Just beyond one end zone, cheerleaders rehearsed the fight song. “Our team is strong,” it went. “Victory’s our guarantee.”
This show of optimism spilled forth from a university that could justifiably claim — not that anyone would — that it had the worst Division I program since the turn of this century.
Over 11 seasons, Savannah State, the self-proclaimed University by the Sea, in a charming city distinguished by oak trees that sprout Spanish moss, has won 17 games, just five against Division I teams. It has changed coaches six times — once because of a death — and had nine athletic directors, including interims. It has been placed on N.C.A.A. probation twice and faced a pair of embarrassing lawsuits that claimed racial discrimination.