Monday, June 30, 2008

FAMU golf team records ace with latest recruit

So much was at stake on a day when Shepherd Archie III was playing one of his worst rounds of golf. He was seven strokes over par and his high school team needed just one good shot. He’d been the go-to guy for Augusta (Ga.) Richmond Academy so many times before. Even in his struggles that didn’t change.

Down to his last shot, Archie perfectly executed a 30-foot birdie to clinch the Georgia 4A championship for his team this past spring. “I had no idea that the putt that I made would have won the tournament for us,” he said. “I was playing real badly at the time but I just tried to find a way to get through the round. My driver was off but I just had to find a way.”


Former SU Jaguar leaps his way onto US Olympic Team

Brian Johnson earns US Olympic Team Spot in Long Jump

Willie Davenport, Rodney Milburn, and now, Brian Johnson -- SU Olympians. Brian Johnson solidified his name in Southern athletic lore forever, as he finished second in the long jump today at the US Olympic Trials in Eugene, OR.

Johnson had the leading jump on the trials heading into today's long jump finals. On Friday, Brian leaped 8.09m (26-06.50 ft), outdistancing eventual winner, Travell Quinley, by 3 inches.

On Sunday, Trevell Quinley lept 8.36m (27-05.25 ft) to take the win over Johnson, who had a second place jump of 8.30m (27-02.75 ft), while Miguel Pate finished third.


SCSU's newest coach no stranger to Bulldogs

John L. Williams does not need much schooling about South Carolina State University. A former player and assistant coach at North Carolina A&T during the 1990s, the Greenville, N.C. native got first hand view of the Bulldogs’ football tradition. As a senior, he lined up against the Bulldogs’ team which went 10-2 and won both the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title and Heritage Bowl.

Starting today, Williams will try to help add to SCSU’s history as the new strength and conditioning coach. He replaces Thomas Stallworth, who resigned to take a similar job at Grambling State.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Jackson State's Shasta Averyhardt gets taste of big time

Former JSU star Shasta Averyhardt played in her first USGA championship last week at the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links. She made the cut of 64 and won her first match before losing the second 3 and 2. "It was different... it was fun," said Averyhardt, who was meet medalist for the 2008 SWAC champion Lady Tigers. "They treated me like a queen. I can definitely get used to it."

The atmosphere was a little different playing on the pristine Erin Hills Golf course in Erin, Wisc. - the scheduled host of the 2011 U.S. Amateur. From the strict pace of play to the locker rooms to the length of the course, the event was a taste of big-time professional golf.


The 6-1, 22 year old Averyhardt is from Flint, Michigan and is scheduled to complete her degree requirements in accounting at JSU in December 2008. She has exhausted all four years of her eligibility in collegiate golf.

ASU responds to NCAA allegations: L.C. Cole hopes to clear his name

Photo: Texas Southern University first year head coach Johnnie Cole.

After nearly five years, Alabama State's NCAA rules infraction case is winding down. On Friday, school officials sent in their final response to numerous alleged rules violations -- many of which the school self-reported -- and former head football coach L.C. Cole said his attorney plans to send in his response on Monday to the four charges he's facing.

In addition, there were several indications late in the week that former ASU assistant coach Johnnie Cole, L.C.'s brother, had been cleared of all major violations in the case. Contacted on Friday, Johnnie Cole, now the head coach at Texas Southern University, said the NCAA had told him that he couldn't discuss the situation. Johnnie had been charged with three major violations when he was suspended in 2003 from his job as offensive coordinator.

L.C. Cole, in the meantime, is set to argue his innocence once more.


The beat goes on for former Landstown coach Chris Beatty

Photo: FAMU's Joe Taylor, the former Hampton University coach made a surprising move in 2006, hiring Chris Beatty out of the high school ranks to run his offense. “Chris has this great ability to evaluate talent and then find a way to get the football to that talent. To me, to hire a guy like that, it wasn’t a risk. It was a no-brainer.” (Mark's Digital Photography)

MORGANTOWN, WV - Here in the war room at West Virginia University, the newly assembled football staff is building its offense, but the braintrust has hit a snag. Offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen, who helped Wake Forest to an ACC title in 2006, is stumped. So is associate head coach Doc Holliday, who helped Florida win a national championship in 2007. Receivers coach Lonnie Galloway, who came from an Appalachian State staff that won the past three I-AA national titles, has no answers.

The group turns to the youngest, least-experienced coach in the room. He offers simple advice, his career-long mantra. “I know one thing,” Chris Beatty says. “You don’t take the ball out of your best player’s hands. You just don’t. Let’s start there.”

Everyone nods. Basic, but brilliant.


2008-09 Alabama A&M Basketball Preview: #143

Alabama A&M Bulldogs
Overall Rank: #143
Conference Rank: #1 SWAC
2007-08: 14-15, 11-7, 3rd
2007-08 postseason: none

If Alabama A&M could only beat Arkansas Pine Bluff, their season would have ended much differently. As it was, the Bulldogs finished third in the conference and had a first round conference tournament exit at the hands of the Golden Lions. With a whole slew of talent returning, the Bulldogs will have the best back court in the SWAC and that should be enough for Coach Vann Pettaway’s squad to think about a conference championship.

Who’s Out: However, there is a huge, literally and figuratively, hole to fill in the front court. The 6-11 Mickell Gladness tallied 10.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. Having a big guy like that...


Small, three other Rattlers to be honored at awards banquet

The 2003 football season had come to this: two friends and veteran football coaches clashing in a game that would decide the MEAC championship. On the home sideline stood George Small and his North Carolina A&T Aggies. Joe Taylor had his slightly favored Hampton Pirates ready on the opposing side.

The Aggies scored first, twice in the opening quarter for a one-touchdown lead. The lead swelled to 17 points, then Hampton punched back twice. Just a field goal separated them at halftime. Small went into his playbook and found just the right schemes to win and secure the sixth league title for the Aggies.


Choose Jackson State University

Meet JSU alumna Dr. Linda Johnson, a Mississippi Optometrist.

Former HU Denique Graves named assistant women's basketball coach

VESTAL, N.Y. -- The Binghamton University women's basketball team has announced the hiring of former Howard University Bison player, Denique Graves as an assistant coach to first-year head coach Nicole Scholl.

Graves is a three-year veteran of the WNBA and has seven years of international playing experience. She was drafted 15th overall in the 1997 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Monarchs and played for two seasons. In 2001, she signed as a free agent with the Orlando Miracle.

Around the globe, Graves played in Brazil (1997), Greece (1998), Turkey (1999) and Bulgaria (2001). In addition, she was both a professional player and a coach in Sweden (2000), Switzerland (2002), Austria (2003-04) and China (2004).

"I am very excited for Denique to join our coaching staff here at Binghamton," Scholl said. "She brings a wealth of playing experience and will be instrumental in the development of our post players. Her ties to the east coast and internationally will also benefit our program. Denique and I have the same philosophy when it comes to teaching and providing a positive experience for the young women in our program."

A 2008 graduate of Howard University, Graves starred for the Bison from 1993-97 before launching her professional career. She was a three-year All-MEAC selection and was the first player from a historically black college or university to be drafted by the WNBA.

Since 2004, Graves has been a coach at seven different basketball camps. Most recently, she was the Girls Basketball Director and Coach for the Headfirst Camp in Washington D.C.

Binghamton University, a SUNY doctoral research university for 13,000 students in beautiful upstate New York, plays Division I Women's Basketball in the American East Conference. Each of the nine institutions - University at Albany, Binghamton University, Boston University, University of Hartford, University of Maine, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), University of New Hampshire, Stony Brook University, and University of Vermont - offer a unique blend of academic and athletic tradition.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

SSU's Jackson gets AD job at Lincoln Univ. in Missouri

Paula Jackson announced Friday that she has resigned as Savannah State University's assistant athletic director of compliance/senior woman administrator to accept the position as AD at Lincoln University, an NCAA Division II school in Jefferson City, Mo. Jackson, who joined SSU's athletic staff in May of 2005, also served as the school's interim AD from Oct. 2007 to May 2008.

"I want to thank Paula for all her hard work and dedicated service in a variety of roles at SSU," said new SSU AD Bart Bellairs. "She is going to be a big asset at Lincoln University and will be missed by many people at SSU. I appreciate what she has done during my brief time as athletics director."

Jackson came to SSU from Kentucky's Morehead State University, where she served as assistant AD and senior woman administrator. Prior to that, she held the same positions at Clark Atlanta University.


New SCSU women’s basketball coach keeping busy, staying quiet

Since accepting the head women’s basketball job at South Carolina State in April, Doug Robertson has seemingly kept a low profile. The relative silence from his office should not be construed as inactivity, however. Over the past 2½ months, Robertson has worked feverishly to put the Lady Bulldogs’ program back on the winning track.

Step one was the formation of a coaching staff who could best maximize the talents of the current players while demonstrating an ability to recruit new talent from throughout the country. To that end, Robertson has hired Marcell Harrison and La’Nette Dillard, while retaining the services of Antonio Davis.


ASU sends response to NCAA on alleged rules violations

Alabama State University sent to the NCAA on Friday its response to 668 alleged rules violations, according to a university spokesperson.

Janel Bell-Haynes, the now part-time director of university relations, said the school met the deadline of Friday imposed by the NCAA to submit its response. A request by the Montgomery Advertiser for copies of that response couldn’t be immediately met, Bell said, because it will "take some time to redact students' names and personal info from the document."


ODU Football schedules SSU and NCCU in 2009

Norfolk, VA - Old Dominion University has opted out of its ontract to play William and Mary in its second football game of the 2009 season. The Monarchs found a substitute opponent rather than paying the $75,000 to buy out of that game. They will pay Central Connecticut State a $50,000 guarantee to visit William and Mary on September 12, 2009.

Old Dominion also added to its schedule three games for 2009. The Monarchs will host North Carolina Central in a homecoming game October 3, will visit Savannah State on October 24 and will visit VMI on November 21.


Former Pirates Adams focuses on hoops for the moment

Maybe next summer at this time, Tommy Adams will decide he’s ready for a change and switch his loyalties from basketball to soccer once and for all. There are days when he thinks about it and wonders if he could step back out on the field and resume playing a sport he essentially gave up after a successful high school career at Hylton, where he earned all-state honors and scored 28 goals in leading the Bulldogs to a state and national championship.

He even considered talking with a minor-league professional soccer team near his home in Raleigh, N.C that included former Hylton teammate David Stokes on its roster and seeing where that might lead. But then a call came from his agent. The Indiana Pacers wanted Adams to attend a free-agent workout. And like that, Adams put a hold on any more soccer talk. Basketball still had the upper hand.

The NBA, a league that Adams had tried out for with at least four different teams since graduating from Hampton University in 2002, was beckoning again. “I can’t pass up on that,” Adams said.


Tuttle shines for DSU Hornets

Frayser Tuttle has just completed her freshman year at Delaware State University in Dover Delaware. She is attending this predominately black university on a full scholarship. Those two facts do not make this 2007 Powhatan High School graduate’s situation in higher education particularly unique, however the activity which pays her tuition, books, food and housing most certainly is. Tuttle is a star on the Hornets’ equestrian team.

In just its second season competing in NCAA equestrian events, this small (3,800 students) university has gone head to head and hoof to hoof with some of the largest universities in the country and more than held its own. Competing against teams from the Universities of Georgia, South Carolina, Baylor, Auburn, TCU, Oklahoma State, Texas A and M and SMU freshman Tuttle helped to propel the Delaware State riders to a top ten national ranking and an invitation to the National Championships. “She never gets frazzled,” said her first year Head Coach Jennifer Ridgely. “Frayser rides consistently and does so against the best in the country.”


A&M regaining indoor track teams

Two years after eliminating men's and women's indoor track, Alabama A&M athletics director Betty Austin said the school will bring back the sports. The sports were cut in an attempt to balance the budget, but Austin said a series of meetings with the student-athletes compelled her to put the sports back in place.

"I started a series of conversations with the students in April and asked them what we could do to strengthen their programs, and out of that, the track athletes requested we bring back indoor track," Austin said. "You can't do everything they ask you to do, but I thought the things that they said were legitimate."


Brisco's drive on track leads him to chase his goals at DSU

Despite finishing in the top half of the field, recently graduated Cape Henlopen High hurdler Isaiah Brisco didn't perform as well as he would have liked in the Nike Outdoor Nationals, held June 19-21 at Greensboro, N.C. He finished 13th among 32 participants in the 400-meter hurdles, and finished last in a field of 22 in the 110 hurdles.

But Brisco will have plenty of chances to improve on his times in the next four years. Best of all, his friends and family won't have to travel far to see this year's winner of the Thomas H. Fort Award, given to the state's most valuable performer in boys high school outdoor track and field as voted on by Delaware high school head coaches.

After winning the 110- and 300-meter hurdles in the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association Meet of Champions as a senior, Brisco will attend Delaware State University this fall.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Runner Hyppolite commits to FAMU

Miami native anxious to be with Rattlers

Benedick Hyppolite doesn't intend to take too long to fit in on FAMU's men's track team. Hyppolite, who ran on the Miami Booker T. Washington High School's state champion relay teams, became the newest runner for FAMU this week. He's spent the last two years running with the same relay teammates that had the fastest time in Dade County this past season.

He is anxious to build a relationship with his new teammates that can produce similar results, Hyppolite said Thursday just after his signing was announced. "We're going to be the youngest team and I just want to help Florida A&M work its way back up," he said. "We've got all the talent so hopefully we can make it happen."


SU’s Johnson ready to run for spot in ’08 Olympics

The 6-foot-5 guy who ran the 40-yard dash in less than 4.4 seconds at Southern University’s pro day for NFL scouts this spring isn’t going to a pro football training camp. Had he made different choices, Brian Johnson might be playing pro football. The former Southern track star has no time for second guessing.

The 28-year-old ex-Iowa High standout is focused on breaking a different barrier. With a jump of 27 feet, 2Ă˜ inches, Johnson is ranked No. 1 going into today’s long jump qualifying round at the 2008 Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. Johnson has three of the top seven jumps in the world this year and hopes to earn his first Olympic team spot. The final round is Sunday.

Brian Johnson


Changes are coming under former Grambling State's Robert Smith

Houston, Texas - Clear Lake Christian’s football program is about to get a different look. New head coach Robert Smith is setting his sights on lifting the Eagles from 6-man to 11-man football, upgrading the playing field and the bleachers. If anyone can do it, Smith can. He knows football inside, outside and sideways – offense and defense.

Smith played professional football in the NFL and USFL under three coaching legends: Tom Landry with the Cowboys in Dallas, Bud Grant with the Minnesota Vikings and George Allen with the Arizona Wranglers. Smith was drafted in the first round by the Wranglers in 1984 when Allen, the former coach of the Washington Redskins, was at the helm. He also played for Ray Perkins at Tampa Bay. His Tampa Bay and Detroit playing days included winning divisional championships in 1992 and 1993.

In college, Smith played for another football legend. During his four years at Grambling State University (1980-83), he was a starter at defensive end for Eddie Robinson. Before you ask the big question, yes, Smith knows coaching – a lot.


Savannah State changing attitudes

SAVANNAH, GA -- The Savannah State Tigers will begin a new era under coach Robby Wells.

As they get prepare the new season... the Tigers have signed a pair of new recruits. Wide receiver Alakan Thomas... A 6-3, 190-pounder from McDonough... and Jordan Monico from Hawaii... a fullback and linebacker who stands 6-feet and weighs in at 225-pounds.


B-CU hurdler to compete in track championships

Freshman Ronnie Ash has been selected to represent Team USA for the 110-meter hurdles in the NACAC under-23 Championships in Toluca, Mexico.

Ash, 19, is the first runner in Bethune-Cookman history to represent the U.S. The NACAC is the North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Association. The event takes place every other year, and involves teams comprised of the best athletes under 23 from the United States, Canada and Caribbean.

"This is a truly a huge honor for Ronnie," head coach Garfield Ellenwood said. "He worked extremely hard all season, earned All-America status for himself and the school, and now represents not only B-CU but also Team USA in the NACAC games. What a huge, huge honor for a freshman."

BCU Freshman Ronnie Ash (Lane #6) has All-American race for third place finish in NCAA Outdoor National Championships and does not get his name called once by TV announcers.


Prairie View baseball coach going to TSU

Michael Robertson resigned Monday as Prairie View A&M baseball coach after six seasons, saying he has accepted an offer for the same position at Texas Southern.

Robertson said TSU athletic director Charles McClelland, who served as Prairie View's AD from 2001-08, offered him the job Wednesday. A person familiar with the situation said that Candy Robinson, who just completed his 19th season as TSU's coach, would be promoted to director of baseball operations.

Robertson, who went 163-171 with the Panthers and led them to back-to-back Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament championships in 2006-07, said...


Capital City Football Classic: Texas Southern vs. Shaw University

Shaw University, the reigning 2007 CIAA Champions, will face Texas Southern University on the gridiron in the Capital City Football Classic in Sacramento, California on Sept. 13 at Hughes Stadium. Game time is set for 4:05 p.m. and will be broadcast live via Comcast Sports Net.

Events will begin on Sept. 11 with the United College Action Network, Incorporated 20th Year Anniversary United Scholarship Gala. We are extremely excited about this incredible opportunity to be a part of the Capital City Football Classic and face Texas Southern; one of the premier athletic programs in the nation,” said Dr. Clarence G. Newsome, President of Shaw University.

File Photo: Texas Southern Tigers vs. University of Texas at El Paso Miners in a 2007 regular season game.


Former Kentucky player named head basketball coach at MVSU

JACKSON, Miss. -- Former Texas Christian University assistant Sean Woods was chosen as the new head basketball coach at Mississippi Valley State University on Tuesday.Woods replaces James Green, who left earlier this year to become the new coach at Jacksonville State in Alabama.

Woods, a former college basketball standout at Kentucky, served two seasons at TCU as director of basketball operations and then assistant coach. Prior to his time at TCU, Woods spent one year as an assistant coach at Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

The two other finalists for the MVSU job were Texas Southern assistant Lacey Reynolds, a former head coach at Grambling State and Harvey Wardell, an assistant at Tougaloo College.


Mitchell back home at Southern University

There was always an air about Jackie Mitchell. That maturity level melded with athleticism to drive him into being a two-sport standout at Southern. Now, in returning to his alma mater after a successful run in the Canadian Football League, Mitchell’s aura — a seamless blend of easy confidence, attention-grabbing command and seriousness — remains one of his biggest assets.

“I truly felt I just had a different agenda,” Mitchell said of his time at SU. “I knew what I wanted to do, and I wasn’t going to be deterred by anything to get there.” The Canadian experience has added another layer of polish for Mitchell, who will be SU’s defensive backs coach.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sprinter headed to Olympic time trials

Since the seventh grade, Romulus' Landria Buckley has been excelling in track. Now this soon to be junior at Howard University in Washington D.C. is headed to the July 6 Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon. "In the beginning of the year my goal was to run under 13.3 seconds and qualify for regionals," Buckley said. "I surprised myself and made to nationals and ran 13.24 in the 100-meter hurdles."

She said that the adjustment from high school to college was different. For her she had to continue to work hard and really hit the weight room. The workouts are a lot harder and a lot more," she said. "The competition ends up being the best in the country."


DSU football opener moved to Sept. 4 for TV

Delaware State University's season-opening football game against Florida A&M has been moved to Thursday, Sept. 4, and will be telecast on ESPNU.

The home game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ESPNU also will carry two other Delaware State games during the 2008 season. The Nov. 1 matchup with South Carolina State (1 p.m.) at Alumni Stadium and the Nov. 15 game at Norfolk State (1 p.m.) will be shown on tape-delay on ESPNU at a time to be determined.

The DSU-FAMU game was previously scheduled for Sept. 6.


Big challenge for SSU coach

Robby Wells says he likes a challenge. He’s got one, all right. Wells was named head coach of the Savannah State University football team on Dec. 22, 2007, taking over one of the most maligned and moribund football programs in Division I. The Tigers have not had a winning season since 1998. They haven’t won more than two games in a season since 1999, and they went 1-9 in 2007.

“We’re doing the same thing Georgia State is doing,” Wells said, noting the Atlanta university’s plans to start a football program. “We’re doing it from scratch.” Problem is, Georgia State doesn’t plan to put its first team on the field for another two years. Savannah State’s been playing football since 1915. They are 7-47 since moving up to Division I in 2002.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

FAMU seeks kicking coach

All-American Vasquez favored to land position

FAMU's kicking game continues to be a major concern for football coach Joe Taylor. Just as soon as he found a seasoned kicker to add experienced depth with signee Trevor Scott, Taylor finds himself searching for a special-teams coach to replace J.B. Gibboney after he unexpectedly took another job.

Taylor said he'll have a replacement hired within the next two weeks. Former FAMU kicker and two-time All-American Juan Vasquez is the leading candidate among applicants for the job.

Gibboney spent spring practice working with freshman Troy Walker, a kicker from Wakulla High School. But Gibboney left FAMU for Purdue about two weeks ago, following his former boss Danny Hope, who is associate head coach for the Boilermakers. Gibboney's departure ironically came just weeks after Orlando Mitjans resigned as defensive coordinator to pursue a business venture. Both Gibboney and Mitjans came from Eastern Kentucky and were the last two hires for Taylor's staff in January (2008).


FAMU football coach Taylor reaches out to alumni

GAINESVILLE — Recruiting in Alachua County and surrounding areas should be a lot easier for Florida A&M — at least that's the impression that a lively gathering of alumni gave football coach Joe Taylor last weekend.

Taylor's offseason speaking tour made its stop in Gainesville on Saturday, where the Alachua chapter of the FAMU Alumni Association is being revived after a two-year hiatus. The group also promised to help FAMU's recruiting efforts in an area where Rudy Hubbard was the last FAMU coach to seriously recruit during the 1970s.

"There's going to be more competition (for athletes) because he has shown up," said Jesse Heard, a retired football coach at the old Lincoln High School in Gainesville. "He's been tremendously received and it's going to be a lot of energy here."


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Winnipeg Blue Bombers axe SCSU's Cleve McCoy

The axe came down hard on a number of Winnipeg Blue Bombers Saturday afternoon as the Canadian Football League club made its final cuts.

Sent packing were punter Brian Monroe, quarterback Cleve McCoy, defensive backs Greg Moss, Willie Amos, Kevin Garrett, Sebastian Clovis and Marc Beswick; linebackers Dwayne Slay, Brad Newman, Art Thomas, Jordan Matechuk and Joe Lobendahn...


McCoy does have a slim opportunity of being signed to the Bombers practice roster.

Ex-NFL linebacker, Disney Sports exec Reggie Williams fighting to save his leg

Battling infection takes ex-NFL star to New York

NEW YORK - Reggie Williams got in his car two months ago and headed north. He said goodbye to the swans and almost nobody else. He'd come to know them on his walks around Lake Eola. They'd take his mind off the pain as he circled the lake. Now the gnawing in his right knee had become too much.

Williams packed his Lexus with a few clothes and an iPod loaded with 18,226 songs. He did not know when he'd get back to Orlando, but the ex- NFL linebacker was certain of one thing. "This was all or nothing," Williams said.


Hampton U's Briggs jumps to title at Nike Outdoor Nationals

Recent Booker T. Washington graduate DeShana Briggs,will attend Hampton University this fall, won the high jump at the Nike Outdoor Nationals.

GREENSBORO, N.C. - DeShana Briggs and Marlena Wesh came to Nike Outdoor Nationals this weekend hoping to make a statement. Both dominated opponents in Virginia but they wanted to see how they would fare on the national level. Both left satisfied.

Briggs, a recent Booker T. Washington grad, won her first national title when she cleared 5 feet, 8 ½ inches to win the high jump.

“She made goals for herself all season,” Booker T. Washington coach Yolanda Penn said about Briggs. “She got the district title, the region title, the state title and placed third at the indoor national meet. But this was her last time competing as a high school athlete. And I told her it was now or never for a national title and she went out there and competed.”


Ex-Clemson RB McElrathbey to play for Howard

Southern Pigskin writer B.J. Bennett reports that former Tiger running back Ray Ray McElrathbey will play for Howard University. McElrathbey became famous in 2006 after it was discovered he took custody of his younger brother, Fahmarr, while is mother struggled with a drug addiction and his father with a gambling problem. The younger McElrathbey will accompany Ray Ray to Washington, D.C.

It wasn't a hard decision to pick Howard because I graduate from Clemson with a degree in Sociology on August 9th and Howard has a tremendous Master's Degree program in communications," McElrathbey told Bennett in the Southern exclusive interview. "Howard is also in a huge market in Washington D.C. It was a no brainer."


Ray Ray was a reserve running back for the Clemson Tiger, but will become the featured back in Coach Carey Bailey's spread offense. The 5-11/207 back runs a 4.36 40 yard dash with 38 inch vertical. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining. Coming out of Atlanta's Mays High School, the three sport star was a 3 star rated running back.

Ray Ray will join Howard incoming Division IA transfers Xavier Rucker (Nebraska) and Oscar Gonzales (Auburn) on Bailey's second Bison team. The Bison season opener against Georgetown just became worth the price of admissions and Metro subway fare to Georgia Avenue.


Bright showcases talent at 76ers workout

Ex-DSU standout hopes for a shot to realize dream

PHILADELPHIA -- Roy Bright knows his name won't be called when the NBA draft comes around Thursday night and that he has a "long road" ahead of him in order to fulfill his dream of playing in the NBA. Bright just wants a chance.

That's why Bright, who spent his final two seasons of college eligibility at Delaware State, was more than happy to work out for the 76ers on Saturday. It was his first workout for an NBA team, although he said scouts from a few other teams saw him recently in Atlanta.

"He's not ready right now," 76ers president and general manager Ed Stefanski said. "This kid has an NBA body and size (6-6/225), and if he works at his game, you never know. But it's going to take him a couple of years."


JSU alum Johnson to join NBA Bucks' summer team

Former Jackson State star Trey Johnson has been invited to play with the Milwaukee Bucks' summer league team in Las Vegas starting July 11. But the Murrah High graduate isn't waiting to get started. Johnson plans to travel to Milwaukee next week and start working with the organization.

Johnson averaged 27.1 points as a senior and led JSU to a 2007 NCAA appearance, losing to eventual national champion Florida. He played with the Hemofarm Stada in Serbia for three months at the end of last year. Johnson has been putting his communications degree to work in Jackson with a morning segment "The NBA according to Trey" on WJMI 99.7 and has a blog on the station's website at


Broadway, Grambling prepare for 'bottom heavy’ season

In his first year at the helm of the venerable program at Grambling State, Rod Broadway guided a young Tigers team to an 8-4 record, a Southwestern Athletic Conference Western Division title and an appearance in the SWAC championship game.

Heading into his second year, the veteran coach is faced with the challenge of meeting the always high expectations in the program made famous by the late Eddie Robinson with an even younger, though highly regarded, group of players.

"We're bottom heavy right now," Broadway told the fans and friends of Tiger football who attended the 2008 Tiger Round Up sponsored by the Mildred S. Jones Alumni Chapter at the Martin Community Center in Alexandria Saturday.


Wait a minute! How can Coach Broadway make this statement...""A few years down the road, we're going to have a team that should be a little better than just OK and a team that should be able to compete for a national championship."

Did I miss a key announcement by the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) while I was out sick for the past four days? If you don't participate in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs, how can any SWAC team talk about competing for a national championship? We certainly would like to see the SWAC back into the FCS playoff picture and it can be done with a little schedule rearranging of the Bayou Classic.

Broadway, hopefully, isn't speaking out the side of his neck and there is some internal movement a foot to get the SWAC back into the FCS playoffs as a regular participant.


Q&A: ASU football coach Barlow tries to move forward

The last few months have been a bit of a roller coaster ride for Alabama State's Reggie Barlow. Unfortunately, there have been far more deep plunges than nice, slow uphill rides for the Hornets' second-year head coach.

The trip started just after last football season, when he fired a friend -- offensive coordinator Maurice Harris. That was followed by the hiring of current OC Ben Noonan to completely revamp ASU's offense. That was followed by the release of an NCAA notice of infractions that detailed 668 violations committed by the Hornets from 1999 to 2003. Then came the debacle that was Barlow's interview on Paul Finebaum's radio program.

All in all, he would probably just as soon forget the last half-year. But first, he has to talk about it.


Former FAMU Basketball Coach Josh Giles inducted in Polk County Hall of Fame

The late Josh Giles was inducted posthumously into the Polk County Hall of Fame at the eighth annual Polk County All Sports Awards and Hall of Fame induction ceremony, on June 17. The event was sponsored by Polk County Sports Marketing and The Ledger Newspaper.

When it comes to athletic excellence, Polk County doesn't take a back seat to many counties. Giles, along with four other inductees, was recognized for his accomplishments in putting Polk Community College on the athletic map.

Josh Giles continues to help Polk County young people with their educational pursuits with the Josh Giles Foundation (scholarships and youth programs) and the Josh Giles Tip Off Classic - . "The mission of the Josh Giles Foundation is to continue his work and goals by focusing on the youth of our area and helping to enrich their lives through education and activities that can highlight their talents and dreams," said founder Cynthia Giles, widow of the late Polk Community College basketball coach.

At Florida A&M University, Giles coached for four seasons, 1979-1983 and compiled a career record of 41 wins, 71 losses (0.366).

JOSH GILES (1942-2002)

The late Giles is credited with putting Polk Community College athletics on the map.

As the school's basketball coach from 1987 to 2000, Giles compiled a record of 262-130 with six conference titles, three state titles and three trips to the national tournament.

But there is more to Giles' story than just numbers. He is credited with influencing the lives of hundreds of children, many of whom he didn't coach.

Giles grew up in Detroit, where he used athletics as a way to gain an education. He played basketball at Okaloona Junior College and later at the University of West Texas State where he received a bachelor's degree in education. He later received his master's at the University of Maryland.

He began coaching in 1970 at Shaw College in Detroit before becoming an assistant at Stetson. He later became the head coach at Florida A&M University and was an assistant at the University of New Orleans and Mercer before going to Polk Community College.

He's still making a difference through the Josh Giles Foundation, which provides scholarships to Polk High School students and support to the PCC basketball program.

Greatest Sports Accomplishment: Doug Williams' Super Bowl Win

The position of quarterback has been a microcosm of the black man's struggle in America—a door supposedly “open to all”—except for us of a darker hue who continuously knock, kick, and scream until an answer comes.

For 80 years, the black man has fought tooth and nail to lead a professional football franchise to glory. Many came before Doug Williams, and some of them may have even been better skilled. But looking back on the life of Douglas Lee Williams—none were better prepared.

My mother says, “The Lord chooses whom he will.” If you ask Williams about being the Chosen One, he places it at the feet of hard work, opportunity, and determination more than anything.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Southern University basketball adds two signees

The Southern men’s basketball program has concluded its signing class with the addition of two more players. Tim Brown, a 6-foot-8 center, from Garden City Community College and Lester “Skip” Johnson Jr., a 6-5 small forward/shooting guard, from Hale High in Tulsa, Okla., have signed with SU.

Those two join Duncanville (Texas) High point guard Brian Talley, who signed in November. “We’re pleased with the recruiting,” Southern coach Rob Spivery said. “With the people sitting out and the ones we’re bringing in, they all have the capability of helping us.”


SWAC, MVSU mourn ex-A.D. Prophet’s death

ITTA BENA, Miss. — Charles “Chuck” Prophet, former athletic director and sports information director for Mississippi Valley State University, died on Friday. He was 67. Prophet, who was widely known as “The Wagon Master” of the famed Southwestern Athletic Conference football press tours, died about midday Friday at Greenwood Leflore Hospital in Greenwood, university officials said.

“Words cannot express how dearly Chuck will be missed,” said interim director of athletics Donald Sims. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Anna and the rest of the family. Chuck will always remain in our hearts.” “His hard work and his dedication at MVSU and within the conference were immeasurable,” said SWAC Commissioner Duer Sharp.


UMES Brummell named NTCA Coach of the Year/Three Lady Hawks named All-Americans

The National Tenpins Coaches Association (NTCA) has named the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Head Women’s Bowling coach Sharon Brummell their 2008 Division 1 National Coach of the Year. “Wow,” said Brummell, a four-time Mid-Eastern Athletic (MEAC) Coach of the Year. “What a compliment, to be voted the Division 1 National Coach of the Year by your colleagues is truly an honor and a humbling experience.”

Brummell led the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) to their fourth MEAC Championship and the first ever NCAA National Championship in Women’s Bowling this past season and was rewarded for her efforts by being selected for the honor. The National Championship is just the second in school history and the first NCAA title. Brummell also became the first woman and African-American to lead her team to an NCAA Bowling National Championship.

The Lady Hawks Bowling Team have earned three All-Americans for the second straight year and with it move their total up to seven in the last three seasons. The awards, named from the National Tenpins Coaches Association selected Kristina Frahm (Oswego, Ill./Oswego East H.S.), Maria Rodriguez (Ibague Tolima, Columbia/La Presentacion) and NCAA Tournament Most Valuable Bowler Jessica Worsley (Brick, N.J./Brick Memorial H.S.) as the latest three Lady Hawks to earn All-American status.

Frahm, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Tournament Most Outstanding Performer, earned First-Team All-American status and with it was voted the Division 1Rookie of the Year. The freshman “sensation “ knocked down over 15,000 pins individually during the season and averaged an impressive 201.83 over the course of the year.

Rodriguez, a Second-Team All-American selection was equally impressive. Also a freshman, Rodriguez only bowled the second half of the season and still managed to take out over 8,000 pins and post an average of 204.7. Rodriguez earned All-Tournament Team honors at two of the biggest events of the year for UMES, the MEAC Championships and the NCAA Championships.

Worsley, one of just two seniors on the team was named a Third-Team All-American. The NCAA Tournament MVP, Worsley was as clutch as they come in big spots. She hit the “big four,” 4-6-7-10 split against Arkansas State to seal a win early in the NCAA Championship and then a critical 2-10 split against Vanderbilt. A former MEAC MVP, Worsley was also named the UMES Female Athlete of the Year the past two seasons.


Former PVAMU Volleyball standout named assistant coach at UTPA

Photo: TPA Coach Laura De La Fuente was Volleyball star at Prairie View A&M University.

EDINGBURG, Texas- The University of Texas-Pan American women's volleyball program announced that former Prairie View A&M University standout Laura De La Fuente has been named as an assistant coach with the Lady Broncs.

"I'm really excited to be given this opportunity to work with the UTPA volleyball program," said De La Fuente. "I will be able to get the valley involved with our sports program here. UTPA is one of the pride and joys of the Valley so that's why I chose to come back here. I think Coach Hubbard is starting something great, she has a great group of girls and she is doing an excellent job here."

"We are very excited about the addition of Laura to our staff," said head volleyball coach Angela Hubbard. "She has such a passion for the Valley and is exactly what we need to complete our staff. We feel that she is such a great fit with what we are trying to accomplish. She is very knowledgeable of the game and is ready to help Bronc volleyball make an impact within the Valley as well as in the national scene. "


DSU Hornets name Livingston offensive line coach

Delaware State University today named Lawrence Livington offensive line coach for the football team. Livingston, 46, has coached at several Division I-A programs, including UTEP, Washington State, Texas A&M and Army. Livingston replaces Jeff Braxton, who left DSU to become head coach at Cheyney University.

“Coach Livingston stood out among the many fine candidates for the position because of his broad experience and track record of success.” head coach Al Lavan said in a press release. “He was highly recommended by some of the most respected names in college football. I am confident he is the right person to lead our offensive line to even greater success.”


Ex-TSU All-American Swain, 78, dies

First-round pick of Celtics in 1958 was on title team

Bennie Swain, the first All-American basketball player at Texas Southern University, died after a long illness Thursday at the age of 78. Swain led the nation in scoring during the 1957-58 season, when he was named to an All-American team that featured future Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain.

He left TSU as the school's all-time leading scorer, a mark that stood until Harry "Machine Gun" Kelly surpassed Swain in 1981.

The 6-8 Swain was chosen by the Boston Celtics with the seventh overall pick of the 1958 draft. He played 58 games for the NBA champions in 1958-59, his only professional season, averaging 4.6 points and 4.5 rebounds as the backup center to Hall of Famer Bill Russell.

Photo: Bennie Swain #16 is shown on 1958/59 autographed photo of 12 team members of the World Champions Boston Celtics, including Gene Conley, Bob Cousy, head coach Red Auerbach, Bill Sharman, Bill Russell, K. C. Jones, Lou Tsioropoulos, Tommy Heinsohn, Ben Swain, Jim Loscutoff, Sam Jones and Frank Ramsey.


Hampton University stockpiling FBS Football Transfers

Photo: Hampton University head footall coach Jerry Holmes (Mark's Digital Photography).

Hampton gains a former I-A player at defensive end and is poised to add a former I-A wide receiver.

Pirates coach Jerry Holmes said Friday that Bryant Miller, a defensive end from Auburn, will play for Hampton this season. Holmes also said that former Florida State wide receiver Damon McDaniel wants to play for Hampton and that the school is "finalizing" the process of admitting him.

McDaniel and Miller would swell the list of I-A transfers to six since Holmes became the Pirates' head coach in December. The others are tailback LaMarcus Coker (from Tennessee), linebacker Brandon Peguese (South Florida), safety Ricardo Kemp (Tennessee) and linebacker J'Courtney Williams (Virginia).

McDaniel and Miller were ranked among the highest recruits at their positions in the Class of 2006, but played little during their first two years in college. Holmes said that Miller transferred to Hampton to get more playing time, while McDaniel plans to transfer because he wants to be closer to his Virginia Beach home.


Hampton University hire has good track record

Hampton University is turning to an area high school coaching legend to revive its men's track and field program. Steve Lewis was hired Thursday as the Pirates' head coach, replacing Emmanuel Daux — the interim coach this past year. Daux was an assistant to Enrique German, fired in June 2007 after two years as coach.

Lewis, 65, brings a sterling resume to his new position. He guided his teams to 10 Virginia High School League state titles from 1970-82: one at Mathews and nine at Menchville. He left his post at Menchville in 1982 to coach at the University of Pittsburgh, where he also was hugely successful before his release in 2002. He began as an assistant, became the women's head coach in 1984 and was promoted to men's and women's head coach in 1995.


DSU Roy Bright workout for Philadelphia 76ers

Depending on which NBA mock draft you check, the 76ers could be deciding on any number of prospects to be selected at No. 16. They are, in fact, scheduled to check out four more today at Philadelphia College Of Osteopathic Medicine. But today's session appears to be more about being nice to the local basketball community. To that end, the Sixers' group includes Roy Bright (Delaware State), Charron Fisher (Niagara), John Griffin (Bucknell) and Gary Ervin (Arkansas).

The two-round draft will be held Thursday. The Sixers do not have a second-round pick. The 6-6 Bright averaged 19.1 points and 5.3 rebounds as a senior, spending two seasons at Delaware State after transferring from Garden City Community College and Cincinnati; he withdrew from last year's draft after applying for early eligibility.


Alabama State Hornets profit with new schedule

The Gulf Coast Classic just got a shot of life. On Tuesday, officials at Alabama State and Southern University signed an agreement guaranteeing the two schools will meet each season in Mobile's Ladd-Peebles Stadium through the year 2011.

The deal gives the game the two things its critics have demanded: A big-time, consistent opponent and a nice payday. Southern boasts one of the largest, most devoted fan bases in the conference and its continued involvement in the game puts an end to ASU's often-criticized practice of rotating opponents each season. In addition, the Gulf Coast Scholar and Sports Foundation, a non-profit organization in Mobile that's serving as host for the game, has promised a $900,000 payout to ASU over the next four years.


New Era for Monte Coleman, UAPB Golden Lions

A new era has begun at Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

Former Washington Redskins, National Football League veteran linebacker Monte Coleman will begin his tenure as head football coach of the Golden Lions. Coleman is no stranger to Pine Bluff, having lived there in his youth and assisted former Golden Lions coaches after his retirement. Coleman won three Super Bowl rings with the Redskins in 16 seasons and upon his retirement entered the ministry.

Holding a Bible in one hand and a whistle in the other, figuratively speaking, Coleman plans to create strong Christian young men who win with heart and determination.

“My first hope is for winning football games — I’m not used to losing,” Coleman said. “I especially want to win when I’m on the football field, but it takes players being disciplined. As a football team, if we put discipline in everything we do, we can have some major accomplishments.”


Ex-Granby star Chris Bell seeks fresh start at Norfolk State

Chris Bell has found a new home at his old home. The former Granby High School All-American is attending summer school at Norfolk State and says he plans to be on the football roster this fall. "Every step I take, I'm making sure is a positive step," Bell said Thursday evening after he cruised through conditioning drills at Dick Price Stadium. "I'm more mature now. I'm just trying to do the right thing."

For Bell, 21, the right thing would include putting a past behind him that includes legal and academic problems from the nearly two years he played at Penn State. In April, Bell was dismissed from the football team after police said he threatened a teammate with a knife in a campus dining hall. He was released from the university.

Bell said he was encouraged by several Penn State assistant coaches to transfer to Hampton University. "They thought that was a good program. I didn't feel they were interested in me," he said of Hampton. "I didn't want to put myself in a program I wasn't satisfied with. I had already done that once."


If you have not noticed, the MEAC is in a Renaissance of sort with a few players at the FBS transferring down to the FCS HBCU programs or being signed outright. In addition to Chris Bell from Penn State, Justin Payne (Elon) signed with South Carolina State (5-7/170, 4.39/40; Sophomore DT (6-2/286) Shane Moore transferred from Marshall University to Norfolk State; RS Freshman OG Sergio Glenn (6-6/330) transferred from Marshall University to North Carolina A&T in the past several weeks. We will provide you with a comprehensive update on the FBC transfers to MEAC programs in a few days.


FAMU recruit Bent set to play at high level

Young Cecil Bent would run around the basketball court while his mother coached her middle school girls' team — until it was time to do the blindfold dribbling drill. That's when he joined in. Penny Tapley didn't mind. She was big on teaching fundamentals, and she thought that if her son matured into a basketball player he'd find the workout useful. She was right.

"It helped because when I was young, I would always look down and I couldn't see the whole floor," Bent said. "Now when I dribble, I can see the whole floor. It was very helpful."

Now 6-foot-9 and 290 pounds, Bent credits his mother for showing him how to get a full range of the floor by dribbling blindfolded. He regularly gets rave reviews for how he can find an open guard to dish the ball to for a basket when he played at Swainsboro (Ga.) High School.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Arkansas Record Breaking Receiver coming to UAPB Golden Lions

Gionni Harris was a key component in helping Fayetteville unlock the door to the school's first-ever state football title in 2007. Now Harris will represent the Purple Dogs in the Arkansas High School Coaches Association All-Star Football contest at Reynolds Razorback Stadium Friday at 7 p.m.

Harris is also an incoming freshman to the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff Golden Lions football program. The 5-8/160 WR/KR has lightning quickness running a 4.4/40.

Gionni Harris 2007 Offensive Highlights (RB/WR/KR)

Harris finished the season in 2007 with a school-record 1,218 receiving yards and also broke the school record for single-season receptions in the state title game. He snared 5 catches for 89 yards in the title tilt. He hauled in 64 receptions on the season, breaking the mark of 59 that stood for nine years. Harris' 14 receiving touchdowns this year set the new mark for single-season TD catches.

Harris leaves Fayetteville as the all-time leader in receptions(164), career receiving yards(2,839), career receiving touchdowns(29) and career special teams touchdowns(6).


That's keeping 'em home, baby!

Lawsuit doesn't spur North Carolina A&T students to rethink racing

Photo: Mauricia Grant, a former NASCAR official, filed a $225 million discrimination lawsuit against NASCAR last week alleging racial and sexual discrimination and wrongful termination (USPresswire, Mike Basso).

BROOKLYN, MI - Joshua Lewis still aspires to obtain a job in NASCAR. Yes, the 20-year-old in North Carolina A&T 's motorsports program has heard about this week's lawsuit that alleges racist and sexist allegations against NASCAR. No, he won't abandon his goal. Instead the lawsuit motivates him to help change the stock-car racing series. "I want to be one to bring about more diversity," he said.

Other classmates echoed his comments. Even Mauricia Grant, the woman who cites racial, sexual and gender discrimination in her suit against NASCAR, says she would recommend that minorities be a part of the sport. "We have to work together to change the racist culture and, anyone who has an interest in motorsports, they should be allowed to work in that environment without having to deal with racism or sexism or racially ignorant people," Grant said this week.



In Grant's lawsuit, the 32 year old former NASCAR Official cites 23 specific incidents of sexual discrimination and 34 specific incidents of racial or gender discrimination. NASCAR officials Tim Knox and Bud Moore were placed on indefinite administrative leave Friday and are accused of exposing their genitals to Mauricia Grant.

She also is suing for wrongful termination after being fired from her job as a technical inspector responsible for certifying cars in the Nationwide Series. She was employed from January 2006 to October 2007, when NASCAR fired her citing poor work performance. Grant suit claims the termination was done in retaliation for filing complaints for workplace discrimination and sexual harassment.

NASCAR doesn't stand a chance to win this suit with 57 possible breaches of federal law and a well established culture of discrimination that is of no secret to the world. Look for Ms. Grant to prevail in this forthcoming battle that won't make it to the Court.

Grant's Bio

  • Hired by NASCAR in January 2005, becoming NASCAR's first African-American female official.

  • Successfully graduated from the Los Angeles Urban League Automotive Training Center (ATC) in 2004 with honors.

  • Graduated from Stony Brook University.

  • Born in The Bronx, New York in Eastchester Projects; raised by a single parent mother of four.