Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Donte' Jackson Announced as Grambling State's Men''s Basketball Coach

GRAMBLING, Louisiana -- Grambling State University Director of Athletics Paul Bryant officially announced the hiring of, and signed, Donte' Jackson as the next GSU head men's basketball coach during a Wednesday morning news conference.

Jackson officially signed his contract in front of a small crowd of media members, athletics staff and his family in the office of GSU President Rick Gallot.

Photo Gallery

"We're excited today to sign this contract," Gallot said. "The future of Grambling and Grambling basketball is bright. And of course, whenever Willis Reed says that you have a great coach, then you have to be a great coach."

Bryant welcomed Jackson to the department by giving him an official Grambling State pin and baseball cap. He said, "This is a great day for our athletics department and our men's basketball program. We have a leader who will be an example for our young men in the classroom as well as on the playing surfaces and in the community."

"I'm elated," said Jackson when he addressed the crowd. "This is an opportunity I've always dreamed of…and I will give my all. I want to thank [President Gallot] for the opportunity to lead the program and for you entrusting the program into my hands. And I want to thank [Mr. Bryant] for just giving me the opportunity to be a part of the Grambling family."

Prior to GSU, Jackson spent three seasons as the head men's basketball coach at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. During his time there, he went 66-21 overall and won the 2016 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Tournament and earned a berth in the NCAA tournament, where they defeated West Georgia in the first round.

At the end of the 2015-16 season, he was named the SIAC Coach of the Year, as well as BOXTOROW National Coach of the Year. In his last year at Stillman, he also served as Stillman's interim director of athletics, in addition to maintaining his role as head men's basketball coach.

Prior to Stillman, Jackson led the men's basketball program at Central State University (CSU) in Wilberforce, Ohio, for four seasons. He took over the program in 2010 after serving as an assistant coach at CSU for seven seasons.

The Milwaukee, Wisconsin, native graduated from CSU in 2003 with a bachelor's of science in education, and in 2008, he earned a master's of science in educational leadership. He was a three-year letter winner on the Marauder basketball team and earned all-conference and all-region honors during the 2001-02 season.

He led the Marauders to the NAIA Division I National Tournament and a Sweet Sixteen appearance with a 24-8 record during 1999-2000 season. Jackson capped his stellar career by being selected as the recipient of the John W. Garland President's Award, presented annually to a student-athlete who embodies the highest standards of leadership, integrity and sportsmanship through academic and athletic achievements.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

FAMU Deputy AD Elliott Charles leaves for Clemson

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- Florida A&M Deputy Athletic Director
Elliot Charles is now on Clemson's staff, FAMU's athletic department confirmed Tuesday afternoon.

Charles' last day was Friday. He was hired at FAMU in January of 2016.

Athletic Director Milton Overton Jr. is now looking for a new second-in-command. He met with the department Tuesday to discuss Elliott's departure, and no progress has been made on the search yet.

Overton praised Charles' work while at FAMU. He said he hopes to have a new deputy in place before September.

"This is a great opportunity for him," Overton said. "I’ve been working with that guy for a long time. He’s known as an expert in compliance. It’s one of those great opportunities and his family. He’s got a young family, he's trying to grow his family and they offered him a lot more money.

"There are some people who believe if you come to an HBCU, you can’t advance any further. I want anyone who comes to FAMU to know that we’re going to do great things and you’re going to have great opportunities."


Alcorn's Horne leading candidate in ULM AD search

MONROE, Louisiana -- Alcorn State athletic director Derek Horne is the leading candidate for the same position at ULM.

ULM has scheduled a Wednesday interview with Horne, who arrived in Monroe on Tuesday.

ULM President Nick Bruno, special assistant to the president Ron Hogan and former ULM and Southern Miss athletic director Richard Giannini are running the search along with an appointed search committee.

Alcorn has won two SWAC football championships, three football division titles and a tennis championship. The school also had 10 student-athletes earn first-team All-SWAC recognition since Horne was hired in 2014.

Men’s basketball coach Montez Robinson, a Horne hire, has guided the Braves from a six-win team to 33 wins in two seasons.

Alcorn signed Horne to a three-year extension in 2016.


MEAC Announces 2017 Weeknight Football Television Schedule

NORFOLK, Virginia -- The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) today announced its weeknight television schedule for the 2017 football season. This year's ledger features a pair of Thursday night games and one Friday night contest live on ESPNU.

The defending MEAC Champion North Carolina Central University Eagles will host the first Thursday night contest of the season as they'll welcome South Carolina State University to Durham, N.C. on Sept. 21. The contest marks the conference opener for both teams and its first matchup on the gridiron since 2014.

Florida A&M returns to the Thursday night lineup for the first time since 2015 as they'll host North Carolina Central in Tallahassee, Fla. on Sept. 28. Last season's fourth quarter rally by NCCU marked the first time in series history that NCCU has won consecutive contests against the Rattlers.

MEAC football will be featured under the Friday night lights for the first time since 2015 as Morgan State heads to Orangeburg, S.C. to square off against the South Carolina State Bulldogs on Friday, Oct. 6. Both teams last met in 2014 with Morgan State claiming a 24-21 win during the final minute in Baltimore. Morgan State will make its first appearance in Orangeburg and Oliver C. Dawson Stadium since 2013.

The entire 2017 MEAC Football TV schedule will be announced at a later date.

2017 MEAC ESPNU Weeknight Football Schedule
Thursday, Sept. 21 South Carolina State at North Carolina Central 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 28 North Carolina Central at Florida A&M 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 6 Morgan State at South Carolina State 7:30 p.m.


Monday, June 26, 2017

FAMU's game against NCCU rescheduled, now on ESPNU

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- Florida A&M's second home game of the season has been rescheduled and is now part of the MEAC's ESPNU lineup.

The Rattlers will play North Carolina Central at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 28, a Thursday, instead of Sept. 30. The game is now part of the MEAC's ESPNU Weeknight Football Schedule.

This is the latest revision to FAMU's football schedule. The Rattlers' game against Arkansas was moved up and is now scheduled for August 31 -- another Thursday.

This is the first time since 2015 FAMU has been a part o the MEAC's Weeknight Football lineup.

Several of FAMU's games will be broadcast on ESPN networks this season. The season opener against Texas Southern, the Arkansas game and the Florida Classic against Bethune-Cookman will all be on television.



Saturday, June 24, 2017

XULA wins Thomas Howell Cup for 6th time in 7 years

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana has won the 2016-17 Thomas Howell Cup, the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference's all-sports award, said the GCAC in a Friday announcement.
It's the sixth time that XULA won the award, all in the last seven years.
\The Thomas Howell Cup, named for the GCAC's longtime commissioner, is awarded annually to the school with the most points based on order of finish in various sports. XULA was boosted by GCAC championships in men's cross country, women's cross country, women's volleyball (regular season and tournament), and women's outdoor track and field.
"Xavier is proud to take control of the Thomas Howell Cup once again," said XULA Director of Athletics & Recreation Jason Horn. "Not only did our student-athletes and coaches have another outstanding year, we produced our largest group of graduates in the last 12 years. The athletics department strives daily to live up to our motto: 'Win. Grow. Graduate.' "
The conference did not announce point totals or standings for the Howell Cup, but unofficial scoring by XULA Assistant Athletics Director for Communications Ed Cassierehad XULA with 37 1/2 points. In the seven GCAC championship sports — men's and women's cross country, women's volleyball, men's and women's basketball and men's and women's outdoor track and field — XULA scored 33 1/2 of a possible 41 points.
Although XULA won GCAC volleyball regular-season and tournament championships for the sixth consecutive year, the university was credited with all-sports points only for its regular-season standing. The GCAC also applied that method in men's and women's basketball.
Dillard, the 2015-16 Howell Cup winner, and Edward Waters tied for second place in Cassiere's unofficial scoring with 30 points apiece. Talladega was fourth with 24 1/2 points, followed by SUNO with 17, Tougaloo with 13 and Philander Smith with 11.
"This honor is another testament to Xavier's commitment to excellence, dedication and hard work not only in the classroom, but in everything we do," said XULA Vice President for Student Services Joseph Byrd, "and athletics is no exception. It is because of the vision of our president, Dr. Reynold Verret, our athletic director, Mr. Jason Horn, our coaches and especially our students that we are again recognized for greatness. We are pleased to be honored."
In addition to the conference titles, XULA highlights for the past year included:

     •  7-of-9 teams represented at NAIA National Championship appearances — volleyball, men's cross country, women's cross country, men;'s tennis, women's tennis, men's track and field (individual athlete) and women's track and field (individual athletes).

     •  Nine student-athletes earned NAIA All-America: Catalin FifeaMoses MichealAntoine Richard and Karan Salwan in men's tennis, Charlene Goreau in women's tennis and Clarke AllenRy-Anne RileyTramaine Shannon and Ariane Williams in women's track and field.

     •  Two CoSIDA Academic All-Americans: Salwan and Drew Chatters (women's track and field).

     •  Department GPA increased from 2015-16 to 2016-17.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Gold Nuggets sign 2; recruiting class increases to 6

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana announced Thursday the signing of Vivica Price-Spraggins of Chicago and Whitney Young Magnet High School and Kayla Black of Magnolia, Texas, and Houston's St. Pius X High School to athletic scholarships for volleyball.
The Gold Nuggets have signed six for the 2017 season, which will begin in August. XULA won the last six Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament championships and earned six consecutive automatic bids during that time to the NAIA National Championship.
Price-Spraggins is a 5-foot-11 middle blocker/right-side hitter. She helped Whitney Young's Dolphins in 2016 go 24-12, win a regional playoff and advance to sectionals. Price-Spraggins hit .402 as a senior with 105 kills, 47 blocks, 22 aces and 53 digs.
Price-Spraggins played five years of club ball — first with Club Kace, then with Chicago Elite. She was a starter for a bronze-medal-winning team at 2016 nationals.
Black, a 5-9 outside hitter, helped St. Pius in 2016 reach the Class 6A quarterfinals of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools playoffs. She was second-team all-state as a senior and junior. Black was her team's MVP in 2016.
Black has nine years of club experience, most recently with Willowbrook but also with Waves and Revolution. She was a starter for a Waves team that placed eighth in nationals in 15s.
Black's paternal grandfather is former NFL player and executive James "Shack" Harris, a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the first African-American quarterback to start and win an NFL playoff game (1974: Los Angeles 19, Washington 10).
Price-Spraggins will major in early elementary education, and Black will be a biology/pre-medical major with plans to pursue a career in pediatric cardiology.

2017-18 XULA Volleyball Signees
NamePos.Ht.Yr.*HometownHigh School
Ariel Bell #OH5-7Fr.White Castle, La.White Castle
Kayla BlackOH5-9Fr.Magnolia, TexasSt. Pius X
Jaida DowdOH5-8Fr.Aurora, Ill.Metea Valley
Eva Le GuillouS5-9Fr.Velizy-Villacoublay, FranceEmmanuel Mounier
Vivica Price-SpragginsMB/RS5-11Fr.Chicago, Ill.Whitney Young Magnet
Lauryn TaylorRS/OH5-9Fr.Sairburn, Ga.Booker T. Washington

* XULA athletic classification in 2017-18
# also will compete in track and field

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Suspension of golf programs leaves JSU players in limbo

JACKSON, Mississippi -- Keelin Floyd is headed into her senior year at Jackson State, and while her scholarship is still good, she’s not going to get to play the game she loves.

Floyd, a member of the soon-to-be-suspended women’s golf program at JSU, said Sunday she’s upset at the department’s decision to cut the programs for budgetary reasons.

JSU athletic director Wheeler Brown said Thursday he is still trying to find a way to save the programs, but Floyd said he informed her two weeks ago the decision to suspend the programs has already been made.

Brown said the department will honor the existing scholarships, but with only one year of school and one year of eligibility left, Floyd finds herself in a veritable no-man’s land when it comes to transfer possibilities.

“It’s my senior year, and I want to play in the SWAC,” she said. “I only have a year of eligibility left, and I’d have to take two years of school to get the same degree I can get at JSU in one.”


NCA&T Belcher Makes US team, Signs Pro Contract With Nike

GREENSBORO, North Carolina -- Another North Carolina A&T student-athlete is turning pro in 2017. Christopher Belcher came out in a North Carolina A&T track and field uniform for his semifinal 100-meter dash race at the 2017 USATF Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, Calif., on Friday. When he came out for the final, the A&T was gone, and he was uniformed completely in Nike.

Belcher, who had one more year of eligibility for indoor track and field, signed a professional contract Nike on Friday, thereby ending his collegiate career as an Aggie. The good news didn't stop there, Belcher also finished third in the U.S. 100m final to earn a prestigious spot on the United States Track and Field team along with Olympian Justin Gatlin and NCAA 100-meter champion Christian Coleman out of the University of Tennessee.

Belcher, who has developed into one of the best sprinters in the world, continued that ascent on Friday through two qualifying races that made him a member of the U.S. national team. There were two semifinal 100m heats. To make Friday's final, Belcher needed to finish in the top-4 of his heat. To make the U.S. team he needed to place in the top-3. With interlocking A&T logo across his chest, Belcher placed fourth in his heat and eighth overall with a time of 10.22. It was close to his slowest time of the season, nearly matching the 10.24 he ran on April 8.

“He had a bad race,” said North Carolina A&T director of track and field programs Duane Ross. Ross said he simply told his star sprinter to fix it. Belcher not only fixed his technique, he changed uniforms. In the two hours between races, Belcher signed with Nike to make the obvious official, he was not going to return to A&T for his final year of indoor track and field. In his new Nike outfit, Belcher ran a 10.06 to finish third behind Coleman's 9.98 and Gatlin's 9.95. The trio will represent the US in London, Aug. 4-13 at the IAAF World Championships.

“We knew it was coming,” said Ross about Belcher signing with Nike. “He is going to have a nice career. He is still going to train in Greensboro, and he is going to finish school, so this is an exciting time for him, for our program and for the entire North Carolina A&T University family. Chris is a prime example of coming in, doing what is asked of you and working hard until you see the types of results you want to see. You still have to work hard. It's not only about talent.”

Belcher turned a lot of eyes toward him when he ran a wind-aided 9.99 at N.C. A&T's Irwin Belk Track on April 15. He carried that over to the MEAC outdoor championships in May when he won three conference gold medals (100m, 200m, 4x100) to help the N.C. A&T men's track and field team win their first conference title in 21 years. A month later, Belcher clocked a 9.93 in a semifinal heat at the NCAA championships in Eugene, Ore., to become a first-team All-American. His 9.93 is still the third-fastest time in the world this year.

Belcher also earned first-team All-America honors in the 200m and 4x1. The 20.01 he ran at the NCAA championships is the sixth-fastest time in the world in the 200m this year. The 38.48 ran by Belcher and his 4x1 teammates at the NCAA championships (semifinal heat) is the eighth-fastest time in the world this year.

It has been a banner year for Aggies turning pro. Tarik Cohen was drafted in the fourth round of the NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears in April. Cutter Dyals was taken in the 17th round of the major league baseball draft in June by the Atlanta Braves.


Alcorn shifts football game with Alabama State

MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- The Alcorn State University football program will face Alabama State in a nationally televised game on ESPNU with the kickoff set for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5 at the ASU Football Stadium.

The game was originally scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7 but was untelevised.

"Anytime you get a chance to play a nationally televised game it is great, not only the football program, but also for publicity of Alcorn State University. It's great exposure for both schools and the conference," said Alcorn head coach Fred McNair.

It marks the second straight season that the Braves and the Hornets will play on an ESPN Network game. Last year, Alcorn defeated ASU 21-18 on ESPN3 at home on Sept. 10, 2016.

The Braves are 22-18 all-time against the Hornets with a combined score of 899-868 (+31). Alcorn is looking to defeat ASU for the fourth year in a row after winning 31-14 in 2015 and 33-7 in 2014.

The Braves have gone undefeated against SWAC East Division opponents in back-to-back years and have won three consecutive SWAC East Division titles.


Monday, June 19, 2017

SAU's Jeffries Wins USTFCCCA National Communications Honor

RALEIGH, North Carolina  – Sports Information Director Anthony Jeffries of Saint Augustine's University was selected the NCAA Division II national winner of the Excellence in Communications Award on Monday, June 19 for his outstanding track and field coverage for the 2016-17 season. The honor was announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

Jeffries was one of three honorees picked by the USTFCCCA communications staff after a nomination process. The other recipients are Jared Prescott of the University of Tennessee (NCAA Division I) and Alex Keil of Illinois College (NCAA Division III). The award highlights athletics communications representatives at conferences and/or schools who have committed to outstanding coverage and support of collegiate track and field. To read more about the honorees, click HERE.

Jeffries, in his 11th season at Saint Augustine's University, received the award for promoting the internationally renowned Saint Augustine's University track and field program led by legendary Athletic Director and Head Coach George Williams, who has won the most NCAA track and field championships (39) of any coach, regardless of division.

"I am very proud and elated to be recognized by the USTFCCCA on a national level," Jeffries said. "I would like to thank Coach Williams who has supported me over the years. His teams provide plenty of material to promote."

Marketing for this season began in the summer of 2016 for Jeffries, who helped the nationally-syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show set up an interview with Coach Williams. The track and field team and Coach Williams were also featured prominently on's The Undefeated website. In August 2016, Jeffries wrote an article about the George Williams Exhibit at the City of Raleigh Museum which appeared on the website of Track & Field News, which bills itself as the bible of the sport.

In addition to writing numerous articles during the indoor and outdoor seasons, Jeffries placed photographs and videos on social media during the 2017 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Bradenton, Fla. which were well-received by the public. The more popular videos were the Falcons receiving their fifth straight men's outdoor national title while confetti poured on them and Tia-Adana Belle (Sr./St. George, Barbados) breaking the Division II record for her third consecutive 400-meter hurdles crown.

His championship recaps were published on several websites including He also was a member of the CIAA Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Committees, providing recaps for the conference as well as the university during the CIAA championships.

The accolade is the third in the profession for Jeffries, who was the 2008 and 2012 CIAA Sports Information Director of the Year. A Raleigh, N.C. native, Jeffries covers 14 sports for the athletic program at Saint Augustine's University.


Dave Robbins' Virginia Union legacy has passed the test of time

RICHMOND, Virginia -- Almost a decade has passed since Dave Robbins hung up his coaching whistle after making basketball history at Virginia Union University.

Robbins, 74, spends his time on the golf course, traveling with his wife and fishing on a pond on a little farm the couple bought in Amelia County, about 45 miles outside Richmond. He still attends Virginia Union home games, and he keeps up with the game, loves the way U.Va.’s Tony Bennett runs his program and occasionally works on a book that he’s been drafting for several years.

At the annual Virginia Sports Hall of Fame golf tournament and reception held two weeks ago at Staunton’s Ironwood Golf Club, Robbins (Class of 2012) showed up, which was a treat for the impressive gathering.

Most younger-generation basketball fans aren’t familiar with Robbins’ accomplishments. In 1978, he took over a Union program that had never won a CIAA title and never won an NCAA tournament game. It was a controversial hire at the time because Robbins was the first white coach in the CIAA, historically made up of predominantly black colleges and universities.

Nobody complained over the next 30 years as Robbins directed the Panthers to three Division II national championships (1980, 1992, 2005), 14 CIAA championships and 21 NCAA tournament appearances. Along the way, he compiled a record of 713-194 and produced five NBA players: Charles Oakley, Ben Wallace, A.J. English, Terry Davis and Jamie Waller.


Hines: ASU not leaving the SWAC

MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- Any rumors of a possible move by Alabama State were dismissed as such by athletic director Melvin Hines during a press conference on Monday.

Several online message boards cited rumors of potential moves by both Alabama State and Alabama A&M to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

The MEAC, which is headquartered at Norfolk, Virginia, currently has 11 football-playing members.

Savannah State is scheduled to leave the conference following the 2018 season.

Hines was asked about the rumors during his address which reviewed the 2016-2017 athletic season at ASU.

“They’re just rumors,” Hines said. “We’reC very proud to be a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. We’re excited about what we’re doing and we’ve gone to new heights in the SWAC.”

Current Alabama State head football coach Brian Jenkins won four MEAC titles and was a three-time MEAC Coach of the Year at Bethune-Cookman, where he coached from 2010-2014.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

TSU Women’s Basketball Adds Lenise Stallings to Coaching Staff

NASHVILLE, Tennessee -- Tennesssee State University head women's basketball coach Jessica Kern announced the hiring of Lenise Stallings as an assistant coach on Wednesday.

Stallings will work with the guards while also serving as the academic liaison and camp coordinator.

"Coach Stallings is a fantastic addition to our family," commented Kern. "Her stellar experience as a player, ties to Mississippi talent, and keen eye for offense will be key components to our future growth. With her extensive academic background and hunger to grow in this business - we are extremely lucky to have this rising star. A decorated student- athlete at Mississippi Valley State University and a known pure shooter, Coach Stallings will be instrumental in guard development. I look forward to seeing her hunger for the game manifest into a championship spirit for our program."

Stallings comes to TSU after serving on Kern’s staff at Mississippi Valley State University. She helped secure the program’s largest recruiting class and a spot in the top 25 most improved Division I women’s basketball programs.

Prior to her position as assistant coach for MVSU, she served as a graduate assistant with the program from 2014-2016.

As an undergrad, Stallings competed four years with the MVSU women’s basketball team. She played in 124 career games during her collegiate career and helped MVSU to a 2013 appearance in the SWAC Basketball Tournament Championship game. In 2012, she aided her team in earning a SWAC regular season title and a bid to the WNIT.

During her junior and senior campaigns, she led the conference in three-point field goal percentage, shooting just over 40 percent.

A native of Hattiesburg, Miss, Stallings earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology in 2013 and a master’s degree in Bioinformatics in 2016. She has one daughter, Kyia.


WSSU stays committed to baseball program

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina -- The CIAA’s decision to drop baseball is something coach Kevin Ritsche of Winston-Salem State has been bracing for.

When Elizabeth City State dropped its program before the 2014 season, the conference had slipped below the NCAA minimum of six schools sponsoring baseball to qualify for an automatic berth into region play. Even though the CIAA had five baseball programs, the NCAA gave the conference a break over the next three seasons, with the conference champion still getting rewarded with an automatic berth into regional play.

The conference decided to drop the sport because there was no sign of another CIAA school adding baseball to compete with teams already at WSSU, Chowan, Saint Augustine’s, Virginia State and Lincoln (Pa.).

WSSU athletics director Tonia Walker said the school is committed to the sport.

“We will maintain baseball as an independent sport with hopes that the CIAA will increase membership with other schools who play baseball or if current schools add it,” Walker said.


Horn voted GCAC Athletic Director of Year for 2016-17

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana's Jason Horn has been voted by his peers the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Athletic Director of the Year for 2016-17.
Horn joined XULA March 31, 2014, as director of athletics & recreation. Department highlights since his arrival:

     •  NAIA national runner-up finishes for men's tennis in 2016 and 2017 — the first two in XULA history.
     •  Fifteen GCAC and/or NAIA unaffiliated group championships.
     •  Appearances by each of XULA's nine teams at NAIA National Championship events — 23 total.
     •  Ninety persons representing the department — athletes, managers and staff — received XULA degrees.
     •  Four student-athletes were selected as CoSIDA Academic All-Americans.
     •  Men's basketball won the Buffalo Funds Five-Star Champions of Character Team Award in 2015-16.
     •  Community service which includes XULA student-athletes assisting with catastrophic flooding in Baton Rouge, La., this past August and after a tornado in New Orleans East in February.
     •  Average home attendance gains by the Convocation Center's three primary tenants — men's basketball, women's basketall and volleyball.
     •  Horn-negotiated multi-year deals with Ochsner Health System's sports medicine division, apparel provider adidas and website provider SIDEARM Sports.
"I cannot imagine one more deserving of this honor that Jason Horn," XULA President Dr. Reynold Verret said. "Through the quality and prudence of his judgment, Mr. Horn keeps first in mind the progress of Xavierites as both scholars and athletes. Xavier is fortunate with Jason Horn as AD."
"Congratulations to Mr. Horn on this great honor," XULA Vice President for Student Services Joseph Byrd said. "I knew when we selected him as our AD, we had selected one of the best. Now all of the GCAC knows what we have known for three years. His selection not only brings honor to him but to all athletes and the university community as a whole. We are proud of him."
"Mr. Horn is extremely deserving of this award," GCAC Commissioner Steve Martin said. "His intellect, hard work and business acumen are assets to the conference, and he has been a vital part of the GCAC's growth during his tenure at Xavier."
XULA is one of 47 colleges listed as a "Best Buy School" in the 2017 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Friday, June 16, 2017

Bishop McNamara grad signs National LOI with Alcorn State

CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Illinois -- Since his little league days, Brandon Thomas has always wanted to play baseball at the Division I level. Next season, he'll finally have his chance.

Thomas, a 2015 graduate of Bishop McNamara, has spent his last two baseball seasons pitching for Prairie State College, an NJCAA program in Chicago Heights.  This fall, he'll take his talents to Mississippi after signing a National Letter of Intent to continue his baseball career at Alcorn State University — a Division I program.

"To be completely honest, it was a shock to me," Thomas said. "It's already something I've been working hard towards. I can't really explain the feeling right now. I'm just going to keep trying and keep pushing every day and see what goes on after that."

While a step up in baseball's never-ending talent pool means a better chance of being noticed by Major League Baseball scouts, Thomas says he doesn't have control over what happens next.


Fobbs: 'Ideal' for SWAC to not play championship game

GRAMBLING, Louisiana — Grambling State head football coach Broderick Fobbs believes the Southwestern Athletic Conference's decision to discontinue the championship game was the right move for the league and his team.

SWAC Commissioner Duer Sharp announced Tuesday morning that the league decided to discontinue the title game following the 2017 season, ending the showcase’s 18-year run.

"I think it's something that's probably good for our team and our league," Fobbs said Thursday. "Financially, it's a little difficult at times to add another game, especially when a lot of times we're responsible for getting to that particular game. I think it's a situation where I think it puts us at a disadvantage.

"Being that we play in the Bayou Classic a week after the final week of the season. Then we also have to play in the conference championship game the following week. The team in the East doesn't necessarily have to worry about that. Their season is pretty much two weeks over by the time the conference championship game is played."

The Tigers' annual rivalry showdown with Southern University in New Orleans gives them one more game at the end of the season, giving Fobbs' team one less week to prepare for a team it would meet in the SWAC title contest.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Stillman Tigers Fills Open Positions, Announces New Conference Affiliation

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama |-- Stillman College president, Dr. Cynthia Warrick, is pleased to announce that Ken Alston will assume the role of Athletic Director for the Tigers beginning July 1st.

Alston has spent the past 10 years in various athletic administration roles. He most recently served as an assistant men's coach at Grambling State University. Prior to that, he was the Assistant Athletic Director for the Washington D.C. Public Schools system. Alston's extensive and diverse background led him to be the ideal candidate to lead the Stillman athletic program into their new era.

"I am very excited to be a part of Stillman College," Alston stated. "Stillman has a rich tradition in education and athletics, and I am here to add to that tradition. I would like to thank our president, Dr. Warrick, for this awesome opportunity. While there is still much work to be done, great things are on the way!"

Dr. Warrick filled another key role in the athletic department, promoting John Teasley to head men's head basketball coach. Teasley has served as an assistant coach for the past three seasons. Prior to coming to Stillman, Teasley was as an assistant coach at Spring Hill College for two years. He has eight years of experience as a head coach at the high school level, including three ACAA state championships and a .893 winning percentage.

Below is a statement from Coach Teasley:
"I would like to start by saying thank you to our new president, Cynthia Warrick, for this incredible opportunity. I feel blessed and honored to be the new head men's basketball coach at Stillman College. I am looking forward to continuing the success that we have built with our men's basketball program over the last three years. This is a dream come true for me and my family and I am very excited to the days ahead.​"

Stillman also received word that the Southern States Athletic Conference Board of Presidents unanimously approved the addition of Stillman College effective July 1, 2018, with competition to begin in all sports during the 2018-19 academic year.

Commissioner Mike Hall stated that they "are very excited to welcome Stillman College into the SSAC for the 18-19 academic year. Dr. Warrick has a great vision for the campus and its growth, and she sees how the athletics department can be a tremendous asset in moving Stillman College forward in the greater Tuscaloosa area. Stillman has a long-standing tradition of winning championships and a very strong alumni base that will fit in well with the SSAC."

Dr. Warrick echoed Commissioner Hall's excitement stating that the college was "honored and thrilled to join the Southern States Athletic Conference. Sincere thanks to the Board of Presidents; we're looking forward to the competition, collegiality, and growth for our athletic programs with the SSAC."

Stillman will continue their membership with the Association of Independent Institutions, and will be eligible for postseason play in the NAIA beginning this upcoming academic year (2017-2018).


MEAC Players Picked Up in MLB Draft

\NORFOLK, Virginia -- Five players from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) were taken in the late rounds of the 2017 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft on Wednesday, including the reigning conference Player and Pitcher of the Year.

Norfolk State led the conference with two draft picks.
PlayerSchoolDrafted ByRound Drafted
Demetrius SimsBethune-CookmanMiami Marlins14th
Noah "Cutter" DyalsNorth Carolina A&T StateAtlanta Braves17th
Aubrey McCartyFlorida A&MColorado Rockies26th
Devin HemmerichNorfolk StateLos Angeles Dodgers26th
Alex MauricioNorfolk StateNew York Yankees27th

Sims was a First Team All-MEAC selection this past season, helping Bethune-Cookman win its 19th MEAC championship and advance to the first NCAA regional final in school and conference history. He was also a MEAC All-Tournament Team selection.

Dyals was named First Team All-MEAC, coming out of the bullpen to help the Aggies finish second in the MEAC Southern Division this past season -- after being picked to finish last in a preseason poll. He was 6-0 this season with seven saves and an 0.50 ERA.

McCarty was named Second Team All-MEAC as a utility player this past season.

Hemmerich is the reigning MEAC Pitcher of the Year and a First Team All-MEAC selection. He was also named to the MEAC All-Tournament Team, and he became Norfolk State's first Div. I All-American, as named by Collegiate Baseball News, after breaking the school record in both career and single-season strikeouts.

Mauricio is the reigning MEAC Player of the Year and a semifinalist for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year award. He helped the Spartans win their third straight MEAC Northern Division regular-season title and advance to the title round of the MEAC Championship.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

SWAC to drop football conference championship game after 2017 season to focus on Celebration Bowl

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) today announced that it will forgo its football championship game following the 2017 Toyota SWAC Football Championship.

“With the creation of the Celebration Bowl as a national showcase for HBCU football, the Council of Presidents and Chancellors decided to suspend the championship game format after the 2017 season,” said Commissioner Duer Sharp. “By focusing on the Celebration Bowl, we can continue to grow the AFRCB as an HBCU classic for the teams and fans of both conferences and for HBCU football nationally.”

The championship game will be played on December 2, 2017 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The SWAC champion will earn an invitation to play in the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on December 16, 2017. Established in 2015 and recognized as one of the premier events in HBCU college football, the Celebration Bowl features the champion of the SWAC versus the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) champion.

Beginning in 2018, the SWAC football championship title will go to the team with the best regular season conference record. The conference office along with SWAC administrators and coaches will work to solidify a tie-breaker procedure, scheduling and other factors that contribute to dissolving the championship format.

Originally introduced in 1999, the SWAC championship game was originally played at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama, for 14 years before moving to Houston in 2013.


Florida A&M athletics releases annual report


TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- Florida A&M's athletic department on Tuesday released an annual report detailing the department's expenditures and revenues, as well as its future goals.

The biggest goal is one fans have been asking for: $60 million for an improved Bragg Memorial Stadium.

Other priorities for the department are $11 million for a new field house, $3 million for academic scholarships, $500,000 for athletic transportation, $100,000 for a new health and nutrition program and $150,000 for what's being called a "mobile learning initiative."

The athletic department increased its revenue from $7.4 million in the 2015-16 fiscal year to $8.6 million in the 2016-17 fiscal year. During the same time, the department decreased spending from $10.4 million to $8.5 million.

According to the report, "Fiscal year 2018 athletics revenues are projected to increase by 17% to $9.7 million largely due to an increase in men’s and women’s basketball game guarantees, increased revenue from other Olympic sports, increased football revenue from a new FAMU owned classic football game in Tampa and increased philanthropic fundraising."


Monday, June 12, 2017

Virginia Union Home Football Games To Be Televised

RICHMOND, Virginia -- Virginia Union University's first two home football games will be broadcast live on Comcast channel 206 and Verizon channel 466 though an arrangement with WTVR in Richmond, Va.

Virginia Union's home opener against Newberry College will be broadcast on Saturday, September 9, beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET while the Panthers' game against Winston-Salem State University on Saturday, September 16, will be broadcast live beginning at 6:00 p.m.

"CBS-6 is excited about televising Virginia Union's first two home games of the 2017 Football season," said WTVR President and General Manager Stephen Hayes. "Both the Newberry and the Winston-Salem State games will be broadcast live on WTVR 6.3. We are looking forward to cheering the Panthers on this fall!"

Future home games are also being planned for broadcast, and the games will also be streamed live over the Internet. VUU will have a total of five home football games this season, all to be played at Historic Hovey Field.

VUU PANTHERS 2017 Football Schedule

Date Opponent Location Time
9/2/2017 LIU Post Brookville, NY 1:00 p.m.
9/9/2017 Newberry College Richmond, VA 4:00 p.m.
9/16/2017 Winston­Salem State University Richmond, VA 6:00 p.m.
9/23/2017 * Fayetteville State University Richmond, VA 1:00 p.m.
9/30/2017 * St. Augustine's University Raleigh, NC 1:00 p.m.
10/7/2017 * Lincoln University (Pa.) Lincoln University, PA TBA
10/14/2017 * Chowan University Richmond, VA 1:00 p.m.
10/21/2017 * Bowie State University Bowie, MD 1:00 p.m.
10/28/2017 * Elizabeth City State University Richmond, VA 1:00 p.m.
11/4/2017 * Virginia State University Petersburg, VA 2:00 p.m.
11/11/2017 CIAA Championship TBA TBA


Benedict College Launches Redesigned Athletic Website

COLUMBIA, South Carolina -- Benedict College is proud to once again partner with SIDEARM Sports to unveil the latest redesign of its athletics website,, which was re-launched Tuesday. The new site reaffirms the department's commitment to providing Benedict College fans with a top-of-the-line place to find all the latest news and information for all of the Tigers' 13 varsity programs.

"We are very excited to unveil this new look," said Dennis Switzer, Sports Information Director for Benedict College. "It is fresh and exciting and a destination our students and fans will want to return often. We realize that for many people the first point of contact with Benedict College is our website. And therefore we wanted to put our best foot forward."

Switzer worked with the designers and project managers at SIDEARM Sports on the redesign and will be responsible for uploading new content.

The redesign reinforces Benedict College's continued partnership with SIDEARM Sports, an innovative company that powers the websites of more than 750 colleges, universities, athletic conferences and high schools throughout North America. Benedict is a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conferece, which became the first collegiate athletic conference to integrate all its members with the same website company.

The newly redesigned keeps all of your favorite aspects of the previous incarnation, while also providing a fresh new look and enhanced features. The new website includes larger photos, easier navigation between pages, quick access to the department's social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

The new site will give Tiger followers a visually appealing, easy-to-use site that provides every bit of information that a Benedict College supporter is looking for. The responsive layout and design to fit the user device on desktop, tablet and mobile so fans will be able to access information easily on the go.


Edward Waters Releases 2017 Football Schedule

JACKSONVILLE, Florida --Interim Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Stanley Cromartie has finalized and released the 2017 Edward Waters Tigers football schedule. 

Head Coach Alvin B. Wyatt, Sr. and the Tigers will look to build on the momentum of a strong 2016 finish which saw EWC win three of its last four contests.  The Tigers will be moving to the 20-team Mid-South Conference, the largest college football conference in the country, in 2017 as a football-only member and will have a nine game conference schedule and two non-conference contests.

Edward Waters will be a member of the MSC Sun Division, joining former Sun Conference rivals, Webber International, Warner, Southeastern, Ave Maria and new rival Faulkner, with the winner of the division earning an automatic bid to the NAIA Football Playoffs. A venue for Edward Waters home contests for 2017 will be announced at a later date.

The 2017 slate begins on the road in McKenzie, Tennessee as the Tigers will face new Mid-South Conference opponent Bethel University on August 26th at 1:30pm for the first ever meeting between the two teams. 
After a bye week, September begins with another MSC road contest on the 9th at 6:30pm against another first time opponent, Bluefield College in Bluefield, West Virginia. The Tigers will come home for the first time in 2017 on September 16th against the Phoenix of Cumberland University at 4:30pm, followed by another home date on the 23rd at 4:30pm against the University of the Cumberlands Patriots. 

EWC will wrap up September against MSC Sun Division and longtime foe, Ave Maria on September 30th in Naples, Florida at 12:00pm. This will be the seventh time that the Tigers and Gyrenes will meet on the field, with the series tied 3-3. Edward Waters defeated Ave Maria, 29-19 last season in Jacksonville.
Edward Waters will celebrate Homecoming on October 7th at 3pm against the Glory Eagles of the University of Faith in an exhibition contest. Edward Waters defeated UFaith 45-6 last season and has a 3-0 lead in the all-time series. The Tigers will hit the road once again and return to MSC Sun Division play on October 14th at 1pm in Polk County against the Warriors of Webber International. This is the longest current rivalry for EWC as the Warriors and Tigers have met 12 times on the gridiron, with WIU owning a 9-3 lead in the all-time series. 

Last year's scheduled meeting in Jacksonville was cancelled due to the affects of Hurricane Matthew. EWC will return to Jacksonville on October 21st at 4:30pm against MSC Sun Division opponent Warner University. Warner and EWC have played each other three previous times with the Tigers enjoying a 2-1 series advantage. The Royals picked up their first ever victory over EWC last season in Lake Wales, beating the Tigers 42-21. October will close with the purple and orange stepping out of conference for another exhibition contest on the 28th against the Disciples of the University of God's Chosen. EWC and UGC last played in 2015 with the Tigers demolishing the Disciples, 57-8.
November will feature two MSC Sun Division games to close out the regular season. On the 4th, EWC will play its final home contest of 2017 against the Sun Conference Champion Southeastern University Fire at 4pm in Jacksonville for Senior Day. The Tigers will be looking for their first ever victory over the Fire as they have been unsuccessful in three previous tries. 

The 2017 regular season will close on November 11th at 1:30pm in Alabama's state capital, Montgomery as Edward Waters will take on the Eagles of Faulkner University. This will be the first time the EWC and Faulkner have met since 2007 when the Tigers defeated the Eagles, 28-21 in Montgomery.

2017 Edward Waters Football Schedule
Aug. 26*Bethel1:30pmMcKenzie, TN
Sept. 9*Bluefield6:00pmBluefield, WV
Sept. 16*Cumberland4:30pmJacksonville, FL
Sept. 23*Univ. of the Cumberlands4:30pmJacksonville, FL
Sept. 30*Ave Maria12:00pmNaples, FL
Oct. 7^Univ. of Faith (Homecoming 2017)3:00pmJacksonville, FL
Oct. 14*Webber International1:00pmLake Wales, FL
Oct. 21*Warner4:30pmJacksonville, FL
Oct. 28^Univ. of God's Chosen12:00pmJacksonville, FL
Nov. 4*Southeastern7:00pmJacksonville, FL
Nov. 11*Faulkner1:30pmMontgomery, AL
*Mid-South Conference Contest
^Exhibition Contest (Does Not Count Against 2017 Record)
Schedule Subject To Change