Tuesday, June 30, 2015

N.C. Attorney General in ‘discussions’ with Ritz-Carlton over CIAA surcharge

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina -- The N.C. Attorney General’s Office said it’s still in talks with the Ritz-Carlton in uptown more than two weeks after the state agency said it planned to sue the hotel for adding a 15 percent CIAA surcharge to customers’ bills during the February basketball tournament.

Earlier this month, the agency’s Consumer Protection Division sent the Ritz-Carlton a draft of a legal complaint that asks a judge to bar the hotel from automatically imposing charges without disclosure. The agency is also seeking restitution and refunds for customers who paid the CIAA gratuity while patronizing the hotel’s lobby bar.

In the draft, the attorney general’s office claims the hotel added the unprecedented service charge without disclosing it first to customers, and used the “CIAA” acronym on the bill without the athletic association’s consent.

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association is the oldest African-American athletic conference in the nation. It has hosted its tournament in Charlotte since 2006.


Ex-Delaware State football player will bring sport to New Zealand

Douglas Webber Events Director Craig Douglas (L) and Giesler Sports World Wide CEO Jarin Giesler (R) speak to the media during a press conference at Eden Park on June 3, 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand. Organisers today announced an American football exhibition for March next year in Auckland and Wellington.
(June 2, 2015 - Source: Phil Walter/Getty Images AsiaPac)
American Football coming to Auckland and Wellington in March 2016; DSU's Giesler plays major role in New Zealand introduction to American Football

 PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania -- Kellen Kemp still remembers the first time he saw Jarin Giesler arrive on campus in 2006 at Delaware State University in Dover.

Kemp watched as a raised Ford F-150 with 6 inches of lift added and 40-inch rims drove up.

"The first thing everyone is thinking is, 'Who is this?' " Kemp said. "Out of that hops a 5-7, 200-pound long snapper. Everyone is looking around, going, 'What is going on here?' "

"It kind of stuck out like a sore thumb," Giesler recalls.

Add to the equation that Delaware State is a historically black university, and Giesler's arrival to the football team as a short white kid from Cortez, Colorado, was certainly out of the ordinary.

Giesler and Kemp, an offensive lineman from Cardinal Dougherty High School, became friends when they both played on the offensive line.

So when Giesler went to law school at Oklahoma City University and became a certified NFLPA contract adviser, among other business ventures, he hired Kemp to play a big part in his company, Giesler Sports World-Wide.




Sunday, June 28, 2015

Howard University Volleyball Releases 2015 Schedule

Shaun Kupferberg
Head Women's Volleyball Coach
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The road the Howard women's volleyball team must take in pursuit of a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) championship and NCAA Tournament bid has been laid out as the Lady Bison program has released its 2015 schedule.

Here is a breakdown of the impressive 29-match slate:
  •  16 non-conference contests against 15 opponents representing ten different leagues;
  • Four invitationals, including the DC Invitational, which will include Howard's home opener vs. Western Carolina and a match against the University of Maryland in Burr Gymnasium on September 5;
  • Two or more games against five different conferences (Atlantic 10, Big East, Big Ten, Ivy League, Patriot League);
  • Ten home matches, including five straight from October 9-23;
  • Rematches of the 2014 MEAC Championship Game against Hampton on October 9 (in DC) and October 30 (in Virginia);
  •  Five other MEAC home-and-home series against Coppin State, Delaware State, Maryland Eastern Shore, Morgan State and Norfolk State;
  • A MEAC interdivisional match with Bethune-Cookman on October 15;
  • A Senior Day matchup against newly minted Atlantic Sun member NJIT on November 13.
In speaking on the schedule, fourth-year Head Coach Shaun Kupferberg said, "As our team continues to grow and develop, we have to raise our level of play each season; the best way to do that is to play higher levels of competition. We have a large turnover in the roster from last year and everyone will have to get up to speed quickly because there are no easy matches this year. Each tournament is going to be a challenge, but every match is also winnable. Last season, we were able to play at a high level in certain stretches of the season. To be successful this year, we will have to be much more consistent throughout the year."

The 2015 Howard Women's Volleyball Schedule can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.

Howard University Athletics
2015 Women's Volleyball Schedule

District of Columbia Volleyball Challenge
8/28/2015 AmericanWashington, DC7:00:00 PM                          
8/29/2015 George MasonFairfax, VA1:00:00 PM                         
8/29/2015 GeorgetownFairfax, VA4:30:00 PM                          
9/1/2015 Loyola (MD)Baltimore, MD7:00:00 PM                         
District of Columbia Invitational
9/5/2015 Western CarolinaWashington, DC2:30:00 PM                         
9/5/2015 MarylandWashington, DC7:00:00 PM                         
9/6/2015 George MasonCollege Park, MD12:00:00 PM                         
9/6/2015 PennsylvaniaCollege Park, MD5:00:00 PM                          
9/8/2015 UMBCBaltimore, MD7:00:00 PM                         
Villanova Classic
9/11/2015 James MadisonPhiladelphia, PA5:00:00 PM  
9/12/2015 VillanovaPhiladelphia, PA1:00:00 PM                          
9/12/2015 SienaPhiladelphia, PA5:00:00 PM                          
Rutgers Invitational
9/18/2015 RutgersNew Brunswick, NJ12:30:00 PM                         
9/18/2015 DuquesneNew Brunswick, NJ4:30:00 PM                         
9/19/2015 PrincetonNew Brunswick, NJ10:30:00 AM                         
9/25/2015 UMESPrincess Anne, MD7:00:00 PM                         
9/27/2015 Delaware StateWashington, DC3:00:00 PM                          
10/2/2015 Morgan StateBaltimore, MD7:00:00 PM                         
10/4/2015 Coppin StateBaltimore, MD3:00:00 PM                         
10/9/2015 HamptonWashington, DC7:00:00 PM                         
10/11/2015 Norfolk StateWashington, DC3:00:00 PM                         
10/15/2015 Bethune CookmanWashington, DC7:00:00 PM                         
10/18/2015 Coppin StateWashington, DC3:00:00 PM                          
10/23/2015 UMESWashington, DC7:00:00 PM                         
10/25/2015 Delaware StateDover, DE3:00:00 PM                         
10/30/2015 HamptonHampton, VA6:00:00 PM                          
11/1/2015 Norfolk StateNorfolk, VA3:00:00 PM                          
11/6/2015 Morgan StateWashington, DC7:00:00 PM                          
11/13/2015 NJITWashington, DC7:00:00 PM                          
11/20-22/2015 MEAC TournamentPrincess Anne, MD 


Morgan State Varsity “M” Club, Inc. Announces 2015 Athletic Hall of Fame Class

BALTIMORE, Maryland -- The Varsity "M" Club, Inc. of Morgan State University announced today the six members of its 2015 Athletic Hall of Fame Class. The new class will be inducted during a banquet on Friday, September 18, 2015, at 7:00 PM at the Morgan State University – Tyler Ballroom and will be recognized at the Morgan State vs. Virginia-Lynchburg football game on Saturday, September 19, 2015.

Tickets for the induction banquet are available for $50 per seat. Tickets can be purchased by contacting the Varsity M Club at msuvarsitymclub@gmail or completing the 2015 Hall of Fame Ticket Order Form (PDF).

The 2015 Varsity "M" Club, Inc. Athletic Hall of Fame Class inductees are:

Daryl Jackson, Football (1986-1989)
During his tenure Jackson set the record for most passing yards in career (5,066), and tied the records for most touchdown passes in a career (31) and most touchdown passes in a game (4). Jackson finished his career holding fourteen Morgan season and career statistical records.

Ali Culpepper, Football (1998-2001)
Culpepper, a transfer from Syracuse University, left his imprint on the Bear football program as one of its most prolific running backs. He set the record for most rushing yards gained in a career (2,727), most carries in a game (44), most carries in a career (605) and most rushing touchdowns in a career (28), all which still stand today. He was a first team All-MEAC selection in 2001.

Tanya Elliott, Track and Field (1976-1980)
Elliott made significant contributions to the Morgan track and field legacy as a relay team competitor. She helped lead her team to a 4x100m relay Championship at the 1977 Penn Relays with a time of 47.5. In 1979, her 4x100m relay team posted a time of 45.9 as they posted their second Penn Relays 1st place finish.

Curtis Ellis, Wrestling (1978-1981)
Ellis was a standout in the Bears wrestling program in the 118 pound class. A four time MEAC champion and three time All-American, Ellis was undefeated during his four year MEAC career (36-0) and finished his career with an overall record of 102-17-1 and ranked 8th overall in the country.

Theresa Gibson & Kimberly Watkins, Coach (1983-present)
Gibson and Watkins have served as the coaches for the Morgan State University Cheer Bears for over thirty years. Their teams have combined to win ten MEAC Cheerleading Championships and became the first HBCU team to place as high as 2nd in the NCA Collegiate Cheer Championship in 2014.

Monique Liddell, Basketball (1996-2000)
Liddell made an immediate mark on the legacy of the Lady Bear program after her MEAC 1st Team All-Rookie selection after her freshman season. She finished her career ranking second in all-time scoring (1,420 points), second in steals (208) and fourth in rebounds (790).


CIAA Football Media Day set to Open 2015 Season

Hampton, Virginia - The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) will kick off the 2015 football season with its annual Football Media Day on Thursday, July 23rd at 1:00 p.m. at the Marriott Research Triangle Park, 4700 Guardian Drive, Durham NC 22703.

Media interested in attending the Media Day activities must RSVP via theciaa.com at: http://www.theciaa.com/forms/footballmedia15. Deadline for register is Wednesday, July 15.

The CIAA Football Coaches Association's Predicted Order of Finish will be announced along with the Preseason All-CIAA Team following the luncheon. Head coaches will then present their season outlook.

This year, four new head coaches will be welcomed to the conference: Kermit Blount of Johnson C. Smith University, Herb Pickens of Lincoln University, Michael Morand of Saint Augustine's University, and Byron Thweatt of Virginia State University.

The first game of the 2015 CIAA football season is 72 days away and counting. Winston-Salem State University will travel to Pembroke, North Carolina on September 3rd for a 7 p.m. matchup against UNC Pembroke.

The 2015 championship game will be played on Saturday, November 14 at the Durham County Stadium with a 2:00 p.m. kickoff. The nationally televised game will feature the Northern and Southern Division champions. Tickets will go on sale on July 23rd via theciaa.com.


Mike Newell, Dillard’s well-traveled new coach, believes he’s the right man for the job

320 Career Wins
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana -- This summer, newly hired Dillard coach Mike Newell was asked by the school’s human resources department if athletic director Kiki Baker Barnes explained his job description.

Yes, Newell responded.


“I expect the program to begin competing for a conference championship within his first three years and eventually compete for a national championship,” Barnes said.

This from a men’s basketball program with a recent history of losing. During the past four seasons, the Bleu Devils won 15 games.

Last season, DU won five games. The Bleu Devils have not enjoyed a winning season since 2004-05. The last team to win at least 10 games was the 2008-09 squad.

Still, Newell agrees with Barnes’ winning plans at Dillard. Here’s five reasons why.


B-CU Athletics Mourns Passing of NFL'er Damion Cook, Age 36

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida -- Damion Cook, who provided the defensive foundation for the renaissance of Bethune-Cookman football as well as one of the program’s most light-hearted moments, died Friday. He was 36.

Cook, who would go on to play in the National Football League, Canadian Football League and United Football League, suffered a heart attack as he was moving into his new home in Baltimore, Maryland where he was Head Football Coach at Atholton High School.

The Baltimore Suns confirmed that Cook died at his home on Friday morning after returning from a road trip to visit his parents in Florida.

"Damion Cook was a giant man with a gentle spirit," said B-CU Athletic Director Lynn Thompson. "As a young Wildcat, he was a brilliant student-athlete from a tremendous family who supported him and our university for many years.

"It is now our time for us, the B-CU family, to support the Cook family with love, prayer and acts of kindness as they endure the heartbreak of losing him much too soon," Thompson added.

Along with Adul Yates and Rod Smith, Cook anchored a defensive line for the 1998 Wildcats who improved from a 4-7 mark the previous season to an 8-3 finish – the program’s first winning season since 1985 as well as the highest win total since 1977. That season ended with a berth in the Heritage Bowl against Southern televised nationally on NBC.

Cook provided one of the program’s most unusual moments during the epic eight-overtime game against Virginia State earlier in the season.

In the sixth overtime, he blocked a field goal attempt, picked up the ball and lumbered all the way down the field for the apparent game winning touchdown. However, Cook thought the five-yard line was the end zone and proceeded to dive, only to land on the one-yard line and end the play.

Bethune-Cookman would still win, 63-57, and Cook gladly endured the nickname “Big Dive” the remainder of his Wildcat career that included a Black College All-American nod in 2000.

"Although he was a year older, it didn't take me long to recognize the personality of this gentle giant," said Rashean Mathis, a B-CU teammate of Cook now with the Detroit Lions. "At the time, he was the biggest athlete I know but he topped that with one of the greatest personalities I had ever seen. Although we didn't keep in touch over the years, the memories we shared will last forever."

The American Heritage (Fla.) product, who earned a Hospitality Management degree in 2001, was signed by the Baltimore Ravens as a free agent that year and would spend time on the practice squad. He earned a brief moment attention for his imitation of Ray Lewis that made it on the inaugural season of "Hard Knocks."

He would later play for the Chicago Bears, the Ravens, the Cleveland Browns and the Detroit Lions in addition to the Miami Dolphins’ practice squad. Also, he played for the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL and was on the Arena League's Tampa Bay Storm's practice squad..

After his playing days, Cook became a strength and coaching in Michigan from 2011 to 2013 before taking a position as a mental health counselor with the Howard County (Md.) Public School System, which led to the Atholton coaching job. Atholton was 3-7 last season after winning just one game the year before.

He is survived by his wife, JaNiece, and three children, Mikah, Lucas and Brianna.


Jake Gaither House starts brick campaign to raise money

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- Gov. Rick Scott may have vetoed a $125,000 state grant for the Jake Gaither House. But owner Cornelius Jones is not despairing.

The Tallahassee real estate entrepreneur has launched a brick campaign to raise money for the home, once owned by the legendary Florida A&M football coach. He is also receiving donations from members of the American Football Coaches Association, which has endorsed his efforts.

The Jake Gaither House is at 212 Young Street, near the FAMU campus. Gaither and his wife, Sadie, lived there more than 40 years. Jones bought the house for back taxes ($35,000) in late 2013, intending to re-sell it. When he discovered it had belonged to Gaither, who died in 1994, Jones spent more than $100,000 to restore it.

Jake Gaither coached at FAMU from 1945 to 1969. He mounted a 203-36-4 record and won seven black college national championships. Gaither was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1975.


Xavier University's Otis Washington, the coach who didn’t want to coach, enshrined in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana -- When Otis Washington graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana in 1961, he was your typical college graduate.

He had no idea what he would do next.

He did have three options: head west to California, become involved in the Civil Rights Movement or accept a job as a coach.

With the paltry sum of $16.82 in his pocket, California was out of the question.

The Civil Rights Movement was probably too serious for many in his age group.

He’s not sure why, but he took the least appealing road at the time and accepted a coaching position, even though he wasn’t interested in a coaching career.

“I figured I’d stay at St. Augustine for a year and then get the heck out of there,” he said.

One year turned into 18 and produced one of the state’s most successful high school coaching tenures, and the coach who wasn’t interested in coaching was enshrined in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in Natchitoches on Saturday.

When your 11-year head coaching résumé includes three state championships and a runner-up trophy, seven district titles in the ultra-competitive Catholic League, an 80 percent winning rate and more than 120 players sent to colleges around the country, it’s difficult to believe coaching really wasn’t on his radar.


Mickles: For affable Avery Johnson, life is all about timing

Courtesy: University of Alabama

NATCHITOCHES, Louisiana — Upon being fired by the Brooklyn Nets two days after Christmas in 2012, Avery Johnson knew one thing: He was going to coach basketball again.

He just didn’t know where or when.

Actually, he sort of knew the when part of the equation.

With son Avery Jr. entering the final year and a half of his high school career in the Dallas area, Johnson was going to take some time to take it all in.

“I didn’t want to coach that first season (2013-14) because he was going to be a senior,” Johnson said Saturday before his induction into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. “Last year, I wanted to be there for him in the transition to college, and actually, I wanted to see some college games.”

Johnson accomplished those two things, and when the University of Alabama called about a week after his 50th birthday, he jumped at the opportunity to get out of the ESPN studio and back onto the court.

“At some point last season, I knew I wanted to get back into coaching,” he said. “Whether it was the NBA or college, if the right situation presented itself I was going to take a look at it. Alabama called, and the rest is history.”

If you think it couldn’t have worked out any better, it may have.


Saturday, June 27, 2015

The President Honors the Life of Reverend Clementa Pinckney

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (June 26, 2015) -- President Obama travels to the College of Charleston in South Carolina to deliver a eulogy for Reverend Clement Pinckney and 8 other congregation members of Emanuel AME who were killed on June 17, 2015.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) delivered an emotional speech on the Senate floor on Wednesday, remembering the nine victims of the shooting in Charleston.

Tuskegee Football Ranked, All-Americans Named

TUSKEGEE, Alabama -- Tuskegee has rankings of 22 and 24 in the Lindy's and Sporting News's preseason polls for division 2.

Coach Willie Slater's team is the lone representative in the poll from the SIAC in either poll. Tuskegee opens the season at home against Clark Atlanta on September 5th.

Tuskegee's Jewell Ratliff is preseason division 2 All-American and Julian Morgan earned honorable mentioned nods.

Last season, Ratliff who rocks number five, had 79 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and one sack. He also led the team with three interceptions. The senior from New Orleans, was in on two pass breakups and five passes defended in 2014 for the Golden Tigers.


Friday, June 26, 2015

Three ex-FAMU students sentenced to 10 years probation in fatal hazing case

ORLANDO,Florida -- State Attorney Jeff Ashton wanted to send a harsh message Friday during the sentencing hearing of three ex-FAMU Marching Band members convicted in the hazing death of drum major Robert Champion.

But Circuit Judge Renee A. Roche, in determining their sentences, had other considerations:

First, she said, Champion willingly participated in the ritual that ended his life that November evening in 2011.

Second, the young men convicted of manslaughter and hazing in April will have to live with felony records for the rest of their lives.

Finally, Roche said, it was important to balance their sentences against the other nine former FAMU band members charged in the case.

Most were given probation.

At the end of the day Friday, so were Aaron Golson, Benjamin McNamee and Darryl Cearnel. All received 10 years probation.

"The court recognizes that perhaps Mr. Champion had thoughts or philosophical objections or reservations about this conduct, but there was no evidence of that presented in this case," Roche said prior to handing down the sentences.


UMES grad Myers working hard for pro hoops career

6"-9"/245 lbs. Forward
Photo Courtesy: UMES ATHLETICS

PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland -- When the NBA draft is over on Thursday night, University of Maryland Eastern Shore graduate Michael Myers doesn't expect to have received a phone call making him one of just 60 picks over two rounds.

But that doesn't mean he's given up on making it to the NBA.

"I'm more worried about what comes after the draft," he said. "I'm probably not going to be a draft pick because of all the high major guys. But I'm still going to be working hard. I'm just going to try and get more workouts and try and make someone's summer team."

Ever since he left Princess Anne after graduation, he's been working toward his goal of being a professional basketball player.

A morning workout with his trainer in the morning at a college campus is how he starts his day. He runs through various drills to work on different aspects of his game including his handle and shooting.

In the afternoon, he'll go and put up shots on his own and then head out to the gym or the pool for a workout.


Jackson State: Caught in the Middle

JACKSON, Mississippi -- With names like Walter Payton and Jackie Slater, Jackson State boasts a long, storied history. From 1977 to 1990, the Tigers won at least 8 games 13 times in 14 seasons. Jackson State plays in a 60,000 seat stadium, and has finished in the Top 10 in FCS attendance in all but five years from 1978 to 2009. In 1997, they had over 38,000 in average attendance; by 2013, that number had dropped to a little over 17,000 per game, but that's still higher than plenty of Division 1 FBS schools.

For some reason, the Tigers never had much postseason success; they are 0-12 all time in the FCS playoffs, with a 28-7 loss to MTSU in 1990 and a 48-7 loss to Montana in 1989 their most recent chances.

Then again, the FCS playoffs never were appealing to the SWAC; largely due to the cost of traveling to places like Montana and Delaware, it wasn't worth it for SWAC teams to participate. In 1999, the SWAC split into two divisions and started a championship game. JSU has made the championship game five times, winning once.

This season, the MEAC has also dropped out of the FCS playoffs. There will be a SWAC-MEAC championship game starting this fall. Is that enough to keep Jackson State happy?

In 2011, former Athletic Director Bob Braddy said "Our limits have been reached" in the SWAC.


Stillman Releases 2015 Football Schedule

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama -- Stillman College announces the 2015 football schedule and kickoff times for the nine-game 2015 schedule, featuring four home contests.

The Tigers will open the season on the road at West Alabama in the second year of the Tiger Bowl on Sept. 5. Stillman will host Concordia-Selma the following week in the home opener.

Homecoming is set for Oct. 3 versus Lane College. After back-to-back road games at Clark Atlanta and Tuskegee, Stillman will host two home games. Central State will visit on Oct. 24 before Miles College visits for a Thurs. night kickoff on Oct. 29 at 6:00 p.m. The regular season will conclude at Kentucky State on Nov. 7 with the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship set for the following week.

"We are eager to return to the winning ways that Stillman is accustomed to," said head coach Teddy Keaton. Keaton is 24-20 over four seasons coaching his alma mater. The 2014 Tigers went 5-6 and suffered the first losing season since the 2010 team went 3-8. "Stillman fans have been a great supporter over the years and we look forward to playing in front of a great fan base."

Stillman is 35-35 versus 2015 opponents since the 2004 season, when the Tigers became an NCAA Division-II program. Stillman holds winning records versus Concordia-Selma, Lane, Clark Atlanta, Central State, and Kentucky State. All times listed are Central Time Zone.


9/5/2015 | 6:00 PM | @ University of West Alabama (UWA leads series 2-0)
9/12/2015 | 3:00 PM | Concordia College-Selma (Stillman leads series 5-2)
9/19/2015 | 6:00 PM | @ Albany State University (ASU leads series 5-0)
10/3/2015 | 1:00 PM | Lane College - Homecoming (Stillman leads series 7-4)
10/10/2015 | 1:00 PM | @ Clark Atlanta University (Stillman leads series 6-2)
10/17/2015 | 1:00 PM | @ Tuskegee University (Tuskegee leads series 9-1)
10/24/2015 | 3:00 PM | Central State University (Stillman leads series 4-1)
10/29/2015 | 6:00 PM | Miles College (Miles leads series 8-3)
11/7/2015 | 12:00 PM | @ Kentucky State University (Stillman leads series 9-2)


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Xavier University Cuts the Ribbon on its New Fitness Center


NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana unveiled another athletics facility Wednesday when it introduced its Fitness Center.

At 12:13 p.m., retiring president Dr. Norman C. Francis cut the ribbon at the front entrance of the newly built $3.6 million facility, which is located at the corner of Drexel Drive and South Clark Street — between the Living Learning Center and St. Martin de Porres Hall, Xavier's two largest student residences. The Fitness Center is on the site of the former B. Samuels building, which Xavier purchased and demolished.


The facility will be open to XU students, faculty and staff. Through July 3, the Fitness Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 4-11 p.m., Friday from 4-10 p.m. and closed during the weekend. Hours of operation will be expanded beginning July 6. Beginning in the fall 2015 semester, XU faculty and staff will pay to use the Fitness Center.

The first floor of the two-story facility offers an NCAA/NAIA regulation-sized basketball court, an office, a lounging area and an area with free weights and weight machines. The second floor consists of a three-lane walking/running track, a cardio room, spin studio and other multifunctional studios. State-of-the-art exercise machines will be available throughout the facility.

The basketball court will be mostly used for intramural events such as basketball and volleyball, large exercise classes, fitness activities, yoga, dance and Zumba classes. The court can be divided with a retractable curtain to offer multiple activities simultaneously.

"The opening of this much-requested new facility on campus has generated a great deal of interest from faculty, staff and especially students," said Francis, who will retire June 30 after 47 years as president. "It will provide the Xavier community with a safe, convenient and comfortable state-of-the-art facility in which to pursue their individual health and wellness goals."

This is the fourth XU athletics facility to open in three years. During the fall of 2012, Xavier opened the Convocation Center — a multipurpose facility which seats nearly 4,000 as the home of XU basketball and volleyball — the Convocation Center Annex and the XU Tennis Center.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Top Scholar, National Achievement Finalist Heads to FAMU

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- On June 29, National Achievement Award Finalist, Bryan Anderson, will begin the pursuit of a degree in computer engineering at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU).

Not only did Anderson, a graduate of Deerfield Beach High School in Deerfield Beach, Fla., earn a full academic scholarship to FAMU, but he was also one of the top high school seniors in the nation, earning a 5.07 weighted GPA, a 2090 SAT score, and a composite score of a 33 on the ACT. He was also named a National Achievement Finalist.

It was Anderson’s eye for technical excellence that drew him to FAMU. He said he learned about FAMU when his high school band had the opportunity to be a part of the 2014 Florida Blue Florida Classic and experienced the world-class innovation of the Marching “100.

“It was a great experience to be a part of the Florida Classic and witness two remarkable bands,” said Anderson.

He decided to take a tour of FAMU’s campus, during which he learned about qualifying for the FAMU Life-Gets-Better Scholarship. It provides high-performing students who focus on engineering with full-cost coverage for books, room and board, and tuition and provides a laptop.

Anderson expressed how he fell in love with the campus environment and instantly knew that FAMU was the right place for him.

“I plan to use my education in computer engineering to segue into biomedical engineering,” Anderson said. “One of my goals is also to obtain a master’s degree in business administration. I like to explore my options. I am thrilled to be in an environment that supports growth and creativity.”

Anderson gave a lot of credit to his parents for all of his academic success and expressed how he was blessed to have a strong support system that was always there to help him along the way. He said that their support is what gives him the confidence to pursue his dreams and undertake multiple discipline interests, no matter how challenging it may get.

“My parents kept me grounded and balanced,” Anderson said. “They will help me navigate through obstacles and turns in the road.”


Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University is one of the largest single-campus historically Black colleges or universities in the nation. The University blends a strong research focus on economic empowerment and community service.

The University was founded in 1887 as the State Normal School for Colored Students, Today, FAMU continues its mission to be a best-in-class, land-grant University with a global reach that focuses on science, technology, research, engineering, agriculture, and mathematics (STREAM).

FAMU contributes to a strong workforce by providing a high-quality, affordable education to students from diverse backgrounds. The U.S. News & World Report lists FAMU as the nation’s top public historically Black college or university (HBCU) for 2015. FAMU was recognized in 2014 by the U.S. News & World Report as among the “Best National Universities.” It is listed among The Princeton Review’s “Best in the Southeast” colleges, as well.

FAMU is also one of the top universities for providing a high-quality education at an affordable price in Florida, according to The College Database (2013).

For more information about FAMU, visit: www.famu.edu.


JSU's O'Neal comes up short at U. S. Open

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Washington -- Former Jackson State and SWAC standout golfer Timothy O'Neal came up just short of playing the weekend in his first professional major golf tournament. O'Neal shot a 4-over par 74 in the first round Thursday and a 3-over par 73 in the second round Friday at the par 70 Chambers Bay Golf Club in University Place, Washington where the U. S. Open was staged last week. Jordan Spieth won the title at 5-under par. The 7-over par 147 total was just two strokes off the +5 cut in the year's second major. He beat Tigers Woods' score by nine strokes.

In his two days, O'Neal had three double-bogeys, eight bogeys and nine birdies over the links-like layout at Chambers Bay. He was perhaps done in by a quadruple bogey 8 on the par-4 11th hole Friday that soared his score to +7 after he had gotten inside the cut at +3. He finished the back nine Friday at even par with two bogeys, two birdies and three pars to finish at +7. He birdied his 18th and final hole.

The circuitous route O'Neal, 42, has taken to play in his first major is quite a story and was chronicled last week in Golfweek Magazine and by ESPN.com.

In the final round of the Abierto de Chile at Club de Golf Los Leones, Timothy O'Neal captures his second NEC Series - PGA TOUR Latinoamérica victory in the 2014 season with a playoff win over Sebastian Saavedra and Ryan Blaum.


Jackson State's Tim O'Neal lives the challenge of the African-American golfer

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Washington -- Walter Payton's brother, Eddie, had been a hell of an athlete himself -- a football, baseball and basketball star who grew into a good enough NFL return man to once take back a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns in the same game. He could zigzag his way around a golf course, too, ultimately playing to a 2 handicap and becoming one of the most successful college coaches in America at Jackson State.

Eddie Payton had seen a lot from tee to green by the early 1990s, but nothing quite like the high school recruit out of Savannah, Georgia, he scouted one day on an unsolicited tip, a kid named Tim O'Neal.

"He watched me hit my first tee shot and my second shot and just drove off," O'Neal recalled Tuesday as he prepared to play in the U.S. Open. "He didn't say anything. I had no idea where he went."

And there was a pretty good reason for that.

"I only needed to see those two swings to decide to offer him a scholarship," Payton said from his office at Jackson State. "I've never seen a swing that fluid and powerful. Everyone works toward creating one that will repeat over and over, and whenever you see it, you know it."


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

SWAC Announces 2015 Football Media Day Roster

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Head coaches accompanied by a pair of student-athletes from all 10 Southwestern Athletic Conference schools will share in the 2015 SWAC Football Media Day.

The annual event is set for July 17 at the Birmingham - Marriott in Birmingham, Ala.

Charles Ward will moderate the live coverage which will get underway at 10:00 a.m. CT live on the SWAC Digital Network.

SWAC Commissioner Duer Sharp, Coordinator of Football Officials Harold Mitchell Sr. and other guest will be in attendance and available to the media upon request.

The SWAC’s official website, swac.org, will carry continuous coverage of MD15 via online video and audio broadcast stream.

The list of head coaches and student-athletes participating in SWAC Football Media Day include:

Alabama A&M
James Spady - Head Coach
Harvey Harris (RB • 5‐9 • 170 • So. • Montgomery, Ala.)
Bryan Bower (RB • 5‐10 • 205 • Jr. • Millbrook, Ala.)

Alabama State
Brian Jenkins - Head Coach
DeMario Bell (WR • 6‐3 • 180 • Sr. • Wetumpka, Ala.)
Kourtney Berry (LB • 6‐0 • 215 • Jr. • Merrillville, Ind.)

Alcorn State
Jay Hopson - Head Coach
John Gibbs Jr. (QB • 6‐6 • 220 • Sr. • Houston, Texas)
Damon Watkins (DL • 6‐1 • 235 • Sr. • Temecula, Calif.)

Grambling State
Broderick Fobbs - Head Coach
Jevonta Williams (DL • 6‐2 • 262 • Sr. • Zachary, La.)
Johathan Williams (QB • 5‐11 • 185 • Sr. • Tampa, Fla.)

Jackson State
Harold Jackson - Head Coach
Ryan Deising (K • 5‐8 • 170 • Sr. • Nashville, Tenn.)
Teddrick Terrell (OLB • 6‐2 • 230 • Sr. • Jackson, MS.)

Mississippi Valley State
Rick Comegy - Head Coach
Kahlil Young (DL• 6‐5 • 241 • Jr. • New Orleans, La.)
Quantavious Peterson (QB• 6‐1 • 205 • Jr. • Shelby, Miss.)

Prairie View A&M
Willie Simmons - Prairie View A&M
Courtney Brown (RB • 6‐0 • 200 • Sr. • Lake Charles, La.)
Damond Jackson (DB • 6‐0 • 195 • So. • New Orleans, La.)

Dawson Odums - Head Coach
Demetrius Carter (LB • 6‐0 • 225 • RSr. • Chicago, Ill.)
Anthony Mosley (OL • 6‐2 • 282 • Sr. • Cairo, Ga.)

Texas Southern
Darrell Asberry - Head Coach
Amir Bloom (DL • 6‐4 • 245 • Sr. • Miami, Fla.)
Malik Cross (WR • 5‐11 • 190 • Sr. • Fort Washington, Md.)

Arkansas‐Pine Bluff
Monte Coleman - Head Coach
Willie Young (WR • 6-1 • 185 • Jr. • New Orleans, La.)
Wille Duncan III (LB • 6-2 • 220 • Jr. • Southfield, Mich.)


FAMU's Rudy Hubbard on College Football Hall of Fame ballot

Florida A&M University (1974-85)

Hubbard captured back-to-back national championships in 1977 and 1978,

including the inaugural NCAA Division I-AA (FCS) National Title in 1978.

IRVING, Texas – Former Florida A&M University head football coach Rudy Hubbard is one of 27 coaches from the divisional ranks on the 2016 National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame ballot announced on June 2. On the ballot for consideration for induction will be 76 players and five coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), and 92 players and 27 coaches from the divisional ranks (FCS, Division II, Division III, NAIA).

Hubbard, an Ohio native, was head football coach at FAMU from 1974 to 1985, compiling an 83-48-3 record, which was highlighted back-to-back national championships in 1977 and 1978. His 1977 club ended the campaign as the nation’s only undefeated team (11-0), while 1978 club posted a sterling 12-1 mark, capping the season with first-ever NCAA Division I FCS (I-AA) National Championship, thanks to a 35-28 win over the University of Massachusetts in the Pioneer Bowl at Wichita Falls, Texas. The following season (1979), the Rattlers pulled off a stunning upset of the University of Miami, 16-13 at Doak Campbell Stadium.

Hubbard’s tenure produced nearly a dozen All-American players, highlighted by three-time first team All-American guard Tyrone McGriff (1977-79), who in 1996, became the first FAMU player to be enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame, as a member of the Hall's inaugural Divisional Class of players. Should Hubbard be elected, he would become the third coach in the Hall of Fame to have served at Florida A&M joining the legendary A.S. "Jake" Gaither (1975) and William “Billy” Joe (2007), and the fifth Rattler Football personality, which includes former All-Americans Tyrone McGriff (1996) and halfback Willie Galimore (1999).



Catherine Fakler, Devinn Rolland are Xavier University's first-ever first-team Academic All-Americans

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana's Catherine Fakler and Devinn Rolland added to their legacies Monday when they were named to the 2014-15 Capital One Academic All-America® College Division Women's Track & Field/Cross Country Team.

Fakler and Rolland, both seniors, are XU's first-ever first-team selections. They made the second team as sophomores.

Fakler, a distance runner from Phoenix, Ariz., and a graduate of Xavier College Preparatory High School, graduated from Xavier in May with a cumulative 4.0 grade-point average as an English / English education major. She will attend graduate school at the University of Arizona.

Rolland, a sprinter/long-jumper from Harvey, La., and a graduate of Cabrini High School in New Orleans, has two more years in the College of Pharmacy before receiving her XU degree. She compiled a 3.91 GPA through her first seven semesters.

In track and field they won a combined 21 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference individual outdoor championships — 11 by Fakler, 10 by Rolland — and led the Gold Nuggets to GCAC team championships in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Rolland also was a three-time NAIA All-American in the long jump.

Fakler also excelled in cross country. As a junior in 2013, she won the GCAC individual title and was chosen Louisiana Runner of the Year. She helped the Gold Nuggets win four GCAC team titles.
"Catherine and Devinn are two exceptional young ladies who are very deserving of this honor," XU coach Joseph Moses said. "They excelled at Xavier in the classroom and in athletics. They will be successful throughout their lives because of their focus and commitment to hard work."

The Capital One Academic All-America® College Division Track & Field/Cross Country Teams are comprised of student-athletes from NAIA, Canadian and two-year institutions. The College Sports Information Directors of America has sponsored the Academic All-America program since 1952.

Xavier's All-Time List of Academic All-Americans
(chosen by the College Sports Information Directors of America)

Year Name Sport Team
2008-09 Joe Drexler-Dreis Men's Track and Field/Cross Country Second Team
2011-12 Matt Pieri Men's Track and Field/Cross Country Second Team
2011-12 Javon Mead Men's Track and Field/Cross Country Third Team
2012-13 Taylor Reuther Women's Volleyball Third Team
2012-13 Matt Pieri Men's Track and Field/Cross Country Second Team
2012-13 Javon Mead Men's Track and Field/Cross Country Third Team
2012-13 Catherine Fakler Women's Track and Field/Cross Country Second Team
2012-13 Devinn Rolland Women's Track and Field/Cross Country Second Team
2014-15 Catherine Fakler Women's Track and Field/Cross Country First Team
2014-15 Devinn Rolland Women's Track and Field/Cross Country First Team

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Recruiting Roundup: FAMU DRS' Jackson ready to bust out

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- FAMU DRS wide receiver Chris Jackson doesn't have the size desired by the elite Division-I football schools.

The Rattlers' rising senior is not 6-foot-4. He won't knock a cornerback to the ground in press coverage.

But what Jackson currently lacks in one area of his physical attributes, he makes up for in others.

Route-running. Speed. Sure hands. Tenacity.

Jackson has been touring this summer, such as recently at the Jimbo Fisher Football Camp, and participating in 7-on-7 tournaments. And wherever he goes, he's impressed those that unexpectedly caught a glimpse of his skill set.


Overton ready to put leadership skills to the test at FAMU

Director of Athletics
TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- Milton Overton Jr. knows he's being hired to fix an ailing athletic department at Florida A&M.

It won't be an easy job, and it certainly won't be done overnight (or even in one year), but Overton said he's confident he'll be able to implement a plan to improve the university's athletic department that will include students, administrators and FAMU fans.

He already has plenty of support.

Florida A&M baseball coach Jamey Shouppe, who was a member of a 10-person committee that gathered facts on the top three candidates for FAMU's athletic director last week, said Overton was impressive.

"I think this will prove to be one of the best hires in the history of athletic directors at FAMU," Shouppe said.


TSU Men's Basketball Adds Eight for 2015-16

NASHVILLE, Tennessee -- On Tuesday, Tennessee State men’s basketball coach Dana Ford announced the addition of eight student-athletes who will join the team this upcoming season.

“This class makes our team bigger, stronger and faster, which are things that will improve our ability to score,” Ford said. “They are all very grounded and hard-working players that come from places that value basketball.

Thomas Davis (Lighthouse Christian HS/Antioch, Tenn.), Jalen Duke (Martin Luther King HS/Nashville, Tenn.), Neville Fincher (Navarro College/Teaneck, NJ), Wayne Martin (Navarro College/Brooklyn, NY), Samson Oyediran (Ancilla College/London, England), Jordan Reed (Binghamton/Philadelphia, Pa.), Khalil Spencer (Ridgeway HS/Memphis, Tenn.) and Johnny Woodard (North Dakota State College of Sc
ience/Duluth, MN) all signed and will be eligible to play in 2015-16.

“Last year we were one of the youngest teams in the country, and I felt that two of our best players were freshmen. This gives us a great foundation to build on, and this class has added experience as well as a little more youth,” Ford added.

Davis played high school ball at nearby Lighthouse Christian in Antioch, where he led his team to a national championship in 2015 by winning the National Association of Christian Athletes (NACA) Tournament. “Tripp” was also named to the All-Midstate Second Team by The Tennessean as a senior. Davis scored over 2,000 points in his career at Lighthouse Christian, the first to accomplish that in school history, and is the son of TSU Professor Thomas L. Davis.

Duke was also his team’s all-time leading scorer after graduating from Martin Luther King HS. The 6-5 guard amassed over 1,600 points in his time at MLK and was named the District 10AA Player of the Year as a senior. He went on to lead his team to a fourth place finish in the District championships. MLK students have a history of coming to TSU, as Gerald Robinson signed with the Tigers in 2007.

Fincher spent the last two seasons at Navarro College in Texas, but was highly recruited coming out of prep school in 2013. Fincher averaged 12 points and 8 rebounds at Hargrave Military Academy as a senior. The 220-pounder was recruited heavily by Marshall, Seton Hall, Western Kentucky, Towson and Houston before committing with Kansas State University. At 6-10, Fincher should provide a significant post presence for TSU.

Martin was a teammate of Fincher at Navarro College before also committing to TSU. Martin played in 27 contests for the Bulldogs, averaging 15.4 points and 9.5 rebounds per game while leading them to a 22-8 record. The Brooklyn, NY native. spent 2013-14 with Saint Francis College, where he poured in an average of seven points in 16.9 minutes per game.

Oyediran, a 6-7 small forward from London, England signed with the Tigers after sitting out a season at Ancilla College in Indiana. Prior to attending the JUCO, Oyedrian starred at the Preston College basketball academy overseas. He is rated as a two-star prospect by verbalcommits.com.

Reed, a 6-4 two-time all-conference selection at Binghamton University, was the program's leading scorer and rebounder in each of his first two seasons. Last year, he led the American East Conference in rebounding (8.9 rpg) for the second straight season. He also came one point away in the regular-season finale of becoming the first freshman ever to lead the conference in scoring and rebounding during the 2012-13 season.

Spencer comes to TSU after leading Ridgeway HS to an 18-11 record in 2014-15 and a spot in the quarterfinals of the Region 8-AAA tournament. Spencer also played at Mitchell HS in Memphis and Booker T. Washington HS. The combo guard averaged 20 points per contest at Booker as a freshman and helped lead his team to a berth in the Class A State Tournament.

Woodard, a 6-4 wing, had spent the past two seasons at North Dakota State College of Science, where he averaged 19.6 points per game as a freshman and 22.2 in 2014-15. Woodard also helped lead the Wildcats to a 55-11 record during his two seasons. He was a Minnesota Mr. Basketball finalist as a senior at Duluth East HS after leading his team to the Class AAAA State Tournament.

The eight players join Armani Chaney, who previously signed his letter of intent, to round out TSU’s 2015-16 recruiting class.