Saturday, March 31, 2012

ASU Freshman Turning Heads on the Field

ALBANY, Georgia - It's track time for the Albany State “Running Rams”. ASU hosts the Alice Coachman Invitational Saturday, but the early focus for the ASU team has been with the field events.

Only five meets in to her college career, freshman CreeAnn Perkins is throwing the discus and shot put with the best in the nation. Perkins has placed first in both events three times netting SIAC Athlete of the Week awards in the process.

At the Morehouse Relays, Perkins earned a seventh place national ranking for a discus throw of 43.57m. Whether Perkins was expecting it or not, success has come quickly for the Golden Ram freshman. “I thought I would have to work harder to get it and it kind of came a little bit easier,” Perkins said. “I was just like "whoa, I'm getting all of this…I’m getting first and breaking records."

Perkins’ teammates are starting to take notice, but it’s not all about her performance on the field.

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SU Board approves Broussard as Athletics Director

Dr. William Broussard
Director of Athletics
SOUTHERN UNVERSITY
SHREVEPORT, Louisiana - After a two-week wait following the Athletics Committee of the Southern University Board of Supervisors approval, Dr. William Broussard is officially a member of the 'Jaguar Nation'.

The Southern University Board of Supervisors approved Broussard to become its new director of athletics Thursday by a vote of 15-0 during its March board meeting.

Broussard will assume his post at the helm of the athletics departments at Southern Monday, April 1. He anticipates working intensely to rectify the current trends involving three critical areas, including Southern's APR scores, which will be released to the public in April.

"The way that you go about addressing (APR issues) is your assessment has to be thorough," said Broussard. "Sometimes numbers don’t give you the full picture so you have to spend time looking at the data but also spend some time talking with coaches, student-athletes, and staff about what we are doing in those areas to help our student-athletes achieve success."

At the recommendation of SUBR Chancellor Dr. James Llorens, the Crowley, La. native was introduced to the board's athletics commitee chaired by attorney Patrick McGee during a March 15 special session held on the Baton Rouge campus.

Before Broussard's appointment became official, a final vote of the board was required in Shreveport. Board member and attorney Warren A. Forstall was not present at today's meeting but voted in favor of Broussard at the March 15 special session and offered a ringing endorsement of the prospective hire.
Highly regarded as a visionary with superb fundraising capabilities, Broussard delivers a wealth of knowledge and experience to his new post as Southern University's Director of Athletics.

Broussard's versatility is derived from a variety of administrative, athletic, and academic experiences garnered throughout his career and will be instrumental in his supervision of five men's and eight women's Division I programs at Southern.

His hire comes after 11-months of intense searching and the board's rebuttal of one finalist who was amongst two other finalists identified by a search committee.

Following his unanimous approval by the athletics committee, Broussard stated his most important task will be "to cultivate relationships, learn about the student-athletes who are here, the coaches who are here and their concerns, spend some time reviewing policies and procedure and ensuring that those are properly lined up so that the program performs adequately and excellently."

Broussard, 33, recently served as athletics director at Centenary College in Shreveport and cited NCAA rules compliance, academic performance and "institutional advancement" as areas he deemed vital to the success of the athletics department during his tenure.

"We want to reach the point where Southern is a flagship of the SWAC and a beacon for all historically black colleges and university athletic departments," said Broussard.

"We must identify private donors, corporate sponsors, alumni, friends of the university and supporters of the athletic program who want to help us continue to expand what we offer to student athletes and ensure that they have the best athletic experience and the best student experience they could possible have."

A 2000 graduate of the Louisiana Scholars' College at Northwestern State University, Broussard earned a master's and doctorate in Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of the English Language in 2007 from the University of Arizona. While in graduate school, he served as an undergraduate instructor, research supervisor, and held positions in athletics and student life. He also gained academic experienced as a faculty member at Pima community College in Tuscon.

Broussard, a graduate of Crowley High School, returned home to Louisiana and his alma mater to serve as Associate Athletic Director for External Relations as well as the Executive Director of the NSU Athletic Association.

In these roles, he oversaw all areas of athletic fundraising and external relations, breaking university records for attainment, annual fund, and corporate sponsorships. He garnered the largest gifts in the history of the department as well as the university as a whole. In addition, he worked closely with several sports, managing football game operations and coordinating schedules and contracts. He also served as the department's ambassador at campus events and on a wide variety of committees and working groups.

Concurrently with his work in the athletic department, Broussard worked closely with students on an academic level. He served as an assistant professor first in the journalism department and later in the language and communication department, teaching several traditional and online courses. In this role, he volunteered as a faculty advisory for the National Association of Black Journalists as well as NSU's Student Alumni Association.

During his two-year stint at Northwestern St., Broussard was an active leader in the community, serving on the Executive Board of the Boys and Girls Club and is a past president of the Natchitoches Lions Club. He also represented the NSU Athletic Department at regional and national conferences and the Southland Conference at the National Association of Athletic Development Directors conference.

As an undergraduate, Broussard was a varsity letter winner for NSU's Division I football team from 1997-2000. A two-time All-American center, Broussard was a member of the All-Conference, All-Louisiana, All-District teams and received several notable awards for his success both in the classroom and on the playing field.

Broussard, who is the son of Grambling State alums Wilfred and Elizabeth Broussard, is married to Kendra Broussard, also a Northwestern State alum and former volleyball student-athlete.

COURTESY: SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS MEDIA RELATIONS

Friday, March 30, 2012

O'Quinn Named Nation's Top Mid-Major Player, Wins Lou Henson Award

NORFOLK, Virginia – Norfolk State senior center Kyle O’Quinn added yet another impressive honor to his growing resume when he was named the winner of the 2012 Lou Henson Award as the nation’s top mid-major player on Wednesday evening.

The award – named in honor of former Illinois and New Mexico head coach Lou Henson – is awarded by CollegeInsider.com to the nation’s top player who does not compete in what are generally regarded as the country’s 10 best conferences: the ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC, Conference USA, Mountain West, WAC and Atlantic 10. O’Quinn is the third winner of the award, following Butler’s Matt Howard in 2011 and Oakland’s Keith Benson in 2010.



O’Quinn won the award over an impressive field of 24 other athletes from around the country. Other finalists included AP All-American forward Doug McDermott of Creighton, center LaRon Dendy of Middle Tennessee State, and standout guards Isaiah Canaan of Murray State, Matthew Dellavedova of St. Mary’s and Casper Ware of Long Beach State.

The MEAC Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and MEAC Tournament Most Outstanding Performer, O’Quinn averaged 15.9 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game while leading the Spartans to a 26-10 record, the program’s first-ever MEAC title and a second-round NCAA Tournament win over No. 2 seed Missouri.

O’Quinn will receive his award this Friday during Final Four festivities in New Orleans.

Xavier's Richardson selected GCAC Player of the Week

SEAN RICHARDSON
NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana's Sean Richardson is the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Week in men's tennis for March 19-25.

Richardson, a senior from Ellenwood, Ga., and a graduate of Stockbridge High School, was the only Gold Rush player to win in singles and doubles against NAIA No. 5 Auburn Montgomery during a 6-3 dual-match home loss to the Warhawks on Saturday. Richardson's 6-4, 7-5 decision against Matias Dasso was his 10th consecutive victory in his past 11 singles matches

This is the third time that Richardson was won the GCAC's weekly award and the first time since his sophomore season. The Gold Rush have received four GCAC awards this season; Zach Taylor won it twice, and Viktor Svoboda won it once.

Both Xavier teams will compete Monday at Point Loma Nazarene in the first of four consecutive days of dual matches in California against ranked opponents. The XU men are No. 9 in the NAIA, and the women are 24th. The next top 25 polls will be announced Tuesday.

By Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director
VISIT: XAVIER UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA
VISIT: XULAATHLETICS

Shaw's Curtis wins national coach of year award

RALEIGH, North Carolina - Coach Jacques Curtis said it has been hard to get any work done around his office at Shaw University since the Bears won the NCAA Division II women’s basketball national championship. “The kids are always dropping by, wanting to talk and just enjoy it some more,” Curtis said. “We don’t talk about enjoying ‘the moment’ any more, we just talk about enjoying ‘it.’ ”

The “it” grew this week when Curtis was named the national Division II women’s coach of the year by Schelde North America and Women’s Division II Bulletin.  The award has helped keep Curtis, his staff, his team and the Shaw community in a celebratory mood. “We’re all on Cloud Nine,” he said.

Curtis said he was excited about the award, but stressed that it is much more of a coaching staff award than a head coaching award. He said assistants Jonas Richard, Ashante Timoll and Carl Hatchell deserved much of the credit.

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SUUC resurfacing completed as SU host SWAC Round Up

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana - As Southern University women's tennis prepares to host the SWAC Tennis East-West Round-Up Friday, the perennial SWAC title contenders received a much needed facility upgrade in hopes of elevating the program to new heights.

Southern University University Courts underwent a month-long resurfacing project, which culminated with a dedication Tuesday afternoon. Interim Athletic Director Sandy Pugh, Coca-Cola Executive Ron Sutton and members of the 2012 tennis squad were on-hand to break in the new courts.

"When you get a facility upgrade, its definitely a plus. It helps you with your recruiting and it helps the girls be happy," said head tennis coach Jeff Conyers.

"It's been a long time. A lot of (former) Jaguars spent some good years on these courts. To finally please this group of ladies following behind (past SU tennis alumni) and to get the courts resurfaced is a great honor."

The project, which cost $22,000 dollars, included leveling the playing area of five of the seven SUUC courts before painting the courts a vibrant green and royal blue.

"Tennis has been incredible. These young ladies are 4.0 students, they graduate, they've excelled, they represent and they optimize what you want in a student-athlete. We're just really happy that we were able to find them and fund it to make this happen. To be apart of this wonderful," said interim athletics director Sandy Pugh.



The SUUC is among four Baton Rouge area courts that will host the two-day round robin tournament. All 10 SWAC programs are schedule to participate and Southern will play all of its games on the newly resurfaced playing area at the SUUC.

Here is a complete listing of games scheduled for the 2012 SWAC Round-Up:

March 30th
9:00 a.m.
Alabama A&M vs. Jackson State - IPTC
Southern vs. Mississippi Valley - SUUC
Grambling vs. U of Arkansas Pine Bluff - GPTC
U of Arkansas Pine Bluff vs. Alabama A&M - HPTC

2:00 p.m.
Jackson State vs. Alcorn - IPTC
Grambling vs. Prairie View - SUUC
Mississippi Valley vs Alabama State - GPTC
U of Arkansas Pine Bluff vs Alabama A&M - HPTC

5:00 p.m.
Southern vs. Alabama State

March 31st
9:00 a.m.
Alabama A&M vs. Grambling - GPTC
Prairie View vs. Southern - SUUC
Alabama State vs. Jackson State - HPTC
Mississippi Valley vs. U of Arkansas Pine Bluff - IPTC

2:00 p.m.
Alabama A&M vs Mississippi Valley - GPTC
Alcorn vs. Alabama State - IPTC
U of Arkansas Pine Bluff vs Prairie View - HPTC
Southern vs. Jackson State - SUUC

5:00 p.m.
Grambling vs. Alcorn - SUUC

Highland Park Tennis Center - HPTC
Independence Park Tennis Center - IPTC
Greenwood Park Tennis Center - GPTC
Southern University Univertsity Courts - SUUC

Courtesy: Britany Brown, Media Relations Student Assistant
SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION
VISIT: SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY & A&M COLLEGE
VISIT: GOJAGSPORTS.COM

Thursday, March 29, 2012

UMES earns trip to ninth straight NCAA Championship

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana - The NCAA Women's Bowling Committee announced the eight-team field that will compete for the 2012 National Collegiate Women's Bowling Championship today. The field includes the 2011 NCAA Champions, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) who will make their ninth straight trip to the event.

"Now we have to work harder," said Interim Head Coach Kristina Frahm, who won a title as a player in 2008 and 2011. "It's always an honor to attend but we plan to do more than that, we plan on defending our championship."

The field is made up of eight at-large selections that include Central Missouri and Nebraska. The pair, along with UMES, are the only three teams in the nation to make each of the nine championships the NCAA has sponsored since 2004.

The other teams attending include Arkansas State, Fairleigh Dickinson, Sacred Heart, Valparaiso and Vanderbilt.

All of the National Champions to date are represented in the field.

Nebraska won back to back titles in 2004 and 2005 and again in 2009. FDU won in 2006 and 2010 with UMES winning in 2008 and 2011. Vanderbilt won the other title in 2007. The Hawks were runners up to Vandy in 2007, finished fifth in 2010 and seventh in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2009. UMES won last year when they rebounded from a two-games-to-one deficit to top Vanderbilt and capture the 2011 Championship at Skore Lanes in Taylor, Michigan.

UMES will bring a squad of eight bowlers to the event, four of which saw action in last season's win. Lone senior Paula Vilas (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) was excited by the news as the team watched the announcement at the William P. Hytche Athletic Center on campus today. "It feels really good, I am very excited, and I want to go out bowl well and defend our title, this is my final year and I want to go out on top," she said.

The Hawks bring four freshmen to Ohio for their first NCAA Championships. "I am so excited for my first NCAA Championship, this is a big reason I wanted to bowl here, to be the best," said one of those freshmen, Victoria Jones (Baltimore, Md.). "UMES is one of the best teams in the nation and that is what I expected, to have a chance to win an NCAA championship."
UMES is currently ranked fifth in the National Tenpins Coaches Association (NTCA) Coaches' and Media polls. This season the field represents the top eight teams in both polls.

The selection show aired on NCAA.com today at 4 p.m. ET and is archived for viewing.

Competition begins with qualifying rounds in which each team bowls one five-person regular team game against each of the other seven teams participating in the championship for a total of seven games. Teams will be seeded for bracket play based on their win-loss record during the qualifying rounds. Teams will then compete in best-of-seven-games Baker matches in a double elimination tournament. In the Baker format, each of the five team members, in order, bowls a complete frame until a complete 10-frame game is bowled.

A Baker match tied 3½ games to 3½ games after seven games will be decided by a tiebreaker using the Modified Baker format.

The Mid-American Conference and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission will host the championship, which will be held April 12-14 at Freeway Lanes in Wickliffe, Ohio, the nation's largest bowling center. Tickets can be purchased on ncaa.com/tickets prior to the championship.

Qualifying through semi-final rounds will be streamed live on NCAA.com. This year's championship finals will air on ESPNU at 8 p.m. ET Saturday, April 14. A replay of the championship finals will air on ESPN at 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday, April 15.

Portions of this release appear compliments of NCAA.com and UMESHawks.com.

Tennessee State Spring Football Update: A Look at the Offense

NASHVILLE, Tennessee - Tennessee State University football closed out the sixth day of practice on Wednesday evening.

The Tigers wrapped up a 20-plus period and turn its' focus to the second scrimmage of the season on Saturday. The scrimmage is slated for 11:15 a.m.

TSU host its' annual Spring Game inside Hale Stadium on Saturday, April 14 at 3:30 p.m. Prior to the current Tigers' spring contest, TSU alums will play against Vanderbilt alums in the annual Legends Game.

Watch the video below for a one-on-one interview with TSU offensive coordinator Mike Jones about the Big Blue's offensive progression this spring.



UPCOMING SPRING PRACTICE SCHEDULE:
Friday, March 30 - 4 p.m.
Saturday, March 31 - 11:15 a.m.
Monday, April 2 - 4 p.m.
Wednesday, April 4 - 4 p.m.

COURTESY TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION

Professor at Florida's FAMU suspended over hazing

Dr. JAMES H. AMMONS
PRESIDENT
FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY
TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- A music professor at Florida A&M University, the school rocked by the hazing death of a marching band member last fall, has been suspended over allegations he joined in the ritualistic beating of fraternity pledges at his home, authorities said on Thursday.

FAMU said one other professor had been suspended along with saxophone teacher Diron Holloway due to the alleged hazing incident during a party at Holloway's off-campus residence in the spring of 2010.

The two were placed on administrative leave on Wednesday evening due to allegations contained in a newly released police report, an FAMU statement said. "This administrative action occurred due to 'allegations of misconduct and/or incompetence,'" the university said.

It said the matter was still under review and "the university will take appropriate action against faculty members or students, up to and including dismissals."

TPD Report on 2010 FAMU Hazing Incident

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Update: Ammons places band faculty members on administrative leave

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- Florida A&M University President James H. Ammons has placed two band faculty members on paid administrative leave following a Tallahassee Police Department investigation released today cited the professors as suspects in a reported 2010 off-campus hazing incident.

Diron T. Holloway, associate professor of music and director of clarinets and saxophones, and Anthony E. Simons III, assistant professor of music for euphonium and tuba, were put on leave because of “allegations of misconduct and/or incompetence involving reports and allegations of hazing within the Department of Music and the Marching ‘100.’”

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Family: We knew cousin's gun may have killed JSU student

JACKSON, Mississippi -- The grandmother of a slain Jackson State University freshman said Thursday her family wasn't surprised by the arrest of a cousin.

“We had assumed it might’ve been his gun that did it," Alma Henderson told the AJC by telephone from her home in Mississippi, saying the family knew the accused shooter had firearms and had brought two of them to a confrontation at an off-campus party.

Nolan "Ryan" Henderson, 19, of Stone Mountain, died early Sunday at the Palisades Apartments in Jackson, Miss., according to police. Late Wednesday, Jarrod Emerson, 25, of Jackson, was charged with murder in Ryan Henderson's death, the Jackson Police Department said.

According to investigators, Ryan Henderson was involved in a fight at the complex's swimming pool with several players from the JSU football team and was assaulted. The teen left the fight and called Emerson, his cousin, who was nearby, police said.

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B-CU defensive end Ryan Davis' stock rising for April's NFL draft

Ryan Davis
Tampa, Florida
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida -- Two days before the University of Miami's pro day on March 8, Ryan Davis' agent called to tell him he had been invited to participate with the Hurricanes' prospects.

The former Bethune-Cookman defensive end had been immersed in the heaviest cycle of his weight-training regimen, and he wasn't in optimum shape to perform in front of scouts. But he wasn't going to miss that chance.

"My legs were still sore, but I knew it was a good opportunity," Davis said. "Those Miami guys are very good down there. I was paired with some of the top athletes in the country."

Since his eye-opening performance that day, Davis has been a rising NFL prospect who has a chance of getting drafted April 26-28. If he's not selected in the draft, he'll likely receive a free-agent offer with the chance of making an NFL roster next season.

"I've heard from scouts that he could be ...

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TSU Tennis host Western Kentucky Today

NASHVILLE, Tennessee - Tennessee State University men's and women's tennis team returns home to host Western Kentucky on Thursday afternoon at the TSU Tennis Complex. The Tigers and Hilltoppers square off in a 3 p.m. contest.

Last weekend, the Tigers (0-4, 0-4 OVC) fell in a pair of Ohio Valley Conference contests at SIUE and Eastern Illinois. This Saturday, the TSU men host Tennessee Tech, while the women take on Southeast Missouri. The women's netters also play UT Martin on Sunday.

Senior Lawrence Washington won his first match of the season defeating Eastern Illinois' Michael Sperry, 6-2, 6-2 in the No. 1 spot.

WKU's men (4-6) have not played in a contest in 20 days due to last week's match postponement with the Tigers. The Hilltoppers women (7-4) dropped 7-0 contest at Middle Tennessee on March 25.

Results of the match will be posted online at TSUTigers.com.

COURTESY TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Report details 2010 faculty-involved FAMU hazing

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- A Tallahassee Police report on hazing made public today, detailing a 2010 Florida A&M University band fraternity incident involving two faculty members, sheds light on the difficulty of bringing such cases to prosecution.

Stalled reporting, lack of cooperation, insistence on anonymity, hesitation to press charges: those are just a few of the hurdles that plagued this investigation, eventually leading to its closure as the statute of limitations ran out.

Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Scott is now urging a FAMU task force charged with reviewing campus hazing policies to reverse a decision it made last week that would allow it to operate in private, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

The 2010 incident described in Wednesday’s report predated a hazing ritual that police said killed FAMU drum major Robert Champion last year, but was only reported to police after Champion’s death made headlines, according to the TPD report.

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U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush escorted from House floor for wearing hoodie in honor of Trayvon Martin

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush, of Illinois, was escorted off of the House floor on Wednesday after donning a hoodie and sunglasses in honor of slain teenager Trayvon Martin.

Rush, who began his remarks in a suit jacket and glasses, lamented the tragic death of 17-year-old Martin, who was killed last month by George Zimmerman, a volunteer member of a Sanford, Florida, neighborhood watch. Zimmerman, who has not been charged, claims he was defending himself.

Martin was unarmed and wearing a hoodie at the time of his death.



"Too often, this violent act that resulted in the murder of Trayvon Martin is repeated in the streets of our nation," Rush said in his statement. "I applaud the young people all across the land who are making a statement about hoodies, about the hoodlums in this nation, particularly those who tread on our laws wearing official or quasi-official clothes."

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Less-frantic start for Delaware State's Coach Blount

DOVER, Delaware -- Everything was a blur for Kermit Blount a year ago as he rushed to ready for his first spring football camp as Delaware State's head coach.  Blount was hired less than six weeks prior to the Hornets' 2011 spring drills. He and his newly hired staff had to get to know their players and their skill sets as well as implement new offensive and defensive schemes in rapid order.

This spring has been notably different for Blount, as his Hornets opened the first of 15 spring practice sessions at Alumni Stadium on a windswept Monday afternoon. Spring camp will culminate with the annual Red-White scrimmage on April 14.

"We're still behind with numbers," Blount said, since his first recruiting class at DSU won't arrive until the summer. "I won't catch up with numbers until August, but the feel is different. "I've got a really, really good feel now of what I've got and what we have to work on. I'm not working in the blind, so I feel real good about that." 

Blount said he expects more than 60 players to be working out by August.

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Discipline, toughness stressed as NCCU opens spring football

DURHAM, North Carolina — The bullhorn's back, and the N.C. Central Eagles are going to be in trouble if they can't show some discipline during spring practice.

Players not learning their playbooks, jumping offside, losing their cool, being late — and everything in between — won't cut it, second-year NCCU football coach Henry Frazier III said Tuesday after his team's first day of spring drills.

"If you can't do it when the pressure is not on, how can we trust you to do it in the fall?" Frazier said.

NCCU went 2-9 overall and 1-7 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference last season, and some of those defeats were close games the Eagles lost on account of a lack of discipline — that and just flat-out not being tough enough, Frazier said.

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2012 NCCU Football Schedule

Season tickets are on sale now for a discounted price of $99 for the first 500 sold. For details, visit www.NCCUEaglePride.com or call the NCCU Ticket Office at (919) 530-5170.

TSU Flying Tigers Earn OVC Team Sportsmanship Award

NASHVILLE, Tennessee -- On Tuesday the Ohio Valley Conference announced that Tennessee State University Flying Tigers were the recipients of the 2011-12 Team Sportsmanship Awards for indoor track & field.

Voted on by the student-athletes and coaches of the respective sports, the team awards are bestowed upon the Conference squads deemed to have best exhibited the standards of sportsmanship and ethical behavior as outlined by the OVC and NCAA. Included in the areas for evaluation are the conduct of student-athletes, coaches, staff and administrators and fans.

"Without sportsmanship there are truly no meaningful victories," said Beth DeBauche, OVC Commissioner. "The recipients of the OVC Team Sportsmanship awards should accept this award with great pride for their fellow competitors have made it clear their teams exemplify the best in intercollegiate athletics. In receiving this prestigious honor other competitors are saying these student-athletes compete with class, respect their opponents and value fair play. That is quite a compliment as those are all traits that will lead to true victories throughout the course of life."

The 2011-12 school year marks the seventh year the team sportsmanship honors have been awarded, and sixth year the indoor track and field awards have been distributed. This marks the second indoor track and field sportsmanship award for the Flying Tigers.

TSU finished fourth at this year's OVC Indoor Track and Field Championship.

"We are excited to know that the men had won the sportsmanship award," said Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice, Tennessee State Director of Track and Field. "When we go out to the track, we want to perform well on the track as well as participate in good sportsmanship. I commend our young men on this great honor."

Jacksonville State finished third this season at the OVC Indoor Track and Field Championship.

Implemented in August 2005, the team honors are the most recent addition to an awards program that recognizes and celebrates sportsmanship within the Conference. In 1998, the league established the Steve Hamilton Sportsmanship Award, presented annually to a male or female student-athlete of junior or senior status who best exemplifies the characteristics of the late Morehead State student-athlete, coach and administrator. Five years later, the Conference added the OVC Sportsmanship Award, presented annually to the member institution selected by its peers to have best exhibited the standards of sportsmanship and ethical behavior as outlined by the OVC and NCAA.

In 1995, the Ohio Valley Conference implemented a first-of-its-kind "Sportsmanship Statement," a policy promoting principles of fair play, ethical conduct and respect for one's opponent. The statement answered the challenge of the NCAA Presidents Commission to improve sportsmanship in collegiate athletics, and has become a model for others to follow across the nation.

COURTESY TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

B-CU starts spring football practice with new faces

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida -- Bethune-Cookman began spring practice Monday with several new faces on the field and one on the sideline.

B-CU coach Brian Jenkins said about eight transfers and early enrollees joined the Wildcats' returning players for the first day of spring practice. It was also the first chance for new offensive coordinator Jim Pry to see the players participate in football drills.

"The main thing is you want to get some rhythm back, and you want to get back to swarming the football," Jenkins said. "We didn't do an exceptional job with that (last year)." The Wildcats led the nation with 41 takeaways in Jenkins' first season in 2010. Last year, despite defensive end Ryan Davis leading the nation with eight forced fumbles, their total number takeaways slipped to 30.

"When you have that kind of dropoff, you need to get back to teaching the basics," Jenkins said.

The new players in spring camp will have a jump on the rest of the 2012 recruiting class when preseason practice begins in August, the coach said.

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As spring drills open, ECSU has holes to fill on offense

ELIZABETH CITY, North Carolina - Elizabeth City State’s football team opened spring practice on Monday with as many questions as it has had in many years.

Coming off an eight-win season, a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship game appearance and an NCAA Division II playoff berth, the Vikings should be flying high. But Tillar is having to fill many holes left by graduation, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

Tillar’s biggest task is finding a starting quarterback for the first time since 2009 after the graduation of three-year starter Creven Powell. For now, Tillar says that senior Namon Jones is the starter.

“Going into this spring, Namon Jones, it’s his job to lose,” Tillar said.

READ MORE 

Shaw’s national champs

RALEIGH, North Carolina -- Yes, they sure can play some college basketball in these parts. And this spring it’s the Lady Bears of Shaw University who have the honor of bringing home to the Triangle a national title – the first in Shaw’s long history.

“We came. We saw. We conquered,” said Athletics Director Al Carter as the team was welcomed back to its downtown Raleigh campus Saturday afternoon. No apologies to Julius Caesar were needed.

The Shaw team’s final push to glory came Friday in San Antonio, in the finals of the NCAA Division II women’s tournament. The Lady Bears played the Eagles of Ashland (Ohio) College – a No. 1 seed in the 64-team field. The Eagles had won 33 straight games. Until they tangled with the Bears.

Gold Rush in final top 25 for the second consecutive year

NEW ORLEANS — Despite slipping six places over two polls, the Xavier University of Louisiana men's basketball team is in the top 25 of the final NAIA Division I coaches poll for the second straight season. It's the first time the Gold Rush have appeared in consecutive final top-25s during Dannton Jackson's nine seasons as head coach.

The Gold Rush (23-9) were 24th in the final poll announced Monday. Xavier dropped three places since the March 7 poll.

Xavier was 17th in the final poll of 2011, which was conducted before the national tournament.

Xavier is in the top 25 for the 11th consecutive time and the 24th time in 25 polls dating to the start of the 2010-11 season. The Gold Rush were 21st in the preseason poll of Oct. 24 and climbed as high as 18th on Jan. 9 and Feb, 27.

The Gold Rush lost 66-63 to LSU-Shreveport on March 15 in the opening round of the national tournament at Kansas City, Mo. Xavier earned a share of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular-season championship for the third time during Jackson's tenure but lost in the semifinals of the conference tournament.

National champion Concordia (Calif.) was unanimously chosen No. 1.

Athletics Awards Banquet
6 p.m. on Friday, April 20 at University Center Ballroom
Call (504) 520-7329 to purchase tickets

NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses — records through Tuesday, March 20)

 Rank Team Record Points Last
1 Concordia (Calif.) (10) 31-7 250 4
2 Oklahoma Baptist 32-5 242 2
3 Shorter 34-3 234 1
4 Mountain State 26-9 223 11
5 Georgetown (Ky.) 26-9 202 14
6 Biola 27-9 201 10
7 LSU-Shreveport 27-8 197 12
8 Rogers State 24-9 196 9
9 Martin Methodist 28-7 193 5
10 Robert Morris (Chicago) 27-5 186 3
11 Southern Poly 24-7 178 6
12 Our Lady of the Lake 27-8 163 7
13 Columbia (Mo.) 27-7 145 15
14 Lindsey Wilson 21-10 141 8
15 Point Loma Nazarene 21-10 139 16
16 Montana Western 25-10 134 20
17 John Brown 24-9 130 13
18 Lee (Tenn.) 20-9 107 17
19 MidAmerica Nazarene 25-9 105 22
20 SUNO 18-14 89 NR
21 Montana State Northern 27-7 86 18
22 Evangel 24-10 83 RV
23 Texas Wesleyan 25-8 75 19
24 Xavier 23-9 63 21
25 Southern Nazarene 23-10 53 25

Others receiving votes: Campbellsville 52, Azusa Pacific 40, Olivet Nazarene 27, Tougaloo 21, Cumberlands 20, Freed-Hardeman 15, Cumberland 10, Life 6, Westmont 3, Pikeville 1, Baker 1, Saint Xavier 1.

By Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director
VISIT: XULAATHLETICS
VISIT: XAVIER UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA

Nuggets earn highest rank in final NAIA poll since 2005

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana climbed two places to 16th in the NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Coaches' Postseason Top 25 Poll announced Monday. It's the Gold Nuggets' best position in the final poll of a season since ranking 15th in 2005.

Xavier (26-9) earned its second consecutive two-place climb after beating then-16th-ranked Southern Nazarene 74-67 in the opening round of the national tournament March 15 at Frankfort, Ky. Second-ranked Union (Tenn.), the tournament runner-up, eliminated the Gold Nuggets the following night with a 58-43 decision.

Xavier is in the top 25 for the 31st consecutive time dating to January 2010. It's the Nuggets' longest top-25 streak since 34 straight polls from Jan. 13, 2003-March 8, 2005.

The Gold Nuggets were 16th in the preseason poll on Oct. 24. Their highest position was 15th on Jan. 23, and their lowest was 21st on Feb. 13.

National champion Oklahoma City was No. 1 for the seventh consecutive poll and the 10th time in 13 polls this season.

NOTES: Xavier was the only school to win a first-round game against a higher-ranked opponent at nationals in 2011 and 2012 .Tourbeau Sports Group is selling videos of the Gold Nuggets' two games at the national

By Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director
VISIT: XULAATHLETICS.COM
VISIT: XAVIER UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA

Roberts wants to be FAMU's next LeRoy Vann

TALLAHASSEE, Florida - Devan Roberts came to Florida A&M two years ago with the intention of proving he could be a return specialist as good as school record-setter LeRoy Vann.

Roberts brought back a lot of memories of Vann during Saturday's first spring football scrimmage. He took a punt return 50 yards for a touchdown — just like Vann did during the spring scrimmage that preceded his breakout season.

Roberts, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound sophomore from Ocala Forest High School, said he expects the comparisons to begin.

"Vann was a great return man," he said. "It's going to be very hard to fill the shoes of Vann, but all I can do is keep trying hard. I've put in the work. Coach (Joe) Taylor also says success is an inconvenience but I have to show it out here on the field.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Prairie View coach issues challenge, players respond

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas - Prairie View A&M baseball coach Waskyla Cullivan has been challenging his players to carry the same intensity from beginning to end during each weekend series.

The Panthers met that challenge against Arkansas-Pine Bluff over the weekend.

Prairie View beat visiting Arkansas-Pine Bluff 9-6 on Sunday afternoon to complete its first three-game sweep of the season and record its 10th victory in the last 13 games. The Panthers (14-9) improved to 7-1 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference and held on to first place in the Western Division, maintaining a half-game lead on Grambling State.

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Panthers Earn Series Sweep On Sunday Over UAPB

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas - Prairie View A&M completed the series sweep over Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Sunday afternoon with a 9-6 win at home, improving to 14-8 and taking first place in the Southwestern Athletic Conference West Division at 7-1.

Panthers head coach Waskyla Cullivan acknowledged how important a sweep in conference play can be for their overall goal of winning a SWAC championship.

“It was great to sweep Arkansas-Pine Bluff today,” Cullivan said. “Next week, we play Grambling, and we're going to be playing for the first half championship. We're in first place right now, and we're excited about the opportunity to and win to stay in first place. Last year we were in the same situation, and we went to Grambling and got swept. We don't want that to happen again.”

Grambling (13-8, 7-2 SWAC) is a game behind Prairie View in the West, and winning the weekend series for the Panthers would mean separation from the pack and moving one step closer to a top seeding in the SWAC Tournament.

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Delaware State Hornets Begin Spring Football Drills

DOVER, Delaware – The Delaware State University football team will begin its annual spring drills this week. The camp will include 15 practice sessions at Alumni Stadium, culminating in the Red/White scrimmage on Apr. 14.

Delaware State second-year head coach Kermit Blount expects more than 60 players to participate in this year’s camp. Blount was hired less than six weeks prior to the Hornets’ 2011 spring drills.

“Last year’s spring camp was a challenge because the staff wasn’t as familiar with our personnel and we had to spend a great deal of time teaching new offensive and defensive systems,” he said. “Now that we have a year under our belts, we can spend more time on player development and execution.”

The Hornets expect to return eight offensive starters this season. Quarterback Nick Elko (r-sr.) returns after completing 207 of 362 passes (57.2%) for 2,064 yards in his first season as a starter in 2011. Elko threw for 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions; and was second in the MEAC in passing average (206.4 ypg) and sixth in total offense (193.5 ypg) last season.

The Hornets also return wide receiver Travis Tarpley (r-sr.), who was tops among all MEAC players in all-purpose yards at 144.2 per game in 2011. Tarpley set a DSU single-season record with 66 receptions last year. He was tops on the Hornets with 736 receiving yards and second on the team with 148 rushing yards last season.

Fellow receiver Justin Wilson (sr.) also returns after catching 54 passes for 563 yards and six touchdowns in eight games in 2011. Wilson, the 2011 MEAC Preseason Player-of- the-Year missed three games last season due to an ankle injury.

On defense, the Hornets must replace their two leading tacklers from last season, linebackers Quentin Ferguson and Brandon Harvey.

The top returning tacklers from 2011 are inside linebacker Ernest Adjei (sr.) and defensive back Joe Boyd (so.). Adjei had total 59 tackles, including 35 solo stops, while Boyd tallied 53 tackles (38 unassisted) last season

Blount also expects returning defensive end Quinton Fortes (sr.) and linebacker Olusegun Ayanbiola (r-sr.) to play major roles on the defense this season.

“I’m extremely pleased with our players’ response to our off-season conditioning program, and we’re confident the commitment will carry into spring camp,” said Blount.

Delaware State University 2012 spring football schedule (all practices at Alumni Stadium)
Mon., Mar. 26 3:30 p.m.
Tue., Mar. 27 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Mar. 28 3:30 p.m.
Thu., Mar. 29 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Mar. 30 3:30 p.m.
Sat., Mar. 31 9:00 a.m.

Mon., Apr. 2 3:30 p.m.
Tue., Apr. 3 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Apr. 4 3:30 p.m.
Thu., Apr. 5 7:30 p.m.

Tue., Apr. 10 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Apr. 11 3:30 p.m.
Thu., Apr. 12 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Apr. 13 3:30 p.m.
Sat., Apr. 14 4:00 p.m. (Red/White scrimmage)

DSU Hornets' 2012 Football Schedule

Date Opponent Site Time
Sep. 1 VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE, Alumni Stadium, Dover, DE 2:00 pm
Sep. 8 at U of Delaware, Newark, Delaware TBA
Sep. 15 at U of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio TBA
Sep. 22 *FLORIDA A&M, Alumni Stadium, Dover, DE 6:00 pm

Oct. 6 at *Norfolk State Norfolk, VA TBA
Oct. 13 *SC STATE, Alumni Stadium, Dover, DE 1:30 pm
Oct. 20 *NCA&T, Alumni Stadium, Dover, DE, (HOMECOMING) 1:30 pm
Oct. 27 at *Morgan State Baltimore, MD TBA

Nov. 3 at *NC Central, Durham, NC TBA
Nov. 10 *HAMPTON UNIVERSITY, Alumni Stadium, Dover, DE 1:00 pm
Nov. 17 at *Howard University, Washington, D.C. TBA
Nov. 24 NCAA FCS (1-AA) Playoffs  TBA

*MEAC Games
Bold: Home Contests

SCSU Cooper’s ‘one shining moment’


Dr. GEORGE E. COOPER
President, S.C. State University
ORANGEBURG, South Carolina - There was no NCAA Tournament for the South Carolina State men’s basketball team this year.

Yet some would say with all the recent administrative controversies, the school is going through its own form of “March Madness.”

One of the fallouts is the pending retirement this Friday of S.C. State School President George Cooper. It’s probably too early to give a true, honest assessment of Cooper’s tenure and accomplishments during his four years with the university. Because of the polarizing nature of Cooper’s departure, it’s difficult right now to compromise the strong opinions which exists on both sides of the debate.

From a sports’ standpoint, however, Cooper truly experienced “one shining moment.”

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WSSU Sheets grateful for opportunity

ZACHARY SHEETS
WSSU Rams Golf
Sophomore
WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina -- Zach Sheets could be bitter, but that isn't his style. Sheets, a junior on the Winston-Salem State golf team, won't have a place to play next fall because the school is shutting down the program to funnel its scholarship dollars to the football and basketball programs.

"We kind of knew this was coming, because it was rumored they were going to shut the program down," said Sheets, a 27-year-old Kernersville native and WSSU's No. 1 golfer this season. "At the meeting, the track team came in, so we thought maybe we were safe, but it didn't turn out that way."

WSSU will cut men's indoor and outdoor track and field and men's golf from its athletics program starting with the next school year.

"I could be mad, but then I think about the great opportunity I've had here to come to Winston-Salem State, play golf, and to be back in college," said Sheets, a physical-education major who has a 3.9 grade-point average. Sheets — who works at UPS three days a week, starting at 3 a.m. — said that without golf at WSSU, he wouldn't have returned to school.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hampton Pirates Opens 2012 Football Season at OVC Champs TTU

COOKEVILLE, Tennessee -- Still riding the crest of winning the Ohio Valley Conference championship and making its first appearance in the NCAA FCS Playoffs, the Tennessee Tech football team has turned its attention to the 2012 season.

And, what a season it will be. Tech faces three tough non-conference opponents who combined for a 30-9 record last year including Rose Bowl champion Oregon, six home games in Tucker Stadium plus an OVC schedule destined to present challenges every single week.



The 11-game Golden Eagle football schedule was announced this week by head coach Watson Brown and TTU Director of Athletics Mark Wilson.

Tech opens with back-to-back Thursday home games against Hampton and North Greenville University, then faces three consecutive road games at Oregon, Southeast Missouri and Murray State.

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Gold Rush rallies, earns steak dinner for spring win in Albany State Rams' annual Blue & Gold scrimmage

ALBANY, Georgia — Luther Edwards pleaded for his fellow seniors to set the tone for the 2012 season. He also wanted that steak dinner. Albany State’s senior running back got both.

After a shaky start for the Albany State offense Friday, the Gold Rush came back to win the 4th annual Blue and Gold scrimmage, 43-32, and they were awarded the traditional steak dinner for the winners in the process.

“With us being seniors, I wanted us to step up and set the tone early so everybody can fall in line,” said Edwards, who was held out of the end zone but broke away for several long runs, including a 50-yarder in second quarter.

Edwards’ backfield mate and fellow senior Nathan Hoyte scored on a 38-yard run, and quarterback Keenan Grissett, who is battling for the starting job with Blaize Schaeffer, threw a pair of touchdowns to senior wideout Ronnie Tubbs.

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Will Harris: ECSU gets a glimpse of what could be

ELIZABETH CITY, North Carolina - Congratulations to the Shaw Lady Bears for winning the NCAA Division II national championship on Friday.

Now, when ECSU coach Alico Dunk talks about the competitive nature of the CIAA, you’ll know he means it. And to think, ECSU had a shot at the buzzer that could have beaten the Lady Bears in Elizabeth City on Jan. 16. Shaw won 25 of its last 26 games, including the final 15, and outside of the one loss to Johnson C. Smith, the 74-72 win over ECSU game was the Lady Bears’ closest one down the stretch.

Then there are the men, basking in he glow of Norfolk State’s tournament upset of Missouri last week. ECSU took it to the Spartans on Nov. 30, winning handily 69-57 in Norfolk.

So, even though other teams are ...

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TSU Flying Tigers & Tigerbelles Compete Strong at USC

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA - Tennessee State University track & field placed 15 in the top-15 at the Weems Baskin Invitational held at the campus of the University of South Carolina on Friday and Saturday.

The Flying Tigers and Tigerbelles had outstanding performers across the board, most notably from Arthur Combest and Daniecce Ward - who combined for top-10 performances.

20-plus schools participated in the annual meet, giving the Tigers the most competitive field to date so far this season.

Ward cleared a distance of 5-3 (1.60m) in the women's high jump for seventh, while leaping 17-8 ¾ (5.40m) for an eighth place finish in the long jump. In the triple jump, the senior scampered 37-3 ¾ (11.37m) to place seventh out of 18 competitors.

Ja'Lyn Burr earned sixth in the triple jump, clearing 37-4 ½ to notch sixth. Felicia Oladkun was right behind her teammate with a distance of 37-5 (11.50m) for fifth.

Bur also earned a pair of 15th place finishes, clearing 5-1 (1.55m) in the high jump and 16-1 ¾ (4.92m) in the long jump event.

In short distance contests, freshman Ashontae Jackson collected a fourth place mark with her run of 24.25 in the 200-meter dash. Gabrielle Todd clocked a time of 56.41 for seven in the 400-meter dash.

Brielle Moore placed 12th with her pace of 15.10 in the women's 100-meter hurdles. The Tigerbelles 4x100 relay team of Carolyn Petway, Diera Taylor, Todd and Jackson recorded a run of 47.78 for seventh.

Sophomore Royce Dates made a strong leap of 23-10 (7.26m) for second overall in the men's long jump. The jump surpassed his previous jump of 23-8 ¼ (7.22m) and was tied for 21st nationally as of Saturday evening.

In the men's 110-meter hurdles, Combest managed a sixth place mark with his time of 14.94. Combest cleared the 400-meter hurdles in 56.33 for seventh. In the high jump, Combest cleared 6-4 ¾ (1.95m) for sixth.

Due to poor weather conditions in the Columbia area, the final three running events (women's 5K, M/W 4x4 relays) and field events (shot put, discus and high jump) were all cancelled.

Tennessee State takes a two-week hiatus before hosting the annual Boston-Moon Classic on Friday April 13 and Saturday, April 14.

Weems-Baskin Invitational Results (PDF)

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Top-5 Auburn Montgomery teams defeat Rush, Nuggets

Athletics Awards Banquet6 p.m. on Friday, April 20 at University Center Ballroom
Call (504) 520-7329 to purchase tickets

NEW ORLEANS -- Auburn Montgomery overcame a doubles deficit and defeated Xavier University of Louisiana 6-3 Saturday in a matchup of ranked NAIA men's teams at the University of New Orleans Tennis Center.

AUM's top-ranked women defeated 24th-ranked Xavier 7-2.

AUM's men (9-6), ranked fifth, lost 2-of-3 doubles matches but reeled off five consecutive singles victories against ninth-ranked Xavier (10-4). Bence Toth clinched for the Warhawks with his 6-3, 6-3 victory against Viktor Svoboda at No. 2.

The Warhawks are 8-0 against NAIA opponents this season. The Gold Rush lost for the third time in four duals and to AUM for the second time in 14 days.

XU got doubles victories from Loic Didavi and Zach Taylor at No. 1 and Sean Richardson and Steffen Giles-Osborn at No. 3. Richardson scored the lone Gold Rush singles victory with a 6-4, 7-5 decision against Matias Dasso.

AUM's other victory against the Rush was 5-4 in the championship match of the AUM Invitational on March 11.

Auburn Montgomery's women (14-1) forfeited matches at No. 3 doubles and No. 6 singles because of five available players. But the Warhawks dropped a combined three games in winning six other matches. The Gold Nuggets' only close match was at No. 2 singles, where XU freshman Amanda Materre retired because of injury after trailing Jade Curtis, the reigning NAIA Player of ther Week, 7-5, 3-4.

Ana Veselinovic, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's top-ranked NAIA singles player, defeated XU's Kourtney Howell (XU) 6-2, 6-0 at the top flight.

The Gold Nuggets (3-16) have dropped seven of their past eight duals.

It was the final home appearance for seniors Taylor, Richardson and Giles-Osborn of the Rush and Ashley McGill of the Nuggets. McGill, who plays No. 3 doubles with Jordyn Goody and No. 6 singles, didn't have to play because of the forfeits.

Both Xavier teams will travel next weekend to California for four duals apiece against ranked NAIA opponents during spring break. The Rush and Nuggets will play Point Loma Nazarene (men ranked seventh, women ranked sixth) on April 2, Westmont (men 10th, women tied for 21st) on April 3, Concordia (both teams eighth) on April 4 and Vanguard (men sixth, women 15th) on April 5.

By Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director
VISIT: XULAATHLETICS
VISIT: XAVIER UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA

Scrimmage Concludes First Week of TSU Spring Practice

NASHVILLE, Tennessee - The Big Blue took to the field at Hale Stadium on Saturday for a scrimmage to conclude the first week of spring practice. The Tigers worked both 7-on-7 and full team drills during the early morning workout.

"I liked the intensity of the scrimmage, but we turned the ball over too much today on offense," said Coach Rod Reed. "I think we had 3 fumbles and 2 interceptions, and it doesn't matter which team you do it with. You can't turn the ball over and expect to be successful in football. But I saw some good things defensively."

"The defensive line did not get a good pass rush but they played the run well," Reed continued. "We have to do a better job with the pass rush. On the flip side, I thought our offensive line protected well, even when we threw a few stunts and blitzes."


Coach Reed seemed pleased with the outing by sophomore quarterback Mike German. "Mike was sharp," Reed commented. "He stood in the pocket and made some throws with pressure coming and that's what we want from him."

TSU ran 15 plays in 7-on-7 before finishing with 88 plays with both units in full 11-on-11. Coach Reed also used the first scrimmage to take a look at the running game.

"I thought in some instances we ran it well," said Coach Reed. "In coming out situations, we didn't do very well running the ball. We gave up a safety and you can't do that coming out. So we need to go back to the drawing board. The main thing is you got to block up front in those situations. I thought the defense did a good job in those situations when they had them down tight."

The Tigers will continue spring practice and will take to field again next Saturday trying to improve on their first week of preparation.

COURTESY TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION
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Saturday, March 24, 2012

"Never ranked" Shaw Bears come home to welcoming rally

RALEIGH, North Carolina -- The Shaw Bears’ flight back home from the NCAA Division II championships was delayed by over 30 minutes Saturday, which pushed the women’s basketball team’s arrival an hour past the scheduled campus celebration.

But nobody was complaining, as students, faculty and fans patiently waited with open arms for the new national champions to walk through the doors of Spaulding Gymnasium.

At 3:40 p.m. they did just that to roaring applause and high-stepping music by the pep band. For the first time since 1947, Shaw University has a national champion.

The Bears (29-6) rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to defeat No. 2 ranked Ashland 88-82 in overtime. Shaw is just the third CIAA women’s program in conference history to win it all.

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Finally, Shaw's Williams can celebrate


ASLEA WILLIAMS
 Senior post helps achieve goal that goes back to recruitment

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Aslea Williams celebrated another championship Friday and this time, her coach, Jacques Curtis was right along with her. This was the big one. This one was why this senior post was recruited to Shaw. And this one was for the ages.

Williams’ oh-so-timely baskets late and stellar guard play throughout helped the Lady Bears beat Ashland in overtime 88-82 to win the Division II women’s championship.

Finally, Williams can express her unbridled glee at a team accomplishment without drawing the ire of Curtis. You see, last year after Shaw won the CIAA championship, Williams was beside herself with joy — until she got in the locker room afterward.

“The comment I made to them then was I didn’t bring you here to win the CIAA,” Curtis said. “I brought you here to win the national championship. [Williams] was like, this is my first championship that I’ve won, so I’m going to be happy we won the championship. Now, we’ve got what I brought her here to do. That was the goal.”

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME HIGHLIGHTS

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