Sunday, January 31, 2010

2010 Honda Battle of the Bands

ATLANTA, GA - Set against a colorful backdrop of dynamic performances by eight of the nation’s top Historically Black College and University [HBCU] marching bands, a reverent marching band tribute to the late music icon Michael Jackson, and all the hype of a live performance from hip-hop artist, Ludacris, the 2010 Honda Battle of the Bands (HBOB) Invitational Showcase had a crowd of more than 55,000 “shaking their bodies down to the ground.”

In the end, the 2010 Honda Battle of the Bands concluded with the message of unity for humanity, evident in much of the “King of Pop’s” music and in several marching band dedications to the Haitian relief effort. The 1,800 student musicians and 55,000plus fans were inspired to reflect on the role they play in making the world a better place. HBCU friends, fans, students and alumni traveled from all over the United States to enjoy the 2010 Honda Battle of the Bands, the lineup of which included:

Albany State University “Marching Rams” (Albany, Georgia)
Clark Atlanta University “Mighty Marching Panthers” (Atlanta, Georgia)
Florida A&M University “Marching 100” (Tallahassee, Florida)
North Carolina Central University “Marching Sound Machine” (Durham, North Carolina)
Prairie View A&M University “Marching Storm” (Prairie View, Texas)
Southern University “Human Jukebox Marching Band” (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
Tuskegee University “Marching Crimson Pipers” (Tuskegee, Alabama)
Virginia State University “Trojan Explosion Marching Band” (Petersburg, Virginia)


The multi-faceted show was a virtual musical menagerie, blending the latest chart-topping R&B and Hip-Hop, pop, rock, funk and more. And, as a special treat, Atlanta-native and award-winning Hip-Hop artist and actor Ludacris was a featured special guest, performing his latest single “How Low”, from his highly-anticipated new album, Battle of the Sexes, before his hometown crowd.

We now take you to the Georgia Dome, Atlanta for yestersday's big show. Enjoy!












Saturday, January 30, 2010

Jackson State Tigers get pledge from Yazoo City's King

JSU Coach Rick Comegy is snatching his share of blue chip players on the "must have lists" of 1-A programs.

Jackson State landed a TKO on Thursday night. No, really. Yazoo City linebacker Taurice King, nicknamed "TKO" for his vicious hits, visited the JSU campus in the afternoon and had verbally committed by the time the day ended- giving the program its biggest name of the recruiting season. The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder will bring 4.5 40-yard dash speed to the rover position. The second-team All-State selection chose JSU over Alabama, Memphis and Alcorn State (where his dad played basketball). Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Southern Miss had offered scholarships.

"The school compares to a (Division I) SEC school to me," King said. "(I go) sideline to sideline and hit hard. "TKO, baby. They call me the 'Gridiron King' around here." King was given a three-star rating by Scout.com and received two stars from Rivals.com. He finished the season with 132 tackles and played in the Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Classic.

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JSU Tigers 2010 Commitments
1. Taurice King, LB, 6-2/230, 4.5/40 dash, Yazoo City, MS 3-Star
2. Torrey Harkness, QB, 5-11/186, Los Angeles Southwest Junior College
3. Chris Gilzeane, LB, 5-11/225, Stone Mountain High School, Georgia
4. Thurman Byrd, Jr., DT, 6-2/263, 5.36/40 dash, Seminole High School, Sanford, Florida (Ranked No. 35 in the Orlando Sentinel's Central Florida Top 100). Byrd collected 52 tackles and a season high nine during a 21-20 win against Mainland Sept. 25. Seminole (9-3) advanced to the 6-A region semifinals where it lost a 31-10 contest to Winter Park.
5. William Golston, WR, 6-3/185, 4.4/40 dash, Murphy High School, Mobile, AL

Tennessee State 2010 Football Schedule Announced

TSU head football coach Rod Reed














The Tennessee State University football team will return to the Circle City Classic at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN for the 2010 season. TSU will be matched against Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) foe North Carolina A&T University. The Aggies will replace Southern University on the Tigers 2010 schedule. TSU’s last appearance in the Circle City Classic was in 2005 when they dropped a16-3 decision to North Carolina A&T in the RCA Dome.

The Tigers will again participate in four “Classic” games against traditional rivals from the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). Coupled with their seven game Ohio Valley Conference schedule, the Big Blue will play an eleven-game schedule including four games on their home turf, LP Field in Nashville, TN.

The “Classic” match-ups begin on Labor Day Weekend, September 4th with the John Merritt Classic in Nashville, TN against Alabama A&M (SWAC), then on to Memphis, TN, Sept. 11th against Jackson State (SWAC). On September 25th the Tigers travel to Atlanta, GA to face off against Florida A&M (MEAC) and on October 2nd to Indianapolis, IN to battle North Carolina A&T (MEAC).

In Ohio Valley Conference play, TSU will host Austin Peay State on September 18th in the annual Bikers’ game. Road trips to Southeast Missouri State and Jacksonville State follow on October 9th and 16th respectively. The Tigers end the month of October hosting Tennessee Tech on October 23rd, followed by an open date on October 30th. The Big Blue finishes their regular season schedule hosting Eastern Illinois for Homecoming on November 6th and finishing with road games at Tennessee Martin and Murray State on November 13th and 20th respectively.

Tennessee State University -Tentative 2010 Football Schedule
Date Opponent Location Time
9/4 Ala. A&M Nashville, TN 6 pm John Merritt Classic, LP Field
9/11 Jackson State Memphis, TN 6 pm So. Heritage Classic, Liberty Bowl
9/18 Austin Peay Nashville, TN 6 pm Bikers’ Classic, LP Field
9/25 Florida A&M Atlanta, GA TBA Atlanta Classic, Georgia Dome
10/2 N.Carolina A&T Indianapolis, IN TBA Circle City Classic, Lucas Oil Stadium
10/9 SEMO* Cape Girardeau, MO TBA
10/16 Jax State* Jacksonville, AL TBA
10/23 Tenn. Tech * Nashville, TN 6pm LP Field
10/30 O P E N
11/6 Eastern Illinois * Nashville, TN 5 pm, Homecoming, LP Field
11/13 Tenn.-Martin* Martin, TN TBA
11/20 Murray State * Murray, KY TBA

Savannah State Football Coach Robby Wells Resigns

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Robby Wells announced that he is resigning from his position as head football coach at Savannah State University for personal reasons. Wells’ resignation will be effective immediately. “I have decided to resign as head football coach at Savannah State University for personal reasons,” Wells said. “At this point I have to think about my family and my health before I can think about anything else. I wish the players well as they pursue their dreams on and off the field. My thoughts and prayers will be with them as they continue to progress in their collegiate career.”




Marilynn Suggs, interim athletics director, has appointed Julius Dixon to serve as interim head football coach. Dixon served as the Tigers defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach for the past two seasons. He was recently moved to defensive line coach. “SSU’s athletics department has accepted Coach Wells’ resignation and wish him well in his future endeavors,” Suggs said. “We are confident that Coach Dixon will do a great job in the interim as we begin our search for a head football coach. Coach Dixon will have the full support of the athletics administration as we move forward into signing day and spring practice.”

Wells became SSU’s 21st head football and compiled a 7-15 record over the span of two seasons. The Tigers finished with a 5-7 record in 2008 and a 2-8 record in 2009. Wells came to SSU after serving as defensive coordinator and football marketing director for one season at Benedict College in Columbia, S.C. Prior, Wells served as the General Manager for the Augusta Spartans Arena Football Team in 2006. Wells got his first coaching job at an HBCU in 2002, serving as the defensive coordinator at South Carolina State University from 2002-2005. SSU will begin a nationwide search to find a replacement immediately.

Opinion on Robby Wells' departure

"The Ayatollah" -- SSU Vice President for Administration, Dr. Claud Flythe

I think Savannah State University Vice President for Administration Claud Flythe made a good decision. I don't know the specific reason behind Robby Wells' resignation as SSU's football head coach Thursday after two seasons at the helm. Wells is saying it's for personal reasons, and that he's going to focus on his health.But read between the lines. Flythe is supporting Wells' explanation. But I believe with all of my heart that Wells was given a choice to either resign or be fired. Theo Lemon was given the same choice. He told SSU to fire him.

I believe Wells sealed his fate when it was revealed publicly last Friday night that 28 players will not participate in spring practice (15 players quit the team, 13 players are ineligible). Once Flythe (whose nickname is "The Ayatollah") learned about this, I believe he offered Wells the choice of either resigning or being fired.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Gaither, Galimore Among Black College Football Hall of Fame Inductees

Former Black College football standouts Walter Payton and Jerry Rice and coaches Eddie Robinson and Jake Gaither are among the 11-member inaugural induction class of the Black College Football Hall of Fame. The Black College Hall of Fame, established last year by former quarterbacks James Harris and Doug Williams to honor the greatest players and coaches from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), will honor the inaugural class at its first enshirement ceremony Feb. 20, 2010 in Atlanta. The class of eight players, two coaches and one contributor was selected from a field of 260 nominees and 35 finalists.

Payton played at Jackson State from 1971-74 and later finished his pro career as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. Payton is already a member of the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame. Rice had an All-American career at Mississippi Valley State and went on to set several receiving records in the NFL. Rice is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and a finalist for this year’s Pro Football induction class.


Chicago Bears RB Willie Galimore (Florida A&M Rattlers)

Robinson spent 56 years as the coach at Grambling State University, winning 405 games and nine Black College championships while sending more than 80 players to the NFL and AFL. The award presented annually to the top coach in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) is named in his honor. Gaither won 203 games and six Black College titles during his 25 seasons at Florida A&M. Gaither was famous for saying he wanted his players ‘agile, mobile and hostile.’

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From: http://www.blackcollegefootballhof.org/

WILLIE GALIMORE
Willie “Gallopin’ Gal” Galimore, as a running back at Florida A&M University from 1953 to 1956, was all-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference choice four times and was named a Black College All-America by the Pittsburgh Courier three times. The Rattlers won four conference championships while Galimore was at FAMU and one Black College National Championship. He played for the Chicago Bears from 1957 to 1963, before passing away tragically at the age of 29 in an auto accident in Rensselaer, Indiana, on July 27, 1964. As FAMU’s all-time leading rusher, Galimore averaged 94 yards per game and was the Rattler’s first 1,000-yard runner (1,203 yards in 1954).



JAKE GAITHER
Coach Alonzo “Jake” Gaither spent 24 years at Florida A&M University, from 1945 to 1969, amassing an astonishing record of 203-36-4. His teams won 18 Conference Championships and were Black College National Champions six times. In a 10-year streak, from 1953 to 1962, his teams went 87-7-1. His “split line T” offense was adopted by several major college programs, and he retired in 1969 with a .844 winning percentage, the best ever among all NCAA coaches. In 1975 he was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.

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Alabama State Hornet's Barlow shakes up staff

Alabama State football coach Reggie Barlow has again made significant changes to his coaching staff, including replacing both coordinators. Former Grambling State head coach Melvin Spears has been hired as the Hornets' new offensive coordinator. Cedric Thornton, who served as ASU's linebackers coach last season, has been promoted to defensive coordinator. Barlow confirmed the hiring of Spears, who will be ASU's fourth offensive coordinator during Barlow's three-year tenure, but said he wasn't prepared to discuss other staff changes.



















ASU Hornets head football coach Reggie Barlow.


Jo Nixon, who told the Montgomery Advertiser that he recently resigned as ASU's defensive coordinator to become the defensive ends coach and special teams coordinator at Texas Southern, said Thornton had been promoted to coordinator before his departure. Thornton becomes ASU's third defensive coordinator under Barlow. Nixon also confirmed that offensive line coach Kenneth Ray has been terminated. "I am very excited to have Melvin Spears joining our coaching staff," Barlow said in a statement released by ASU's sports information department. "He is an outstanding coach and will be a big asset to our program."

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UAPB Hires New Assistant Coaches for 2010

Arkansas-Pine Bluff Head Football Coach Monte Coleman has announced the additions of Jerry Mack, Vernon Dean and Dennis Winston to the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff coaching staff. Jerry Mack will serve as Offensive Coordinator and coach quarterbacks at Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Arkansas native spent the previous two seasons as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator at Central Arkansas. In his first season at UCA, the Bears had one of the Southland Conference's most potent offenses and had two receivers named All-SLC Honorable Mention - including Eric Ware, who was later signed by the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL.

Dean arrives to Pine Bluff after spending last season at Fort Valley State where he coached outside linebackers. The Houston, Texas native spent seven seasons in the NFL tallying 22 interceptions and winning two Super Bowls with the Redskins. Winston spent a total of 10 seasons in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers and New Orleans Saints winning two Super Bowl rings with the Steelers. The Arkansas native spent the 2009 season at Mississippi Valley State where he served as defensive line coach under former MVSU head coach Willie Totten.

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Morgan State -- Maryland Agree in Principle to Meet in 2010 Football

COLLEGE PARK, MD - Maryland and Morgan State have agreed in principle to meet in football during the 2010 season, officials from the schools said Tuesday. It would be the first time the universities - located just 36 miles apart - have played in football. The game, which would be played at Byrd Stadium in College Park, would mean that Maryland's non conference schedule would include two in-state schools. The Terps are already scheduled to face Navy next season at M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore).

Maryland is also scheduled to renew its rivalry with West Virginia next season in Morgantown. No announcement has yet been made by Maryland or Morgan State pending the signing of contracts. Reached by The Baltimore Sun, two Morgan athletic officials and a Maryland official said Tuesday that an agreement had been reached in principle and that details could be completed soon. They all said the game would be played in September.


Playing Maryland would give Morgan State, a Football Championship Subdivision team that plays in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, a chance to gain valuable media exposure. The men's basketball team upset Maryland last season and later reached the NCAA tournament. The Bears began 5-1 in football last season and finished 6-5, 4-4 in the MEAC. The team's toughest non conference game last season was against Akron, which won, 41-0. Morgan State football coach Donald Hill-Eley declined to comment. "As soon as the school has a signed contract, he'll be the first one to speak with you," Morgan State athletics spokesman Leonard Haynes IV said.

----------------
Morgan State is scheduled to play the following programs listed below in 2010. The Bears are seeking one out-of-conference money game to replace Akron. Local rival Towson is not on Morgan's schedule for 2010 and the Tigers are scheduled to play at Indiana in a Thursday night, Sept 2, money-game opener. Expect MEAC newcomer North Carolina Central University Eagles to replace Towson and to play the Bears in Baltimore. Winston-Salem State University Rams drops from the Bears schedule as they move back to the CIAA and Division II.

Morgan State 2010 Football Schedule
At University of Maryland
Home Bethune-Cookman University
At North Carolina A&T State University
At Howard University
Home Delaware State University
At Florida A&M University
At Norfolk State University
Home South Carolina State University
Home Hampton University

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Feeling of urgency grips Jackson State's Coach Comegy, staff

New recruiting class could be pivotal one for program

Rick Comegy sat at his desk Thursday afternoon surrounded by papers, binders, phone numbers and other files. The rest of his coaching staff sat in a meeting room just outside the door, phones nearby and video of players showing on a projector screen. It must be recruiting season. Comegy has cut off most contact with the outside world as he focuses on what could be the most important recruiting class of his four-year tenure at Jackson State.

An unexpected 3-6 record, 3-4 in the SWAC, in 2009 created a state of unrest around the program. Fans were irate with a scoring offense ranked No. 109 in the Football Championship Subdivision and it showed at the gate; JSU has had a lower home attendance just once since 1978. Offensive coordinator James Woody and offensive line coach Bruce Johnson were relieved of their duties.

Now, there's an unquestioned sense of urgency among the coaching staff to prove naysayers wrong. "I don't want people to misconceive what we do at Jackson State and the type of football that we have," Comegy said. "I think people look at that 3-4 record and think it's dead around there. "We're winners around here. I'm not used to losing. That's why I'm emphasizing so hard."

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Defensive Slate for Mississippi Valley Delta Devils Football

Mississippi Valley State University Delta Devils new head football coach Karl Morgan brings 21 years of coaching experience to Valley.

Miss. Valley tabs Morgan as coach

ITTA BENA, Miss. — Mississippi Valley State on Monday named Karl Morgan as its new head football coach. Morgan, a native of Houma and a former defensive line coach at both Nicholls State and Southern, spent the past five seasons as defensive coordinator at North Alabama. Morgan replaces Willie Totten, who stepped down Nov. 30 after eight seasons as the head coach of his alma mater. Morgan was introduced Monday on campus. A standout defensive lineman at Vandebilt Catholic and UCLA before playing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Houston Oilers and the Saskatchewan Rough Riders, Morgan has 21 years of coaching experience, including stints as defensive line coach at Nicholls State, Southern, Purdue and Arkansas State and as defensive coordinator at Alcorn State, Hampton and North Alabama.

UNA was a Division II semifinalist in 2005 and 2008 and a quarterfinalist in 2006, 2007 and 2009. Morgan got his start in coaching as the head football coach at Central Catholic High in Morgan City from 1989 to 1992. After spending the 1994 season as the defensive line coach at Nicholls State, Morgan spent 1995 as the defensive line coach at Southern. That year, SU went 11-1 and won the black college national title.

Valley introduces new football coach

Mississippi Valley State University’s new football coach, Karl Morgan, has “experience, professionalism, discipline, energy and a demonstrated winning attitude,” Interim Athletic Director Donald Ray Sims said Monday. The selection of Morgan, the former defensive coordinator at the University of North Alabama, was announced at a press conference. Morgan, a 48-year-old Louisiana native, will replace Willie Totten, who resigned after eight years as head coach. Valley has had only 13 winning seasons in its 58-year history. Morgan said he actively pursued the position.

“I went after this job full of energy and excitement,” he said. “I heard about all the things about consolidation, scholarships and all that kind of stuff. It did not deter me. I saw potential and I saw opportunity here.” After cleaning out his office at North Alabama, he plans to return to Valley on Wednesday. He said he already had a prospective staff put together and plans to serve as defensive coordinator as well as head coach. “The staff has been put together for the most part, but everybody has to now get away from where they’re at,” he said. “Some are going to take some time, as far as two-week notices and all that kind of stuff.”

Morgan has 21 years of coaching experience including stints as defensive line coach at Nicholls State, Southern University, Purdue University and Arkansas State University. He has also served as defensive coordinator at Alcorn State University, Hampton University and North Alabama. North Alabama, an NCAA Division II program, was 55-10 during Morgan’s five years as defensive coordinator. This past season, his defense led the Gulf South Conference in scoring defense, total defense and passing defense.

Valley fans ready to support new football coach

Greenwood-area Mississippi Valley State fans are excited about their new coach, and most of them hope Karl Morgan will recruit the Mississippi Delta more heavily. Morgan, a 48-year-old Louisiana native, replaces Willie Totten, who resigned Nov. 30 after eight years as head coach. Valley had a 3-8 record this year this past season. It was the sixth losing season for Totten, who went 31-58 at the helm of his alma mater. Morgan spent the past five seasons as the defensive coordinator at North Alabama, one of the nation's top NCAA Division II programs. The Lions went 55-10 during Morgan's stint as defensive coordinator. This past season, Morgan's defense led the Gulf South Conference in scoring defense, total defense and passing defense.

Greenwood High School football coach and athletic director Clinton Gatewood, a former Valley player, is excited about meeting Morgan and learning how the new coach plans to turn things around in Itta Bena. "One of our former players, Leroy Collins, played under Morgan at North Alabama, and he loved him as a coach," Gatewood said. "I would love to see coach Morgan recruit the talent in the Delta a lot more because we have a host of talent in this area." Fred Ford, an assistant football coach at Amanda Elzy and a former player at Valley, believes his alma mater selected the right man for the job.

New hire embraces task

ITTA BENA, MS - Karl Morgan knows exactly what he's getting into as the new coach at Mississippi Valley State. He knows that the program can't fill the 63 scholarships allotted to Football Championship Subdivision teams. He knows Gov. Haley Barbour has proposed consolidating Valley and Alcorn State into Jackson State. He knows some of his assistant coaches will have to teach classes. Morgan, formerly the defensive coordinator at North Alabama, doesn't care about any of that.

"It wasn't a deterrent because I think I can be successful raising money," he said. "We're going to be proactive. We're going to hit everybody that we think has some money. If you ask, you can find. "We just need the basics so we can compete. There's a lot of things we need that we probably don't have. But there's not going to be any buyer's remorse. We're going to get it done." The first words out of Morgan's mouth after being introduced by interim athletic director Donald Sims were, "I want to be here." He needed the Valley faithful to understand that he actively pursued the job, looking for an edge by calling several contacts and even getting some help from his two sons to put together a PowerPoint presentation for his interview. A collegiate assistant coach since 1993, this is the head coaching opportunity Morgan has been looking for.

MVSU names new head football coach

Former UCLA standout Karl Morgan has been named the new head football coach at Mississippi Valley State. Morgan, who has served as defensive coordinator for NCAA Division II powerhouse North Alabama for the past five season, was announced as the man to replace MVSU legend Willie Totten on Tuesday. Totten, who starred as a quarterback for Valley during the 1980s, went 31-57 during his eight seasons as the head coach in Itta Bena. The Delta Devils were 3-8 last season. Morgan was defensive coordinator at Alcorn State in 2001 and also coached at Southern University in 1995. He played two years for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was captain of UCLA's 1983 Rose Bowl Championship team.

NOTE: Valley brought five candidates to the campus last week for interviews and public forums. In addition to Karl Morgan, the university interviewed Charlie Brown, ex-head coach at Savannah, Ga., High School; Sam Washington, Grambling State assistant and a former MVSU defensive coordinator; Richard Wilson, head coach at Arkansas Baptist; and L.C. Cole, head coach at Stillman College.

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New Beginning for Southern Jaguars Football

Southern University Coach Lyvonia ‘Stump’ Mitchell: "Football games aren’t won in that September, October and November. They’re won in that spring and summer workout programs," Mitchell said. “That’s something the guys are going to have to understand. But that’s all secondary to getting their butts to class.”

Stump has big shoes to fill

Wednesday marked a new day in Southern's football rich history. A day the school hadn't seen in 17 years. At 9:30 that morning, inside the J.S. Clark Administration Building, when new Jaguars coach Stump Mitchell stepped to the podium and adjusted the microphone to fit his 5-foot-9 frame, a new era begun. It was the first time a football coach other than Pete Richardson had addressed the schools administration and alumni in almost two decades. It was Mitchell's first time on campus. As a matter of fact, it was the first time Mitchell had ever seen the campus.

To be clear, leadership atop the SU football program changed hands not because Richardson was 6-5 the past two seasons with consecutive losses in the Bayou Classic. Not because he had gone ringless since 2003, by far his longest drought without a Southwestern Athletic Conference championship during his time. But because he wasn't producing at, well, a Pete Richardson-like pace. From 1993-2009, Richardson stockpiled a hefty 134-62 record, claiming five SWAC titles and four Black College National Championships. Three of those championships came in a three-peat from '97-99. Since then, things changed.

Mitchell begins to woo critics

Complaints? Concerns? Criticism? Even before Stump Mitchell became Southern University’s new football coach, he heard about them all. Oh, did he hear about them. Over the phone. Over the Internet. From overhead, down below and every other angle. Mitchell said he heard all the stories about upset fans: about the crowd that said his hiring was an outright tragedy, about the groups of alumni who threatened to not renew their season tickets, about the people who said he’ll wind up begging for work in a few years.

To sum it up, Southern’s choice of Mitchell wasn’t roundly accepted. In time, he said, he will win over the critics. “That’s another thing I have to do, and I understand that,” he said. “I’m excited to be here. And trust me: You all are going to be excited to have me here. That’s just the bottom line. I came here to do a job, and I’m going to get the job done.” Mitchell started the campaign that first day, attempting to pound out the dents in his armor, doing his best to please the crowd. He said that as a high-school recruit, he simply wasn’t tall enough or strong enough to earn a scholarship offer from Southern. Heck, he barely earned a scholarship offer from anywhere.

Mitchell says it starts in classroom

He rose from his chair, walked toward the lectern and adjusted the microphone to suit his 5-foot-9 frame. He rested his hands on either side of the wooden box. All the while, a smattering of Southern University fans, alumni and faculty members clapped, quietly and politely. Then Stump Mitchell started to speak. He praised his predecessor, Pete Richardson, noting all the success Richardson had in 17 seasons. “I don’t have to create history,” he said. “I just to have to try to repeat history.” Then Mitchell got to brass tacks.

A mere 14 seconds into his first public speech as the Jaguars’ new football coach, he outlined what seemed to be his first priority within the program. It had little to do with recruiting, video equipment, or so much as a new set of hip pads. “More than me trying to repeat history is the players on this football team,” he said. “(They) have to try to repeat history — not necessarily on the football field, but in the classroom. “I’ve got problems coming in here. I’ve got 12 guys who are trying to learn a new system who won’t be able to participate in spring ball. That’s a problem. We’ve got to fix that. It’s got to start with discipline.”

Southern introduces Mitchell as new coach

Ricky Diggs was thrilled. No, Southern University officials weren’t there to introduce him. Alumni weren’t there for him. None of the fans had come to inspect Diggs, size him up, to judge for themselves if he was a good fit for the program. On Wednesday morning, those people gathered on the second floor of the J.S. Clark Administration Building to see and hear Stump Mitchell, who, at long last, addressed a crowd as Southern’s new head football coach.

Still, Diggs sat quietly, a few feet to Mitchell’s right. A full head of snow-white hair sat atop his head. He wore a sharp suit, a fedora and a grin that doesn’t come with a price tag. This wasn’t his day. But it sure felt like it. More than 30 years ago, Diggs was a running backs coach at The Citadel, where a certain 5-feet-9 ball of energy — Mitchell — was on his way to becoming the school’s all-time rushing leader. “He’s a far better person than he’s ever been as a football player. That comes across immediately,” Diggs said. “Sometimes people can put on a fa├žade. And eventually, their true colors are going to show. But Stump was always the same.”

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Chicago Bulls -- Lindsey Hunter

Chicago Bulls guard Lindsey Hunter, a SWAC Hall of Famer who played basketball at Alcorn State and Jackson State, is defying the odds. The average NBA career is just five years, but Hunter is in his 17th season. Only Shaquille O’Neal, in his 18th season, has been in the league longer. This season, the average NBA player is 27.71 years. Hunter celebrated his 39th birthday on Dec. 3 and is the oldest player in the league.

The Detroit Pistons used the first of their back-to-back first round picks to select Hunter 10th overall in the 1993 NBA Draft, one spot ahead of University of Tennessee guard Allan Houston. Everyone else in 1993 draft class has moved on. Most notably No. 1 pick Chris Webber is an analyst on TNT’s NBA telecasts; Houston works in the New York Knicks’ front office, and Sam Cassell, the 24th pick, is an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards. Not Hunter, even though he said two years ago that he planned to retire at the end of the 2007-08 season. “I say that every year,” says Hunter, who is in his second season with the Bulls. “The biggest reason (for continuing to play) is I love the game. I really love the game of basketball.”

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3-Time BCU All-American Ash moves to Oklahoma

NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma hurdler Ronnie Ash and triple jumper Will Claye have been named to the pre-season watch list for the 2010 Bowerman Award, collegiate track and field's top individual honor. With only 10 individuals named to the watch list for the award that is the equivalent to the Heisman, the Oklahoma Track and Field program is one of only two in the nation to have multiple athletes on the watch list joining the University of Oregon with two athletes.

Both athletes enter the 2010 season with NCAA titles to their name as Ash, a junior and recent transfer from Bethune-Cookman, won both the 60-meter hurdles and 110-meter hurdles NCAA titles in 2009 and Claye, a sophomore, claimed the NCAA outdoor triple jump title. A newcomer to the OU program, Ash arrives in Norman as the nation's top-ranked collegiate hurdler having won the 2009 NCAA titles in the 60- and 110-meter hurdles. The junior from Raleigh, N.C., was a three-time MEAC Champion while at Bethune-Cookman and earned three All-America honors as well.

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Delaware State University cuts two sports programs

Athletic Director Derek Carter and DSU may soon be facing Attorney Ronald G. Poliquin, who cited the fact that both the women's equestrian and men's tennis teams are comprised almost entirely of white student-athletes at a historically black college.



DOVER, Delaware - Delaware State University announced on January 13, 2010, that it will eliminate two sports programs to address budgetary issues and to help the institution's other athletics programs become more competitive within its Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). The University will drop the men's tennis and women's equestrian programs at the end of the 2009-2010 athletics year. The university will continue to honor its financial commitment to the student-athletes who are impacted by this decision and will assist those interested in transferring to another institution of higher education.

The DSU athletics budget is approximately $12 million during the current 2009-2010 athletics year - the largest budget among institutions within the conference. DSU Athletics Director Derek Carter said that the Board of Trustees has recommended that the athletics budget be reduced to a level that is more comparable with the top teams in the MEAC. "The five MEAC institutions that are below DSU in what they spend on athletics all have budgets that are $8 to $9 million this year," said Mr. Carter. "Couple that with the tough economic times that this University is facing, it is impossible to justify such a disparity between DSU and the other top institutions' athletics spending."

Mr. Carter said that DSU regrets the impact this decision will have on the affected student athletes. "We know today's announcement is not good news for our Men's Tennis and Equestrian team members, their dedicated coaches and their faithful supporters," the DSU athletics director said. "While we hope that the student-athletes from the affected teams will continue to attend DSU, we will understand if they decide to transfer to another institution and are prepared to assist them any way we can."

The DSU athletics director said he recommended making the announcement at this time to give the student-athletes as much opportunity as possible to weigh their future directions. The elimination of men's tennis and women's equestrian will reduce the number of DSU intercollegiate athletics teams to 15. In 2009, the University dropped its wrestling program. There are no plans to eliminate any additional DSU sports programs at this time, Mr. Carter said. DSU President Harry L. Williams said while the decision to drop the programs "was extremely difficult," it is nevertheless consistent with his vision of excellence for the overall athletics program at DSU.

"We want all of DSU's athletics teams to be competitive and win championships in the MEAC. But it is impossible to support all our teams toward that end with a budget that is spread too thin," said Dr. Williams. "While it is not a decision we wanted to make, we are confident that it is in the best interest of the overall athletics program and the University as a whole."

Dr. Williams added that as a founding member of the MEAC, Delaware State University has an obligation to continually strive to be a strongly competitive institution within the conference. "This reduction in the number of sports programs helps DSU continue to be a strong permanent partner of the MEAC," the DSU President said. Mr. Carter said that the elimination of the two sports will save the University almost $700,000. He said he will be recommending other cost saving measures that can be implemented to enable the athletics budget to most effectively support the remaining 15 DSU sports programs.

Both the university's men's tennis and the women's equestrian teams will continue to compete in their respective remaining 2009-2010 seasons. DSU will continue to field and support its remaining 15 NCAA Division I sport programs. Those include the women's sports of basketball, bowling, cross country, indoor and outdoor track, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball, as well as the men's sports of basketball, football, indoor and outdoor track, baseball and cross country. All of the remaining DSU intercollegiate teams compete in the MEAC with the exception of the women's soccer team, which plays in the Great West Conference.

Delaware State equestrian team may ride to court

DOVER -- There is a place for a women's equestrian team at Delaware State University, its members said Thursday, one day after the school announced it was eliminating the program to cut costs. The complete roster of riders assembled at Delaware State's Administration and Student Services building Thursday afternoon -- including three on horseback -- to protest the school's decision. DSU will also eliminate men's tennis.

The Equestrian team has a 100 percent graduation rate, has served more than 400 hours of community service, has raised $50,000 by itself to help fund the program and has an average grade point average of 3.0. "Sometimes the only way to remedy these kinds of problems is to go to court."

Attorney Ronald G. Poliquin and team member Morgan Scuse addressed DSU's Board of Trustees for a little more than five minutes. No members of the men's tennis team spoke at the meeting. DSU athletic director Derek Carter said the school's decision was final. "Of course it was a difficult decision and a lot of thought went into arriving at the decision," Carter said. "The decision was made and approved by the board. It is final." The team, which has several meetings scheduled with school officials over the next couple of days, is not so sure about that. It did not rule out taking Delaware State University to court to save the program.

Poliquin cited the fact that both the women's equestrian and men's tennis teams are comprised almost entirely of white student-athletes at a historically black college. "In a school that celebrates diversity, it certainly smells bad," Poliquin said. "I think African-American students, caucasian students and Asian-American students should look at this as a sad day at Delaware State. "Sometimes the only way to remedy these kinds of problems is to go to court."

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Norfolk State wide receiver Chris Bell enters NFL draft

Norfolk State wide receiver Chris Bell, who left Penn State after a host of legal and academic issues, announced Thursday he is leaving school a year early to enter April's NFL draft.



The Virginian-Pilot reported the NFL Advisory Board informed Bell he could be selected anywhere from the fifth to seventh rounds, and Bell is working out in New Jersey preparing for the draft. Bell (6-3, 210) caught 51 passes for 958 yards and 13 touchdowns and was Norfolk State's best receiver. The rest of the team combined for just five touchdown passes and 1,279 yards. "Once the NFL said he was draftable, it was pretty clear he was gone," Norfolk State coach Pete Adrian said. "I wish him the best."

2010 Hall of Fame Inductees Announced by MEAC

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announced today the five members of its' 2010 Hall of Fame Class that will be honored during a banquet on Friday, March 12, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the M.C. Benton, Jr. Convention Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. "We are excited to recognize another outstanding class of inductees who have made a significant impact on their institutions and our conference during their collegiate days and beyond," said Dennis E. Thomas, MEAC Commissioner. "I'd like to congratulate the 2010 MEAC Hall of Fame Class for all of their achievements both athletically and professionally."

The Hall of Fame Class will be honored in conjunction with the 2010 MEAC Basketball Tournament, held March 8-13 at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum (LJVM) in Winston-Salem. Enshrinees were selected by an 11-person committee made up of administrators from each member institution. The MEAC Hall of Fame includes former student-athletes, coaches, university and/or conference administrators as well as special contributors, who have enriched the legacy of the conference since its inception in 1969.

The MEAC Hall of Fame inducted its first class on May 29, 1981, during a 10-year anniversary banquet in Greensboro, N.C. Since its establishment in 1981, the Hall of Fame has enshrined 103 people, including the Class of 2010.

The 2010 MEAC Hall of Fame Inductees are:

Inducted as a Student-Athlete:
Rickey Anderson, South Carolina State: was the first South Carolina State football player to surpass the 1,000 yard mark with 1,195 total yards. In 1977, he guided the Bulldogs to a 6-0 conference mark en route to their fourth consecutive MEAC title. That same year, he earned All-MEAC First-Team accolades and was named the MEAC Offensive Player of the Year. The 1977 Associated Press College Division All-American holds the school record for career averages per carry (6.5; 1974-77). Anderson was a third-round draft choice by the San Diego Chargers in the 1978 National Football League (NFL) draft. He was inducted into the South Carolina State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006 and was a member of the South Carolina State Centennial football team in 2008.

Jacquay Nunnally, Florida A&M: was a three-time football Division I All-American at Florida A&M, who led the Rattlers to the NCAA Division I FCS (formerly I-AA) playoffs in 1997-2000. He is second all-time in NCAA Division I FCS football record books in career pass receptions with 317 for 4,239 yards and 38 touchdowns. Nunnally holds the NCAA Division I FCS record for most yards gained by a freshman during a game in his 284 yard performance on October 11, 1997 against North Carolina A&T. He caught 13 passes in the victory. Nunally led the FCS in 1998 in receiving with 96 receptions for 1,316 yards and 12 touchdowns. The four-time All-MEAC First-Team honoree (1997-2000) was named the Black College Player of the Year in 1998 and 2000. He concluded his collegiate career with 362 catches and was inducted into the Florida A&M Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

Ira Smith, Maryland Eastern Shore: led the nation and was the NCAA Division I batting champion in 1989 (.488) and 1990 (.519). Smith is sixth all-time in the NCAA Division I record books with the highest season batting average of .519 (1990) and 14th all-time with a .431 batting average from 1986 and 1988-90. Smith was Maryland Eastern Shore's Valuable Player in 1989 and had a career batting average of .330. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1991 Major League Baseball (MLB) draft and played professionally up until 1999. He was inducted into the Maryland Eastern Shore Hall of Fame in 2004.

Ted White, Howard: served as quarterback for the Howard football team from 1995-1998 and was named the MEAC Offensive Player of the Year in 1996. He holds the MEAC and school record for passing completions (638), passing yardage (9,908) and touchdown passes (92) during his tenure at Howard. White set the MEAC record for a single-game best mark in passing yards with 561 and eight TD's against Florida A&M on October 17, 1998. He leads the MEAC with 1,169 passing attempts and 9,845 total offensive yards in his four-year career. White played professionally in the NFL for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1998 and the Kansas City Chiefs in 1999.

Inducted as a Conference Administrator:

Ed Hill, Howard: has served as the Sports Information Director at Howard for over two decades (1983-present). The talented writer's stories have appeared in USA Today and the NCAA News. Hill is a member of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) and Black College Sports Information Directors of America (BCSIDA). He is also active in the Washington, DC community where he served as head coach and co-founder of the DC Warriors basketball program and as a counselor for the National Youth Sports Program (NYSP). Hill is also an adjunct professor at Howard where he teaches a course on Sports and the Media. He has worked 283 consecutive Howard football games and has not missed a game since the 1984 season. In 2005, Hill was honored by CoSIDA as the Bob Kenworthy Award recipient for his community service outside the profession. He was honored by CoSIDA again in 2009 when he was presented with the 15-Year Service Award. Prior to his appointment at Howard, Hill was a staff writer for the Winston-Salem Chronicle and the Black College Sports Page. He has also worked as a news aide and freelance writer for the Washington Post.

FAMU marching band picked to perform at Super Bowl pregame show

Florida A&M University's marching band has been selected to perform in the Super Bowl XLIV pregame show at Dolphin Stadium on Feb. 6 -- and they're rehearsing a tribute to Michael Jackson. This marks the third time in five years that the marching "100" has been invited to participate in a Super Bowl. "We are extremely honored and proud to be selected by the National Football League to perform during the pregame show," said Julian White, director of bands and chair of FAMU's Department of Music, who received a telephone call from the entertainment director for the National Football League.

"To be invited for a third time in only five years is confirmation that we give a quality performance," Dr. White said in a news release issued by the Tallahassee school on Tuesday. "It is only fitting that we salute the King of Pop for the world to see," White said. (Read More, Click Blog Title)



Thursday, January 7, 2010

FAMU Rattlers 'Hawk' Dawson finally wings his way into MLB Hall of Fame

Former Florida A&M University Rattlers baseball star and alumnus, Andre Dawson (1973-75) was the lone inductee to Major League Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday. A graduate of Miami's Southwest High School, Dawson will be enshrined on July 25, 2010 in Cooperstown, NY., 15 days after his 56th birthday.

OTTAWA, Canada — Baseball graduated its 2010 Hall of Fame class on Wednesday, which turned out to be a class of just one player: Andre Dawson. At last, The Hawk is in the Hall. A joyous day, not just for the elegant outfielder and his cast of supporters, but for fans of the Montreal Expos, able to reflect on another fond figure from their long-gone ball team. Dawson, in his ninth year on the ballot, received 77.9 per cent of the vote, comfortably past the 75 per cent margin. He leaped more than 10 per cent in the voting by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America after reaching 67 per cent last year.

Dawson, angular, powerful and fleet in his youth, had Hall of a Fame markings in his 21 seasons with four clubs, but was severely hampered by injury late in his career. It wasn’t character that slowed Dawson, but a pair of bad knees, preventing this “five-tool” player from posting automatic Cooperstown numbers. Dawson finished his career as a .279 career hitter with 438 home runs, 1,591 runs batted in and 314 stolen bases. He was the National League’s rookie of the year with the Expos in 1977 and the 1987 NL most valuable player with the Chicago Cubs. Eight times he was an all-star and 12 times he underwent knee surgery. In history, only Willie Mays and Barry Bonds shared Dawson’s combination of at least 400 home runs and 300 stolen bases. (Read more, click main blog title)

'Well worth the wait' for baseball hall inductee Andre Dawson

The Hawk has a new nest: the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. Andre Dawson, considered by some to be the best player ever produced by the Montreal Expos, was elected Wednesday to the baseball shrine — the only player to make the cut this year in voting by the Baseball Writers Association of America. "It was well worth the wait. I can’t really describe the elation," Dawson, who made the Hall on his ninth try, told reporters on a conference call. "If you’re a Hall of Famer, eventually you’re going to get in, no matter how long it takes."

Dawson appeared on 77.9 per cent of the ballots, after falling 44 votes short last year of 75 per cent needed for induction. A strong-armed outfielder whose speed and power on the diamond and class off it made him a fan favourite, Dawson played 21 seasons for four teams (the Expos, the Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and Florida Marlins), hitting 438 home runs, collecting 1,591 RBIs and stealing 314 bases. He is one of only three players in MLB history to hit 400 home runs and steal 300 bases in his career. Willie Mays and Barry Bonds are the others.

Dallas Green recalls Andre Dawson 'blank check' signing

Most free-agent negotiations are conducted under clandestine circumstances, far from the prying eyes of the public and media. But in 1987, for all to witness during spring training in Mesa, Ariz., free agent Andre Dawson and agent Dick Moss demanded the immediate and undivided attention of Cubs management. Dallas Green, then the Cubs' bombastic general manager, took umbrage at the fact the future Hall of Famer and Moss showed up with a blank contract. Green huffed and puffed, then referred to Dawson and Moss as "a dog and pony show."

I was the Tribune's Cubs beat reporter at the time, and In the Wake of the News columnist Bob Verdi and I thought the entire surreal scene was made for TV, as well as newspapers. I spoke with Green on Wednesday about the scene and he provided some background. "It all started in 1984 when we won (the division) and I had to sign all of those guys to multiyear contracts, and big contracts," said Green, 75, now the senior adviser to the general manager of the Phillies.

"You know, Rick Sutcliffe and Steve Trout and Scott Sanderson and Dennis Eckersley. ... I had to re-sign all of those guys because they were on one-year deals. It took a pretty good chunk of dough. And, of course, in '85 we didn't do too well, and in '86 we struggled a little, as well. It was where Tribune Co. finally had to put (its) foot down and say, 'Hey, we're approaching the payroll we want to be at.' I said, 'Well, I love this guy (Dawson)'.

Andre Dawson receives just due with Hall of Fame election

Never one to sweat the details, Andre Dawson is happily on his way to Cooperstown. A man who generated respect along with run production throughout his 21-year career, six of his most satisfying seasons coming when he was based at Wrigley Field, Dawson will take his place in the Hall of Fame alongside Ryne Sandberg, who like "The Hawk" knew Wrigley before there were lights. There was never a real question of Dawson's Hall of Fame worthiness -- anyone who saw him dominate the National League with the Cubs and Montreal Expos knew he had earned his spot among baseball's greats. The question was how long he would have to wait, and that finally was answered Wednesday.

Dawson, whose signing with the Cubs in 1987 was one of the most amazing stories in team history, was more gracious than he needed to be on the subject of hard-to-convince voters. "The wait isn't a big factor in the scheme of things," said Dawson, 55, who was a huge fan favorite on the North Side. "You get frustrated when people say, 'When are you going to get in?' and you don't have an answer for that. As I sit here now, I think it was well worth the wait."

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Howard Bison 72, Navy Midshipmen 65

Howard Uses Late Run to Push Past Navy, 72-65

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Howard men's basketball team outscored Navy, 9-0, in the final minute of play to hand the Midshipmen a 72-65 setback on Monday night. The loss snapped Navy's modest two-game winning streak and drops Navy's record to 6-9 overall. Howard improved to 2-13 with the victory. Navy has lost six straight games away from Annapolis and has a 1-7 record away from Alumni Hall, entering Saturday night's Patriot League opener at Bucknell.

"We didn't do enough tonight for 40 minutes to be successful. When we don't play together, we aren't going to beat anyone," said Navy head coach Billy Lange. "We were careless defensively and didn't show enough patience on offense. It just seemed we got antsy in the second half and weren't patient enough. When we were, we got any shot we wanted." Howard was aided by seven three-point plays. Three of the seven came on fouled three-point shot attempts, while the Bison also connected on four and-one opportunities. "It's just a lack of focus, and we didn't close out on shooters properly," said Lange. "Our heads were somewhere else."

Final Stats

White, Collins Lead Balanced Attack In Win Over Navy

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Curtis White scored 12 of his game-high 21 points in the second half and Dadrian Collins added 10 of his 15 after intermission to lead Howard to a 72-65 win over Navy in a non-conference men's basketball game at Burr Gymnasium. The Bison (2-13), who snapped a five game losing streak, rallied from a 36-30 halftime deficit on the scoring of White and Collins who combined for 12 of the team's points during a key 15-9 run that tied the score at 45-all.

Buoyed by the run, Howard embarked on an 11-4 run to open up a 56-49 lead at the 10:48 mark of the second half. This time it was Mike Phillips and Calvin Thompson who keyed the run as they combined for 8 of the points. But the scrappy Mids (6-9) put together a rally of their own, a 16-6 spurt that helped them regain the lead at 65-63 with 3:08 remaining.

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Hampton Pirates 78, Fordham Rams 54

Senior 6'-8" forward Michael Freeman took the Atlantic-10 Fordham Rams to school scoring 18 points, 10 rebounds in leading the Pirates inside attack.








Freeman's fourth double-double of the season leads HU to rout of Fordham

HAMPTON - — It's always nice to come home after a long trip … even if nobody's at the house. The Hampton Pirates put together their most complete performance in their first home game since Nov. 23, pounding Fordham 78-54 Sunday at the Convocation Center. And while there weren't many in attendance — just 342 showed up for the rare Sunday night game, even with free admission — those who were there got to see the Pirates (3-10) in rare form.

The 24-point margin of victory is Hampton's biggest since a 65-31 win Dec. 1, 2007 against Howard. The Pirates snapped a five-game losing streak and gave coach Edward Joyner Jr. his first home win. Their 51 percent field-goal shooting is a season-best, and they won the rebounding battle 42-31 — the first time they've done that all season. "We wanted more rebounding, and we got it," Joyner said. "We wanted better shooting, and we got it. The only thing we have to work on is turnovers (21, including 13 in the second half). Some of that was being ahead by a lot in the second half, but we need to play the complete 40 minutes."

Final Stats

Hampton Pounds Fordham

HAMPTON, Va. – The Hampton University men’s basketball team started 2010 strong, beating the Rams of Fordham University 78-54 at the HU Convocation Center on Sunday night. It was Hampton’s largest margin of victory since the Pirates beat Howard 65-31 on Dec. 1, 2007. The Pirates also snapped a five-game losing streak and gave interim head coach Edward “Buck” Joyner Jr. his first home win. Hampton (3-10) went on a 15-5 run late in the second half to pull ahead to its largest margin of the night, 69-37 with 5:25 to play after a 3-pointer from Brandon Tunnell (Wilmington, Del.). Fordham closed the game on a 17-8 run, but the Pirates’ lead was so large at that point, the Rams couldn’t complete the comeback.

Michael Freeman (Alexandria, Va.) led the Pirates with 18 points on 5-for-9 shooting and an 8-for-9 performance from the free throw line. Freeman also pulled down 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. Vincent Simpson (Philadelphia, Pa.) scored 11 points for the Pirates, who shot a season-best 51.0 percent (25-for-49) from the floor and 5-for-11 (45.5 percent) from 3-point range. Read More...

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Is Southern, SWAC any good?

1. What’s the state of men’s basketball in the SWAC?

Not good. Not good at all. Seventeen years have passed since 13th-seeded Southern upset Georgia Tech in the NCAA tournament. Nowadays, the SWAC is simply not competitive. Take last year’s champion, for instance. Alabama State cruised through the league with a 14-4 record ... won the SWAC tournament ... and lost in the NCAA play-in game. The SWAC has taken at least a few corrective steps. It moved the conference tournament from the archaic, crumbling Fair Park Arena in Birmingham, Ala., to the modern CentruyTel Center in Bossier City. And next year, the tournament will end a week earlier, giving the champion more time to prepare for the NCAAs.

2. Where does Southern stack up?

Who knows? The Jaguars were hardly world-beaters in nonconference play; they were blown out by the likes of Utah, Brigham Young and Southeastern Louisiana. They have just two wins in 12 games. Then again, that’s two more wins than they had entering SWAC play last year. They have shown glimmers of hope, as well, with better play at the point, bench players with potential and some inside muscle. As the conference schedule begins, they at least have a chance to finish in the top half of the league. Any doubts? Please refer to Question No. 1.

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Morgan State 61, Coppin State 50

Senior guard Corin Adams hit five three pointers (career high) and 25 points for the Lady Bears in their victory over the Lady Eagles.

BALTIMORE, Md. --Corin Adams scored a game-high 25 points and Brittany Noel came off the bench and added a career-high 14 points to help visiting Morgan State to a 61-50 victory over cross-town rival Coppin State on Saturday afternoon in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) opener for both teams at the Physical Education Complex on the campus of Coppin State. The 11-point victory for Morgan State is its largest margin of victory over Coppin State in 11 years, since a 76-53 win over the Eagles on March 4, 1999 in a MEAC Tournament quarterfinal game in Richmond, Va. It is also Morgan’s largest regular season road win at Coppin since an eight-point (63-55) victory at the Coppin Center on Jan. 5, 2008.

With the win, Morgan State (4-8, 1-0 MEAC) put an end to its season-long five-game losing skid, which it had to close out the 2009. The victory was also the Lady Bears’ third consecutive MEAC opening win against the Eagles and spoiled Coppin’s first conference opener in its new facility. Adams, the MEAC Preseason Player of the Year, shot 9-of-21 from the field, including a game- and career-high five three-pointers (5-of-10) for Morgan State, which has now won three of the last five meetings over its city and league rivals. Adams also added five rebounds, a team-high five assists and recorded a game-high two of Morgan State’s three blocks.

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

SU choice Mitchell prepares to lead Jaguars

Thursday night, across the nation, millions of people chugged champagne and threw confetti, preparing for the new decade. Stump Mitchell sat in a room by himself on the East Coast, ostensibly working two jobs at once. At the moment, he is the assistant head coach and running backs coach of the Washington Redskins. Next week, he is in line to become the new head coach at Southern University. He can’t come out and say that exactly. But he’s certainly preparing that way.

On New Year’s Eve, Southern offered the position to Mitchell, who has spent the last 11 seasons as an NFL assistant coach but only three as a college head coach. Mitchell can’t say yes to the offer until next week; the Redskins finish their season Sunday at San Diego, and after that, he must meet with team management. “I can’t accept the job until I talk with our legal counsel,” he said. “I will get that opportunity next week. Then, everything should occur like we want it to.” In the meantime, he has started to put a plan in place.

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