Sunday, May 31, 2009

Taylor tries to beat B-CU in own backyard

DELAND, FL — Florida A&M football coach Joe Taylor came right into the backyard of Bethune-Cookman University and caused quite a stir with the help of an audience of FAMU fans Saturday morning. Taylor, who is preparing for his second season as the Rattlers' head coach, fielded questions from the audience. It was apparent that beating B-CU in recruiting in the tiny town is a priority for most of those in the group that makes up FAMU's Volusia County Alumni Association.

Getting the best of the qualified players in the small town — nestled between Orlando and Daytona — is part of his mission, Taylor told the gathering at Chisholm Community Center. "There are lots of schools in Florida that have tremendous athletes off the beaten-path," Taylor said afterward. "There is another college in this area (B-CU) that's recruiting in this area, but we just came to make sure that we talk to the alumni and let them know what kind of program we run."

Taylor will do just that during the next six weeks, as he makes the rounds throughout Florida and other parts of the country to inform FAMU fans on the upcoming season. The appearance in Volusia county was the third of seven stops on Taylor's summer tour.


FAMU president's pay boost would make him third-highest-paid president in Florida
Ammons receives salary bonus
Rattlers ready for NCAA run »
FAMU runners excited to compete in regional

Prairie View coach agrees to 4-year contract

Prior to Cooper-Dyke's arrival on campus, the Lady Panthers had never had a winning season.

Prairie View A&M has reached an agreement on a four-year contract with women’s basketball coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke. “Prairie View is where we want her,” athletic director Fred Washington said Wednesday. Cooper’s original four-year contract expired at the end of last season.

Cooper, a former star with the now-defunct Houston Comets, has led the Lady Panthers to the NCAA Tournament in two of the last three seasons and one trip to the Women's NIT. During that span, Prairie View has won three consecutive Southwestern Athletic Conference regular-season titles and two postseason conference tournament titles.

“We hadn’t seen very much success in women’s basketball,” Washington said. “We had never approached 20 wins, which we had the last two years, and never seen championship-caliber performances or the level of interest in women’s basketball from our fans or potential student-athletes that we have now.”

Washington said Prairie View A&M has reworked the contract of football coach Henry Frazier III and signed men’s basketball Byron Rimm II to a new four-year contract. It's great keeping a coach who can coach anywhere."

PVAMU women’s basketball players Gaati Werema, Candice Thomas and Dominique Smith were selected by USA Athletes International to represent the United States in the 2009 Vienna Basketball Tournament in Vienna, Austria. The Lady Panthers trio are competing abroad this summer from May 28th – June 6. This is a first for PVAMU and the SWAC and shows the superb influence of Coach Cooper-Dyke on HBCU basketball on the global stage.



PVAMU Women's Basketball Travels Abroad to Vienna
Cooper-Dyke Re-Signs with Prairie View
Prairie View coach signs 4-year deal

Southern battles, falls to Minnesota Gophers

Coach Roger Cador ends year with a 30-17 mark with two-and-out in the NCAAs.

Sunglasses still covered much of his face. A gleaming dark-blue helmet still sat atop his head. Near home plate at Alex Box Stadium, Southern catcher Michael Thomas bent forward and placed his hands on his knees. His eyes searched the bright reddish-brown dirt for answers. Saturday afternoon, the Jaguars had just finished their last game of the season — an intense, emotional back-and-forth elimination game in the Baton Rouge Regional that ended in an 11-8 loss to Minnesota.

“A lot of pain,” Thomas said. “Standing out there, I thought we were going to pull out the win today.” For Thomas, this was tough to process. So many times, SU had battled back — not only in Saturday’s game, but for much of their wild and mostly successful 2009 season. Thomas, for his part, had returned to action after missing 20 games with a broken hand, one of many Jaguars who’d succumbed to injures over the season.


Tough lineups get best of SU relievers
LSU survives scare
Defending champ Fresno State eliminated
Schiefelbein: Schimpf lets cat out of bag
Playing in hometown good, bad for SU
Opportunity great for Southern, too

Bethune-Cookman Wildcats go 2-and-out the hard way

GAINESVILLE, FL -- Another day, another heartbreaking loss, another early exit from the NCAA Regionals for the Bethune-Cookman baseball team. On Friday, B-CU lost 8-7 when Florida scored three runs in the ninth. On Saturday vs. Jacksonville, the Wildcats again fell 8-7, this time when a pinch hitter failed to come through with two men on base in the ninth.

"We lost two close games," Bethune-Cookman coach Mervyl Melendez said. "(Friday) we lost in the ninth inning. (Saturday) we lost in the eighth inning. That is baseball." Jacksonville (37-21) moved on to play in another elimination game at 1 p.m. today against Miami, which lost 8-2 to Florida on Saturday night. Bethune-Cookman (32-28) went two-and-out in the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time in 10 trips under Melendez, this time with an unusual ending.


B-CU upset slips away
Bethune-Cookman ousted by Jacksonville
Florida Gators baseball team avoids stunning upset
Opachich, Jacksonville stay alive with 8-7 victory

MEAC representatives to visit Savannah State

NCAA: SSU's three-year probation 'is now over."

Savannah State University's bid to be admitted to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference is moving forward following a three-year delay. MEAC commissioner Dennis Thomas told the Savannah Morning News on Tuesday that he and other MEAC representatives will be at SSU June 29-30 for an official site visit - one of the final steps before joining a conference.

SSU has competed as an NCAA Division I Independent since leaving the Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 2002. The Tigers paid a $10,000 non-refundable application fee to the MEAC in 2005.

"We will be visiting Savannah State University at the end of June," Thomas said during a telephone interview from MEAC headquarters in Virginia Beach, Va. "That's virtually all I can say about it. We will be visiting. It's a site visit for the membership committee. We won't be in town for more than two days." Thomas and other MEAC representatives made an official site visit to SSU on May 8, 2006. MEAC school presidents were set to vote on the school's admittance, but the NCAA placed SSU's football program on a three-year probation the week before the scheduled decision.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Prairie View A&M mourns beloved band leader

George Edwards, 60, dies of injuries from car accident. A native of Chattanooga, Tenn., Edwards earned a bachelor’s degree in music at Florida A&M University and his master’s from Michigan State University.

George Edwards, director of Prairie View A&M University’s Marching Storm band, died Thursday from injuries sustained in a car accident earlier this month. He was 60. Former students — many of whom followed Edwards’ example and became school band leaders themselves — were stunned to hear that the man they called “Prof” was gone.

“Everybody is still in shock,” said Christopher Knight, a member of the Prairie View band in the 1990s who now teaches at M.C. Williams Middle School in Houston. “You always suspected Prof would grow old in the position.” The Marching Storm, with its drum line and Black Foxes dance troupe, has performed around the world, including the inaugural parade for former President George W. Bush in 2001 and the Tournament of Roses parade in January. Houston audiences may be more familiar with the clash between the Marching Storm and Texas Southern University’s Ocean of Soul, a highlight of the Labor Day Classic football game between the two historically black universities.


Prairie View A&M band director dies after crash
Legendary PVAMU band director dies
Video: Marching Storm - Marching Bands - America's Music - New York Times
Photo Gallery:
"SGT" Kevin Maurice Robinson (kevinr316) : PVAMU Marching Storm photos : 2007 Honda ...

Alcorn State baseball coach retires after 40 years

LORMAN, MS — With Alcorn State’s baseball season coming to an end with a loss in the SWAC Tournament championship game last Sunday, one might think that coach Willie “Rat” McGowan could finally take it easy. After all, McGowan did announce his retirement last month and has coached his final game in the ASU dugout. But McGowan’s retirement doesn’t take effect until June 30, and the coach is still working hard until then.

“I’m recruiting and trying to find some ball players,” McGowan said on Wednesday. “We’ve got some good kids coming in. I’m going to be coaching until my last day. I want to leave the Alcorn baseball program competitive for the next coach. I think the team we’ll put together will be able to win a championship.”

Coach Willie "Rat" McGowan #25, won 720 games with the ASU Braves.

And that is something McGowan’s final Alcorn team almost did. The Braves lost the opening game of the SWAC Tournament to Texas Southern before winning four straight games to advance to the championship game. However, the Braves lost to Southern 12-10 to bring down the curtain on McGowan’s 40 years at the helm of the Alcorn baseball program.


Mississippi college athletic director heads for NC
Hamilton resigns as Alcorn athletic director
Alcorn AD's controversial tenure to end
Alcorn eliminates 60 jobs; more cuts possible
Southern tops Alcorn in SWAC

JSU suspends offensive coordinator

Jackson State offensive coordinator James Woody was suspended for five days without pay by the university for an "unspecified personnel issue" on Friday. The suspension was announced in a two-paragraph press release following two days of speculation fostered by a Jackson television station report that Woody had been terminated on Wednesday.

Woody declined comment when reached at his home on Thursday and did not return calls on Friday. Coach Rick Comegy and athletic director Bob Braddy did not return several calls over the past two days.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No good comes from this game

This October, in a game that shouldn't be played because of a contract that shouldn't have been signed, little Delaware State will face Michigan in the Big House.

If you made a list of the 10 dumbest things ever done by university administrators, Delaware State's decision to play Michigan would be Nos. 1-5. It was so dumb that nobody from the school can (or will) explain the anatomy of a football deal that forces it to forfeit a conference game. DSU has to forfeit its Oct. 17 game against North Carolina A&T because school negotiators somehow forgot to rearrange the team's existing schedule.

The truly unnerving part of this story is that other schools might be tempted to copy Delaware State. Just take the money, stick it to the conference schedule, plead stupidity and cash the check.


DSU's haul at Michigan: $550,000
Miscommunication forces DSU to forfeit game
DSU releases 2009 football schedule
DSU 10th nationally in relay
DSU drops wrestling
DSU to cut wrestling program

New coach is well-versed in TSU history

John Cooper was well-connected in the Kansas City area. He was a car dealer who had ties to the Kansas City Royals. He knew Frank White. He knew U L Washington. The Royals were his team. But his grandson, also named John Cooper, had a bond with him beyond baseball. They loved hoops, specifically NAIA hoops, and the conference has held its basketball championship in K.C. for all but eight years since 1937.

So they would go to Kemper Arena. Head to the national tournament every March and watch the best basketball few discussed on a national level. Back in the day, Tennessee State was certainly in the NAIA discussion. In 1957, TSU became the first all-black team to win an integrated college basketball national championship. The Tigers followed that up by winning in '58 and '59. Five players from those teams went on to play in the NBA.


Tennessee State men win 23rd PGA Minority Collegiate Golf Championship
Top scorer will transfer from Tennessee State
Ex-TSU basketball star decides Georgia is better fit
2010 track meet to honor TSU legend Ed Temple
TSU's Chris Johnson signs with Raiders
TSU's Williams drafted by Chiefs
TSU center signs free agent deal with Jags

Monday, May 25, 2009

LSU No. 3 national seed; Tigers to face Southern Jaguars

LSU was named the No. 3 national seed in the 64-team NCAA baseball tournament field that was revealed today. The Tigers (46-16) will play Southern (30-15) at 1 p.m. Friday in the first game of the four-team regional that begins Friday at Alex Box Stadium. The second game at 6 p.m. Friday will pit Baylor (29-24) against Minnesota (38-17) on the first day of the four-team, double-elimination regional tournament.

Southern catcher Michael Thomas tags out LSU Matt Clark at home plate.

The national seed means the Tigers will host a super regional if they can survive the four-team regional that begins Friday at Alex Box Stadium. The winner of the Baton Rouge regional will play the winner of the Houston regional, hosted by Rice. Kansas State, Xavier (Ohio) and Sam Houston State are the other teams in the Houston regional. The LSU regional is the program’s 19th at home — all since 1986. Southern is in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2005.


NCAA Baseball Regional Tournaments

At Gainesville, Fla.
No. 4 Bethune-Cookman (32-26) vs. (8) No. 1 Florida (39-20)
No. 3 Jacksonville (36-20) vs. No. 2 Miami (Fla.) (36-20)

At Baton Rouge
No. 4 Southern (30-15) vs. (3) No. 1 LSU (46-16)
No. 3 Baylor (29-24) vs. No. 2 Minnesota (38-17)

Southern U holds off Alcorn State, wins SWAC tournament

On the last day of what he later called the greatest weekend of his life, Southern shortstop Jesse Olivar woke up with puffy eyes and sore muscles. Actually, he didn’t wake up at all. He couldn’t sleep. Throughout his young life, Olivar had never won a championship — not in Little League, not in junior high, not on summer teams, not ever. Now he was close.

“I was so excited to play,” he said. “I was already tired from the night before. I took a bath and tried to stay loose. Then I got a massage, so I could come out in halfway good shape.” On Sunday afternoon at Lee-Hines Field, near the end of a wild, emotional Southwestern Athletic Conference baseball tournament, Olivar found himself at the center of the storm.

It was ironic: At the climax of the Jaguars’ 12-10 slugfest of a win over Alcorn State — one that capped a wild ride to the SWAC title and clinched a berth in the NCAA tournament for SU, not to mention that elusive first ring for Olivar — his defense helped seal the deal.


Schiefelbein: Nothing like going out on top for SU
Maloy, SU pitching staff get job done
SWAC Baseball Tournament Results
LSU No. 3 national seed; Tigers to face Southern
Armstrong key player as SU reaches title game
Alcorn State stays alive; SU, GSU battle weather
Southern advances past Grambling
Texas Southern coming alive again
SU continues winning at SWAC tournament
Jaguars rally past A&M
Braves down Texas Southern 7-6, advance to Championship Game
SWAC Tournament

Sunday, May 24, 2009

MEAC Sports Shorts: Get out of Town!

Atlanta Football Classic paid FAMU only $255,081 in 2007 is nothing to dance about for Rattlers. TSU earned $287,867.

  • McQuay released from FAMU scholarship, eyeing Florida State: Suncoast sprinter Tony McQuay received word today that FAMU track coach Rey Robinson had been fired and was granted a release from his scholarship. McQuay won a gold medal in the 400-meter dash, a silver in the 200, and a bronze in the 100 at the Class 2A state meet earlier this month. He had signed a track scholarship with FAMU, where his parents attended and his sister is now, the week of the state meet. He turned down offers from Clemson, Georgia and Georgia Tech, among others to sign with FAMU. After his performance, McQuay attracted the attention of Florida and Florida State and he said that made him rethink his decision to sign with FAMU but it was too late. All that changed when Robinson was fired late Tuesday.
  • McELVEEN SEEKS FAMU RELEASE: Blake senior Marissa McElveen, the 3A state champion in the triple jump, is seeking a release from her national letter of intent signed with Florida A&M University after the Rattlers fired women's head coach Maicel Malone, Yellow Jackets coach Shirley Parker said Friday.
  • Bank of America may punt Atlanta Football Classic title sponsorship: Bank of America Corp. may pull its title sponsorship of the 100 Black Men of Atlanta Football Classic. The Charlotte-based bank three-year contract as title sponsor of the college game in Atlanta ends after this year event on Sept. 26. While the bank will maintain some level of sponsorship, it likely will not continue as title sponsor. BofA has been the title sponsor since 2004. The decision comes at a time when financial institutions that have received assistance from the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) are coming under increased scrutiny for sports marketing, especially from the U.S. Congress. BofA has received $45 billion in TARP funding.
  • 100 Black Men of Atlanta Football Classic: According to 100 Black Men of Atlanta 2007 tax returns, it paid $287,867 to Tennessee State University, which plays in the game, and $255,081 to Florida A&M University, Tennessee State annual opponent for their participation in the 2007 Bank of America - Atlanta Football Classic.
  • Athletes receive scholarship offers from Rattlers: Matt Thompson, 6-0, 175 senior QB from Seabreeze Senior High School (Daytona Beach, FL) has receive scholarship offers from FAMU, Bethune Cookman and Tennessee State. The talented quarterback prospect missed the majority of his junior season with a broken leg. Northern Illinois has expressed interest, but has not offered a scholarship to Thompson.
  • RELOADING: North Marion High hasn’t missed the regional playoffs since 1999 and with a talented group of rising seniors is a good bet to make it again. According to Colts coach Craig Damon, Florida A&M has offered current NMHS standouts Courtland Thomas (DL), Brandon Carr (S) and Terraine McCullough (WR/DB). Damon said Iowa State has also offered McCullough, who he expects more offers to come in for over the next week.
  • Player on Radar: Alex DeLeon (6-3, 190), a three-year starter at outside linebacker and tight end, is getting looks from FAMU, Florida Atlantic, The Citadel, Marshall and Duke. DeLeon plays for Belleview (FL) Rattlers Coach Mike Bowe, which returns six starters on offense and five on defense.
  • Get Out of Town: The Orange & Green received a big shock this week as the University has decided not to renew the contracts of two Head Rattlers. Men's track coach Rey Robinson and women's track coach Maicel Malone were informed Tuesday that their services were no longer needed. Robinson, a former Olympian, has been the men's track coach since 2000. Malone, a former coach at FSU, took over the women’s program at FAMU in 2005. Athletic director Bill Hayes said the changes were necessary as part of his effort to turn around FAMU's athletic program. Both head coach Rey Robinson and Maicel Malone were preparing five athletes -- thee men and two women -- for the NCAA East Regional championships next weekend in Greensboro, N.C. when they were notified.
  • Joe Taylor impact goes beyond gridiron: Over 30 FAMU Rattlers earned grade point averages in the classroom at 3.0 or better this past semester. The B average of these players represent an important academic accomplishment. Starting quarterback Curtis Pulley's father reported that his son earned a 3.2 gpa for the Spring Semester. The 2004 Kentucky Mr. Football, Curtis Pulley is spending the summer in North Carolina with his uncle Lonnie Pulley, a former player at Winston Salem State who's a high school coach in the area. Pulley will be working out at Wake Forest University with Demon Deacons quarterback Riley Skinner and NFL receiver Anquan Boldin, whose brother D.J. played at Wake Forest. Pulley completed 55.1 percent of his passes for 1,382 yards and 17 touchdowns for Florida A&M last season. He also ran for 887 yards and seven touchdowns.
  • 2009 Commisioner's All-Academic Team: The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announces the 2009 Commissioner’s All-Academic Team, recognizing 593 student-athletes from the conference’s 12 member institutions who achieved academic success during the 2008-09 academic school year. The team honors student-athletes, including sophomores to seniors, with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better. “I congratulate and commend the student-athletes who have achieved academic success by maintaining a 3.0 or better grade point average during the 2008-09 school year,” said Commissioner Dennis E. Thomas. “I would further like to congratulate the coaches, institutions, and parents of these academic achievers for their contributions to the student athletes success.” 2009 Commissioner’s All-Academic Award Winners (by institutions):
    Women (14): Samara Ferraz (VB, Public Relations), Rhianna Green (SB, Health Science), Brittany Wade (W. Swim, Business), Danielle Riley (WT, Graphic Design), Stephanie Foster (WB, Journalism), Gina Davis (BO, Chemistry), Ashley Melson (BO, Criminal Justice), Trishay Bryant (WT, Journalism), Jesseka Forbes (WT, Pharmacy), Kiera Holiday (WT, Criminal Justice), Tifany Morrow (WT, Nursing), Suelyn Pillner (WT, Criminal Justice), Kelle Ransom (WT, Public Relations), Whitney Young (WT, Business)…. Men (16): Eddie Battle (FB, Accounting), Cameron Houston (FB, Criminal Justice), Kenneth Lanier (FB, Pharmacy), Gregory Lee (FB, Undeclared), Phillip Sylvester (FB, Engineering), Jack Dash (M. Swim, Engineering), Gregory Lowe (M. Swim, Spanish), Simbarashe Happy (MT, Business), Forest Jenkins (MT, Business), Paul Paige (MT, Business), Artiom Podgainii (MT, Physical Ed.), Bryant Carlin (GF, Business), Gallop Franklin (GF, Pharmacy), Elijah Jackson (GF, Pre-Med.), Byron Taylor (MB, Economics), Stanley Suber (MT, Graphic Design)


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sports drives conversation at WSSU

Dr. Donald J. Reaves: "Staying in Division II and returning to the CIAA is a real possibility for RAMS."

Winston-Salem State fans and alumni hoping for a vote of confidence from Chancellor Donald Reaves about the athletics program's move to Division I didn't get one Wednesday night. Reaves, speaking at a public forum, spelled out what WSSU needs to complete its transition to Division I and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

"It's not an expense problem," he said. "We are not having a problem in athletics because it's spending too much. That's simply not the case. If you look at the expenditures of the other MEAC schools, you will see we are not spending nearly as much as they are. "The problem at Winston-Salem State is a revenue-side problem. We simply don't raise enough revenue."

WSSU, in its fourth year of transition to Division I, has lost $6.1 million since starting the move, and charts that Reaves used Wednesday show more losses ahead. Reaves was loud and clear about the key point of his presentation -- WSSU needs to raise nearly $3 million more a year to help offset losses. WSSU currently brings in about $2.9 million a year in student fees for athletics, by far the biggest source of revenue.


Some Call For WSSU Chancellor's Resignation
Shaw president 'lost his credibility'
Reaves: WSSU needs cash to make Division I

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thou Art Greedy: What price Delaware State's soul?

How much money would you accept to forfeit a meaningful game in order to play another game you will definitely lose?

Holly: Today on our bully pulpit agenda: Delaware State, a I-AA program, is forfeiting a conference game to North Carolina A&T because Delaware State wants to play Michigan instead. And by "wants," I mean they have the opportunity to cash in for a bodybag appearance in Ann Arbor in mid-October. All anyone's saying is the two MEAC schools "could not agree" on a date to reschedule the game, and now NCA&T is 1-0. In May.

What say you, gents? Is a big payday worth it if you're being paid to fall down in front of a powerhouse team? (Or in front of Michigan?)

Doug: Well, you know, that's what everybody thought about Appalachian State, too...

Holly: I was gonna say.

Doc: The ghost of Appalachian State will never die! But I'm not sure it's worth actually forfeiting a win to chase a ghost. Or a gazillion dollars. Or whatever it is.


Aggies will play four home games next season
At a loss: Delaware St. already 0-1 in football
THE TICKER Delaware State forfeits a game because of Michigan
Delaware State Forfeits Conference Game So They Can Beat Michigan ...
Big House Thursday: Volunteers to Forfeit a game
NC A&T Football Team Gets An Early Win For 2009 Season
A&T already in the win column for '09
Aggies beat Hornets at MEAC baseball tourney
UM opponent forfeits a game
UM game leads Delaware State to forfeit vs. NC A&T

Sunday, May 10, 2009

On flip side of NFL glory, 'Rock' Dillon strives for his shot

Glenn Rogers stood at the center of 35 football players and rattled through his list. He told them to form a line, sign the waiver and pay the $80 fee. He advised those who were still in college that they would be forfeiting any remaining eligibility if they participated in this scouting combine for the Canadian Football League.

"We got three scouts here, all right?" said Rogers, an assistant coach at Memphis University School and former CFL player. "You impress them enough, they'll want to talk to you about a contract. Or they'll want to get your information. Who knows? They might want to sign a guy on the spot."

Ronald "Rock" Dillon played strong safety and linebacker for Alabama State. He was a two-time all-SWAC first-team selection, and his late interception against Southern clinched the 2004 SWAC championship.

This piece of information rippled through the pool of candidates two weeks ago at MUS, where the late-morning sun bounced molten heat off the artificial turf: professional contracts, there for the taking. Sweat ran in thick streams down the players' necks, soaking jerseys that bore the logos of teams familiar and obscure. They hailed from Lane College and Ole Miss, Lambuth and Cincinnati, athletes hopeful and hopeless, fresh out of college or several seasons removed, all bound by desire.

Ronald "Rock" Dillon began to stretch. The Southwestern Athletic Conference's defensive player of the year as a senior linebacker at Alabama State in 2004, Dillon had spent the past five years drifting through professional football's minor leagues, scrambling for opportunities, searching for roster spots, determined to crush his reputation of being too small, too slow -- words that continued to trail him like exhaust. At 26, he knew his window was closing.


Winter Haven Students Rally to Support Ken Riley

NFL greats Doug Williams (L) and Ken Riley(R). Riley's NFL career: Bengals cornerback, 1969-83; fourth on NFL all-time interception list with 65.

Students want him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

WINTER HAVEN, FL - What started out as a class assignment has turned into a movement. Winter Haven High School classmates Nick Harper and Jordan Powell hope the movement turns into a tidal wave of support that sweeps Winter Haven High dean Ken Riley into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. "We researched it and found out he was pretty good," Harper, an 18-year-old senior, said of Riley, who played for 15 years with the Cincinnati Bengals. "He's had the most interceptions without being in the hall. He went to a Super Bowl. Why isn't he in?"

So, the duo went to work. They have collected more than 1,000 signatures and have contacted some of the Hall of Fame voters, including local voter Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune. They're trying to get everyone to remember the achievements of the Bartow native Riley, who last played in 1983. It may be working. Kaufman said last month that he has received some of the letters and talked with some committee members while at the owners' meeting in California in March.

"He's legitimate," Kaufman said of the Union Academy graduate Riley. "I brought up his name to some of the voters and got a very positive response. It's a wonder why someone with the numbers he has hasn't really seriously been considered."


Former FAMU Rattlers, Ken Riley displays a game ball and three AFC Interception Leader awards he won during his 15 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. Riley, 61, a dean at Winter Haven High School, resides in Bartow.


  • High School: Union Academy, Bartow, FL; College: Star QB, Florida A&M University; 6th Round Draft Choice 1969, Cincinnati Bengals-- Played 15 seasons as cornerback.

  • Riley also excelled academically and earned his team's scholastic award and a Rhodes Scholar Candidacy.

  • NFL career: Bengals cornerback, 1969-83. Fourth on NFL all-time interception list with 65.

  • Post NFL-career: 1984-85: Green Bay Packers assistant coach; 1986-93: Head coach, Florida A&M University, compiling a 48-39-2 record with two Mid-Eastern Athletic conference titles and 2 MEAC coach of the year awards; 1994-2003: Athletic director, Florida A&M.

  • Personal: Age 61, hometown is Bartow, Fla. Married, three grown children, one grandchild. Resides in Bartow, Fla.

  • Riley is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African Americans.

  • In 2007 Riley was named to the Florida High School Association All-Century Team which selected the Top 33 players in the 100 year history of high school football in the state of Florida's history.
  • Riley is in other halls of fame, including the Florida Sports Hall of Fame, Polk County Sports Hall of Fame and the Florida A&M Hall of Fame.
Understated NFL Star Ken Riley Remains Underrated ...
Ken Riley Past Stats, Statistics, History, and Awards ...
Ken Riley Statistics -

FAMU softball MEAC champs

ORMOND BEACH — FAMU shortstop Melissa Oliphant was still approaching the ground ball hit by Celsey Tafoya when the three Rattlers outfielders began racing in. The second the throw to first base was caught for the final out, every FAMU player was on the mound celebrating with pitcher Amanda Reyes. Bethune-Cookman's players headed to their dugout with drooped shoulders after falling 9-1 in five innings Saturday afternoon in the MEAC championship game.

FAMU senior softball players from left are Rhianna Green, Alesha Wells and Nicole Terryn--2009 MEAC Champions

A lot of tears were shed — by the Rattlers and the Wildcats. FAMU's players wept for joy. For the first time since the 2006 season, the Rattlers captured a MEAC championship. "The young ladies have been poised and under control," said FAMU coach Veronica Wiggins, fighting back her emotions after the Rattlers secured her fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament in 18 seasons. "They did a good job and worked hard. They were prepared."

FAMU sweeps B-CU
MOP award gives FAMU softball player Reyes justification
Three Rattlers Named to All -MEAC Softball Team
FAMU's Reyes selected the MEAC's pitcher of the year
FAMU Diamond Smiles on Orange & Green
Winter Haven Students Rally to Support Riley

Spencer to take his winning ways to Alabama State

When A.J. Spencer played high school basketball, he was a scoring machine, finishing with a Wicomico County (MD) record 1,775 points. The 6'-2" Spencer averaged 10 points and 5.6 assists this past season at Cecil College as the starting point guard and ends JUCO career with a 65-3 record.

SALISBURY, MD -- Wicomico High School graduate A.J. Spencer is the kind of basketball player who defies easy description. During his career, he's gone from an interior player with a guard's game to a converted point guard with the ability to be a scorer. But if forced to label him with a one-word description, his former coaches come up with "winner." He helped the Indians to the state semifinals twice and went 65-3 in two seasons with the Cecil College, winning Maryland JUCO and regional titles.

"He did a great job winning for coach Waller at Wi-Hi, and he did the same thing for us," Cecil coach Bill Lewit said. "He has great leadership skill, puts his teammates first, and has the talent and ability to be a playmaker." So not surprisingly, when the Cecil point guard announced that he had made a decision regarding his basketball future, it was Alabama State, a team that won the Southwestern Athletic Conference regular season and tournament title last season, that he chose.


Stung: Spencer to ink with ASU
ALABAMA STATE FOOTBALL: Hornet assistant uses coaching to cope with career-ending injury
COLLEGE GOLF: Alabama State freshman John Montgomery headed to NCAA regional
Tuskegee kicks off season Aug. 22

Saturday, May 9, 2009

ESPNU to air SWAC football games

Coach Rod Broadway Grambling Tigers has two ESPNU or ESPN2 HD dates--Sept. 6 vs. SCSU and Nov. 12 vs. Texas Southern.

The Southwestern Athletic Conference will have four football games aired live on Thursday nights on ESPNU during the fall. Alcorn State will kick off the schedule with a road game at Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Oct. 1. The game time has not been set.

Prairie View A&M at Southern will be featured Oct. 22 with kickoff yet to be determined.Texas Southern will travel to defending conference and black college national champion Grambling State on Nov. 12. Start time is lotted for 8 p.m.The 86th Turkey Day Classic between Alabama State and Tuskegee will shown Nov. 26 at 3 p.m.

GSU football gets Thursday night ESPNU date
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SC State will not host the Lowcountry Classic this year

The Bulldogs will play five games in Orangeburg for the first time since the 2005 campaign

ORANGEBURG, S.C. – South Carolina State will not host the Low Country Classic in Charleston, S.C. during the 2009 football season, the University announced today. SC State president, Dr. George E. Cooper, shared that as a result of the on-going decline in appropriated state resources, the University, this year, would focus on using available resources to support events on the campus and in Orangeburg. The decision means that The Bulldogs will play five games in Orangeburg for the first time since the 2005 campaign.

Dr. Cooper said that he hopes SC State alumni, stakeholders and fans will increase their support of the football team, no matter where The Bulldogs play. S. C. State, which will play an 11-game schedule in 2009, opens the season Sept. 6 against Grambling in the fifth MEAC/SWAC Challenge at Orlando, Fla. The Bulldogs will be making their second appearance in the game, created and sponsored by ESPN to match outstanding teams from the MEAC and SWAC. SC State played Alabama State in the inaugural MEAC/SWAC Challenge in 2005, coming away with a 27-14 win.


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