorate. Collins is a former member of the FAMU Board of Trustees. He served as Senior Political Strategist for President Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign. Following the election he served as a public liaison with the Obama-Biden Transition Project.

The FAMU Schools and Colleges graduating at the 9 a.m. session include, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Law, the School of Architecture and Environmental Sciences Institute. The line of march for this session will begin at 8:30 a.m. Graduates are to arrive at 7:30 a.m., and doors open for the public at 8 a.m.

Students in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, School of Allied Health Sciences and the School of Nursing will be presented at the 2 p.m. session. The line of march for the 2 p.m. session at 1:30 p.m. Graduates are to arrive at 4:30 p.m., and doors open for the public at 5 p.m.

The final commencement exercise will include the School of Business and Industry, College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture, College of Education and the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication. The line of march will start at 5:30 p.m. Graduates are to arrive at 4:30 p.m., and doors open for the public at 5 p.m.

-FAMU Press Release

MVSU Softball Pounds A&M

DEVILETTES DEFEAT BULLDOGS 14-7

The Mississippi Valley State Devilettes women's softball team pushed its undefeated conference win streak to 12 with a competitive 14-7 victory over the visiting Alabama A&M Bulldogs. MVSU (28-12, 12-0 SWAC) were led by Ashley Hobbs and Haleigh Eubanks - both going 3-for-4 in the contest. Rashundra Brass, Ta'Niya Wallace and Angelia Jones each had two hits in the contest. Eubanks also drove in three runs shile Brass and Wallace each drove in two.

Alabama A&M (7-17-1) were paced by Re'Quincia Mack and Sabrina Hurns, who each had two hits in the contest. Hali Buie drove in three runs for the Bullogs. The contest opened with both starting pitchers (Buie for AAMU and Lauren Derting for MVSU) going strong for two innings. After both no-hit bids were broken by singles to left field, MVSU got on the scoreboard in the third inning as Angelia Jones homered to center field. A Eubanks single to right center gave the Devilettes a 2-0 lead after three innings of action.

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Hampton U. athletics undergoes three major coaching changes, raising issues

According to U.S. Department of Education data submitted by the schools for 2007-08, the average head coach's salary for Hampton U. men's sports was $73,000 and $42,290 for women's head coaches.

HAMPTON, VA — Hampton University will enter the 2009-10 school year with new leadership in its three most visible sports, unusual flux in what is traditionally one of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference's most stable and successful athletic programs. HU is the only Division I athletic program in the country to replace its football and men's and women's basketball coaches this year. All three replacements were hired within a matter of hours and promoted from the previous staffs or within the university.

"I consider myself to be a student of Vince Lombardi," HU athletic director Lonza Hardy said last week, referring to the Pro Football Hall of Fame coach. "Vince Lombardi said, 'Never apologize for trying to win.' Consequently, I don't apologize for putting what I believe are the right people in the right places at the right time." Though the changes within HU's marquee sports coincide with competitive dips, all three situations were different.

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BC Lions ink receiving trio

(Vancouver) - The BC Lions Football Club announced today that import receivers Dereck Faulkner, Jason Jones and Eric McCain have signed with the team. Faulkner attended Hampton University and recorded 75 career receptions for 1,017 yards and five TD's over four seasons (2003-'06). The native of Lundstuhl, Germany signed as an undrafted free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2007. Jones played three seasons at Arkansas-Pine Bluff where he became just the fifth player in NCAA history to average more than 20 yards per catch for his career. The two-time All-SWAC selection signed as an undrafted free agent with the Buffalo Bills in 2008.

McCain spent two seasons at Glendale Community College ('04-'05) and starred in the 2005 NJCAA championship game notching six catches for 177 yards earning MVP honours. After going undrafted in 2007, McCain most recently spent time with Quad Cities of the Arena2 Football League.

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Grafton pitcher Robbie Brownschidle commits to Norfolk State

Grafton High senior Robbie Brownschidle said today that he will play baseball next season at Norfolk State. Brownschidle will sign and send the paperwork to NSU within the next couple of days. Brownschidle said that between academic aid and the athletic grant he will sign, that he will not have to pay to attend NSU. Brownschidle carries a 3.65 grade point average.

Brownschidle batted .406 last season with 26 RBI and five home runs, earning Group AA All-State honorable mention honors as a first baseman. He was 5-0 pitching last season for Grafton's Region I tournament semifinalists. He is batting .350 this season for the Clippers (7-1) and is 2-1 on the mound. He has moved into the role as Grafton's No. 1 pitcher, and his only loss was a complete-game 3-2 decision at unbeaten Poquoson (9-0). Brownschidle, 6-foot, 175 pounds, said that NSU is recruiting him as a pitcher, but that Spartans coach Claudell Clark is interested in Brownschidle batting after seeing his hitting numbers from last season.

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

JSU running game to test Southern's Hall

Frazier Hall is already used to the beating he takes behind the plate. The next two days, he figures his knees will snap and crackle even more than they usually might. That’s what happens when you’re the starting catcher at Southern and you face a team like Jackson State, which tries to steal more often than Rickey Henderson. Hall knows this much: In his attempt to throw out base runners, he’ll pop up and down all weekend. “With a team like Jackson, we might pick over (to first base) a little more often, just to keep the runners honest,” said senior right-hander James Spear, who will start today’s game.

SU Jaguars Coach Roger Cador congratulates Brad McDavid after homer

“I know Frazier will be expecting them to run whenever. But we basically take the same approach with every team.” Southern (17-8) visits Jackson State (23-11) at 3 p.m. today in the first half of a two-game home-and-home series. The teams play again at 1 p.m. Sunday in Baton Rouge. (To borrow a term from soccer, these games are “friendly;” they don’t count in the Southwestern Athletic Conference standings and serve, more or less, as the traditional halfway mark of Southern’s SWAC schedule.) While the stolen base has almost vanished from baseball the last 20 years, giving way to an emphasis on the three-run homer, the Tigers have proven, the stolen base is still a deadly weapon.

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Delaware State Bowling Reaches NCAA Final Four; UMES Knocked Out in 2nd Round

Canton, Mich. --- Delaware State has reached the semifinals of the 2009 NCAA Women's Bowling Championship. Despite a 4-games-to-2 loss to No. 1 seed Nebraska in their final match today, the seventh-seeded Hornets are one of four teams remaining in the race for the national championship. DSU is competing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in team history.

Delaware State and Nebraska will square off in a rematch in one semifinal, while No. 2 Fairleigh Dickinson and No. 6 Central Missouri will battle in the other semifinal on Saturday beginning at 5:00 p.m. The winners will compete for the national championship on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. The championship match will be televised live on ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN360. A re-broadcast is scheduled for Sunday (Apr. 12) on ESPN from 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore will not repeat as NCAA Bowling Champion, losing two games on Friday in a double-elimination format tournament. The Hawks lost the first game to No. 6 ranked Central Missouri 4-0. The Hawks lost their sets 159-198,169-184,180-203,176-212. The Hawks fell to the loser side of the bracket when they faced the host team New Jersey City University, who was the No. 2 seed, and the Hawks lost 4-1-1. The sets were 200-208, 167-205,163-169,210-185, 202-202, 203-245.

Delaware State University bowling coach Kim Terrell-Kearney was named the National Tenpins Coaches Association coach of the year during the NCAA Tournament Banquet on Wednesday.

"The champion of this tournament will have certainly earned it," said Delaware State head coach Kim Terrell-Kearney, the 2008-09 National Tenpins Coaches Association and Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. "The competition is extremely tough, but we are right where we want to be. Each team is in the same position, so our chances are as good as everyone else."

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TODAY'S SCHEDULE: Fifth Round, Saturday, April 11, 5 p.m.
MATCH #13: (5) Fairleigh Dickinson University (112-28) vs. (6) University of Central Missouri (87-37) (Loser eliminated)

MATCH #14: (1) University of Nebraska-Lincoln (69-20) vs. (7) Delaware State University (119-37) (Loser eliminated)

Sixth Round, Saturday, April 11, 8 p.m. - Televised live on ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN360.
CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL (MATCH #15): Winner of Match #13 vs. Winner of Match # 14

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Remembering Marvin Webster (Morgan State), Once a Knicks Savior

He came to New York to be a savior. He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. “Can Marvin Webster turn the Knicks around?” the magazine asked. Instead, Webster — who was found dead of possible coronary artery disease in his Tulsa, Okla., hotel room Monday at the age of 56 — became one of the sadder chapters in the history of the franchise.

During a brief coaching run, Willis Reed campaigned publicly for the Knicks to sign The Human Eraser, as Webster was known, when he became a free agent. Webster had been the shot-blocking defensive hub for the rising Seattle SuperSonics during a run to the N.B.A. finals, where Seattle lost to the Washington Bullets. Reed, a great believer in post defense for obvious reasons, got his man at what was then a considerable financial cost: $650,000 a season over six years.

And then — those being the days when the league’s commissioner, Larry O’Brien, was empowered to impose compensation to the team shorn of a player — it got worse. O’Brien awarded the Sonics the Knicks’ athletic power forward, Lonnie Shelton, as well as a first-round draft choice and $450,000.

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

FAMU shows off its new gym

The FAMU men’s and women’s basketball coaches had seen their new arena many times during the past few months, but they came away from Wednesday’s official opening with many “wow moments” and promises of bringing titles to their new digs. From the freshly painted hardwood floor with logos representing the Rattlers and the MEAC to the snazzy locker rooms, coaches Eugene Harris and LeDawn Gibson said every bit of it has been inspired.

Hundreds of visitors who toured the building got a first-hand look at what Harris and Gibson felt.
Gibson, seemingly captivated by the gym, gave her impression in one word. “Man!”

The state-of-the-art, multi-million dollar arena, which seats 9,000-plus, will become home of Rattler basketball teams next season. “This is a great day in the history of Florida A&M University,” said Harris, the men’s basketball coach. “Listening to the president talk about putting this program as one of the top in the country, I was glad to hear it.”

Photo Gallery of Rattler's new gym:
http://www.kodakgallery.com/Sh..._-view_photos_button

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JSU's Braddy in limbo about 11th game

Jackson State will not be able to schedule an 11th game unless the date of the Capital City Classic is changed, athletic director Bob Braddy insists. Braddy would like to see the game against Alcorn State moved to Thanksgiving day or, at least, during that week. The switch would open Nov. 21 for another nonconference game.

"We get inquiries (about playing) all the time," Braddy said. "Certainly, we'd love to have a money game. ... We've got Southeastern Louisiana, UAB and other schools in Alabama. "We can't do anything until we have the capability of having that open date." JSU currently has open dates on Sept. 26 and Oct. 31. Braddy said they could fill the Oct. 31 slot, but would need to move the Alcorn game to avoid playing eight consecutive weeks in a row.

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NSU won't have to move Nov. 14 Delaware State game

Norfolk State picked up its first victory of the 2009 football season Wednesday. The Spartans learned they won't have to give up their valued midseason open date to re-schedule a game at Delaware State. The Hornets had asked NSU to move its Nov. 14 game to Oct. 3 so they could play a $500,000 "guarantee game" at Michigan. That would have left the Spartans playing 10 straight games without a break.

















North Carolina A&T State University athletic director Wheeler Brown holds the trump card on whether the DSU Hornets will play at Michigan for a $500,000 pay day in 2009.

Norfolk State balked at the request. With the schools at an impasse, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference commissioner Dennis Thomas had the final say. NSU President Carolyn W. Meyers was told Wednesday that the Spartans' schedule can remain as is, athletic director Marty Miller said. The conflict arose when the Hornets signed to play Michigan on Oct. 17, the same day Delaware State was scheduled to play North Carolina A&T. The Aggies agreed to move the game to Nov. 14, which is when Delaware State was scheduled to play NSU.

The Spartans weren't consulted and refused to budge from the Nov. 14 date. At a news conference last week, school officials said the MEAC schedule is set more than a year in advance, and Delaware State needed to abide by it.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Steeler report: Norfolk State corner to pay South Side a visit

PITTSBURGH, PA - The parade of potential draft picks continues this week at the South Side facility, as at least four players have been scheduled for pre-draft visits. On April 8, Norfolk State CB Don Carey will be in town. Carey has already worked out for the Miami Dolphins who are said to be extremely interested in him and will have him back the day before he is in Pittsburgh on April 7. He has also worked out for the Seattle Seahawks and they plan on having him back in for another interview next week.

The 5-foot-11, 186 pound corner had an informal interview with the Steelers at the NFL Scouting Combine. Carey plays very physical at the line and in coverage and he gets back into the play even if a receiver makes a nice head fake to get an advantage. He has also done a good job with run support. On March 20th during the Norfolk State Pro Day, he recorded a 32 1/2-inch vertical jump, a 10-foot, 2-inch broad jump, 4.20 short shuttle and a 6.87 three-cone drill time.

Don Carey miss arm tackle on Kentucky's Kyrus Lanxter. The four- year starter had the highest GPA on the Spartans team.

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Mixed results in ASU Hornets' scrimmage

Photo Gallery: ASU football offices, practice field
Photo Gallery: ASU football practice

Alabama State defensive coordinator Jo Nixon wants his players to think. It's not enough for the ASU defensive players to just play a position and execute a predetermined set of movements. Nixon wants them to understand why they're being asked to make those moves. Even more important: He wants his players to learn how an offense is going to attack in every conceivable situation, and then make the necessary adjustments before the play develops.

Year of the Hornets will be 2009 as the Coach Reggie Barlow led ASU Hornets have a schedule deep with in-state home games (see schedule below).

Because of those expectations, the first-year coordinator couldn't call the Hornets' first scrimmage of the spring on Saturday morning a defensive success. But he couldn't call it a failure, either. "We had a lot of situations today where we just didn't play very smart football -- where we weren't ready for what was likely to happen," Nixon said. "We're going to get that corrected. If you're going to play in this defense, you've got to understand how an opponent is going to attack us. We've improved in that area, but there were still some gaps."

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HORNETS' 2009 SCHEDULE (Tentative)
9/5 Concordia-Selma 7 p.m.
9/12 at Savannah St., GA 4 p.m.
9/19 Edward Waters 7 p.m.
9/26 at Miss. Valley St., MS 1 p.m.
10/10 Prairie View A&M 1 p.m.
10/17 Grambling St. 1 p.m.
10/24 Alcorn St. 1 p.m.
10/31 Ala. A&M in Birmingham 2:30 p.m.
11/7 at Jackson St., Jackson, MS 1 p.m.
11/14 vs. Southern U. in Mobile 2:30 p.m.
11/26 Tuskegee 1 p.m.

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Elmore shines in South Carolina State scrimmage

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Lennel Elmore’s smile was too big to be hidden following the South Carolina State football team’s first scrimmage of the spring Saturday morning at Oliver C. Dawson Stadium. Elmore, a former Allendale-Fairfx standout, redshirted last season, seeing the majority of his action on the Bulldogs’ scout team. Saturday morning, Elmore showed how he earned the nickname “Superman” while in Allendale, hauling in three quick hitch passes and turning them into 79 yards of offense and a touchdown.

Coach Oliver "Buddy" Pough Bulldogs are not favored to repeat as MEAC Champions in 2009, based on fan response to a MEAC/SWAC Sports Main Street poll last month. The hardcore football fans believe the FAMU Rattlers will be league champions.

“It feels great,” Elmore said. “They are expecting a lot out of me, and I just feel like I have to step up to their expectations and play to the best of my ability.”

Elmore’s ability was put on display early in the scrimmage when he snagged a pass from quarterback Malcolm Long on the third offensive series, turned up field, juked a defender and headed for what appeared to be a touchdown. Instead, officials ruled that Elmore stepped out of bounds after gaining 53 yards and marked the ball down at the 3-yard line.

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Several FAMU players stand out in spring game

The Green team of mostly starters from last year did what it was expected to do at Bragg Stadium, handily beating the Orange squad with plenty of help from a defensive unit that scored three touchdowns. But on a balmy Saturday afternoon, a handful of Florida A&M players whose Orange squad fell 48-0 performed well enough to cause an argument that they have no intentions of being overlooked. "There are about four or five guys that really showed today that they in some kind of way need to be in that 90," coach Joe Taylor said, referring to the players who will be invited to preseason two-a-days in August.

Taylor was especially impressed with Andre Jacob who led the Orange team with 40 yards rushing on 12 carries. Red-shirt freshman receiver Jeremy Tillman also showed that he could be a candidate to bring depth to the receiving corps. Last season, the Rattlers had the league's leading scoring offense with 55 touchdowns, but just two weeks into spring practice the defense is clearly a step ahead of the unit that amassed 4,299 yards last year. "Overall I was satisfied," Taylor said. "I thought we competed as a team. I was a little concerned that we were a little bit sluggish with our punts and special teams but offensively I thought we competed."




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2009 PHOTO GALLERIES:
FAMU Orange & Green Game
FAN CAM - Green vs. Orange spring game
FAMU football practice

2008--Florida Classic FAMU 58, B-CU 35
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ESPN visits FAMU
FAMU 45, N.C. A&T 7
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Coach Steven Jerry
FAMU Homecoming game

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New TSU coach wants to turn up tempo

Style of offense will take full advantage of players' talents

Lots of players are quick to say they prefer fast-break basketball over a half-court attack. Tennessee State's men's team got to experience both styles last season. With Cy Alexander as coach, the Tigers relied on the slower, half-court style. After Alexander was fired Feb. 6 and assistant Mark Pittman took over on an interim basis, the Tigers kicked it into a much higher gear. After the change, a team that started 6-16 went on a tear, winning six of its last eight games.

Not surprisingly, several players said they hoped to stick with the faster pace, and with former Auburn assistant John Cooper taking over, they'll get their wish. "One of the things I noticed is that if you look at this team at the beginning of the year and then toward the end, they averaged almost 10 points more per game,'' the 40-year-old coach said during his first news conference Monday. "I've been able to watch a little bit of videotape and get a general feel for the players in the program and I think there are some that it will certainly help their style if we're able to get out in the open court and execute."

Cooper met the Nashville media for the first time since he was named Alexander's replacement Friday. Pittman was also among those considered for the job.

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