Monday, December 31, 2007

Tennessee State upsets Illinois on road 60-58

The fourth major test was a charm for the Tennessee State men's basketball team Sunday. After suffering close losses to major powers Georgia Tech, Indiana and Vanderbilt earlier in the season, the Tigers scored their biggest win of the season with a 60-58 upset victory over Big Ten foe Illinois before a stunned Assembly Hall crowd of 16,618 in Champaign, Illinois.

"There's no question about it that having been there before made a big difference," TSU Coach Cy Alexander said. "We've played with all of these teams. We haven't gotten blown out by anybody all year. This is a great win for our program as we try to move the program forward."


This is a tremendous win for the Tennessee State University men's basketball team over a high quality Division I program.

This win was no fluke.

The Tigers led 29-24 at halftime behind 40 percent shooting from the field and five 3-pointers. Tennessee State ended the game 8-for-19 from 3-point range. The Tigers' second-half advantage increased to 47-33 before Illinois (8-5) rallied to cut the lead to 48-45.

Congratulations to the TSU Tigers!


Road to Redemption Winds Slowly for MSU Bozeman

by beepbeep

We read this story a few days ago regarding Morgan State University head basketball coach Todd Bozeman. Most of you know his story, but its worth your time to read it again as there are several nuggets that a matured Bozeman passes on in this story.
Not only is Bozeman an amazing coach, but he is a person that has overcome a major mistake in his life that would have destroyed lesser men.

Most certainly would not consider leaving the United States to pursue the craft that they loved, which Bozeman did without hesitation. Bozeman is proving that good coaches can attract blue chip players at any institution when you place priority on developing the student-athlete into a first class person and player. We expect to see this trend grow as black coaches and players begin to see that the sky is the limit at HBCUs.

Coach Bozeman is an asset to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.


Photo: The California Connection - Jerrell Green, left, Jamar Smith, center, and Marquise Kately migrated 3,000 miles to Morgan State to play for Coach Bozeman.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

It's official: Joe Taylor signs to coach FAMU

Photo: New Florida A&M University Head Football Coach Joe Taylor is 3rd winningest coach in FCS.

by beepbeep

What we knew last evening regarding the historic signing of future College Football Hall of Fame inductee Joe Taylor, has been confirmed Sunday evening by the man himself. Taylor indicated in a conversation with the Newport News Daily Press newspaper that he has signed his Florida A&M University contract today, to become head football coach of the Rattlers program.

FAMU issued an official press release to the Associated Press this evening that announced the hiring of Taylor. Florida A&M President James Ammons and new athletic director Bill Hayes will introduce Coach Taylor on Monday to the local press and Rattlers community.

Taylor said that the many positives regarding FAMU's program went into his decision to select the Rattlers over Western Carolina University. Both were simultaneously seeking his services as head coach last week.

MEAC/SWAC Sports Main Street is very pleased with this selection for Florida A&M University, but more importantly it keeps this talented hall of fame coach in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference to continue to help build our conference supremacy. In the end, FAMU got the best coach in the market and that's all that matters. He was the top choice.

No one can debate the point that the ice is colder at Florida A&M University for Joe Taylor.
Welcome, Coach Taylor to the Hill and thank you Dr. James Ammons and Administration for the exceptional work in the hiring a superb new football coach.

Let's get this party started--Go Rattlers!


The Florida A&M University Marching 100

The Florida A&M University Marching 100 in review

Happy New Year Mighty Rattlers!

Florida A&M University Marching 100 - Circa 2007

Florida A&M University Marching 100--- Circa 2001

Florida A&M University Marching 100---Circa 1987

FAMU Marching 100 - Circa 2007

FAMU Marching 100---Circa 1988

FAMU Marching 100---Circa 2007

FAMU Marching 100 - Circa 2002

FAMU Marching 100 - Circa 1995

FAMU Marching 100 - Circa 1989

FAMU Marching 100 - Circa 2007

Savannah State has big plans for football

Photo: Savannah State University head football coach Robby Wells.

Wells, who was hired last Saturday, said one of his tasks is to get SSU up from 24 scholarships to 63, the maximum number allowed by the NCAA for teams in the Football Championship Subdivision. SSU intends to offer 63 scholarships "in a couple of years," he said.

If the goal is reached, Wells said the Tigers will need to "maintain it for at least three years so that we can go out and get a guarantee game against one of the big guys, such as the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech or somebody like that. That way, we're going to get a big paycheck when we go to play them.


It's not my style to be overly critical of HBCUs when they are attempting to better their situation. However, the hiring of inexperienced SSU head football coach Robby Wells is totally laughable. Based on his sermon of playing Georgia and Georgia Tech in the next few years, did he fail to check that Savannah State is stuck at the very bottom position of the Football Championship Subdivision without a conference or substantial fan base?

It appears the interim athletic director, Paula Jackson, has already delegated her responsibilities for athletic fundraising over to the new football coach to raise the needed funds to support 63 football scholarships. So, when Wells fails to raise the needed revenue, it is all on his back and not hers. It takes more than being of a particular race to be highly successful in the competitive world of major college athletics as Wells will soon learn.

It has been proven countless times that operating a NCAA Division I-AA football program successfully requires experience, planning, appropriate staffing and financing. Savannah State has allocated none of the above to the endeavor and this has been the basis for the failure of the past nine head football coaches in the last 13 years.

Robby Wells may become number 10 shortly as he will quickly learn that 0-22 won't cut it at any 1-AA institution. He will soon learn to never make promises that his SSU administration will fail to write the check to support, i.e., 63 scholarships for football.

Coach Wells comments will keep you chuckling as you know the real deal with SSU administration. We have hear it all before. The university's last winning season was in 1998.

The question is should Savannah State stop waisting money and drop Division I football all together and shift these needed funds to academic endeavors? That's the question their alumni need to ponder.


Bethune Cookman wins at Georgia State

ATLANTA--Georgia State University fell to Bethune-Cookman University, 60-56, Saturday at the Georgia State Sports Arena. Jimmy Hudson scored 22 points to lead Bethune-Cookman, which went 19-for-23 from the free throw line to hold off the Panthers' late rally.

Bethune-Cookman led virtually the entire game and built a 12-point advantage at 55-43 with 3:33 to play before Mendez scored six straight points for the Panthers and then freshman D.J. Jones completed a three-point play and then made a layup that brought State within 56-54 with 49 seconds left.


This was the first ever meeting between Bethune Cookman University and Colonial Athletic Conference Georgia State University. This was a quality win for Bethune Cookman and the Mid-Eastern athletic conference.


2007 Florida All-Big Bend Football Team

B.J. Daniels is a quarterback. That's what he plays. That's what he has always played. So when former LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini, now the head coach at Nebraska, met with the Lincoln star in the spring of this year Daniels wasn't exactly excited to hear about a possible scholarship the Tigers had for him.

"He said they would offer me if I would play safety," Daniels said. "But I've been playing quarterback since I was little. I've spent all my time playing quarterback, so I know there are better free safeties than me out there. Because I've never played it."


Nebraska coach Pelini is laughable in offering talented Lincoln quarterback B.J. Daniels an opportunity as a safety. Give the young student-athlete credit for see the offer for what it is, an opportunity to ride the bench. This kid is no dummy, as he can read his own stats-- 45 TDs means he's a QB with talent.

With the hiring of future college football hall of famer Joe Taylor at Florida A&M University, this is a great opportunity for local players like B.J. Daniels to stay at home and be a part of a very special winning program, under Taylor. There appears to be a bumper crop of talent available in the Big Bend in 2007. Hopefully, the Rattlers will get their fair share.


Norfolk State holds off Jacksonville State

The Jacksonville State men’s basketball team’s furious comeback effort fell short on Saturday afternoon, when Norfolk State escaped Pete Mathews Coliseum with a 76-72 win over the Gamecocks.

The Spartans also had four players with 10 or more points, led by Corey Lyons’ 21 and Tony Murphy’s 19. Brandon Monroe’s nine rebounds led the Spartans, who won the battle on the glass, 38-35. The Spartans turned their advantage on the glass into an 18-point advantage in points in the paint. NSU shot 79 percent (15-of-19) from the free throw line, while JSU hit just 55 percent (17-of-31) of their charity attempts.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Hampton beats William and Mary for third CAA win

The Pirates used a strong second-half surge to build a lead that stood up to William and Mary's late rally for a 70-63 victory at the HU Convocation Center. Hampton ran its record to 6-6 going into a break until its Jan. 12 game with Bethune-Cookman, its second in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and the start to the full conference schedule.

The Tribe, falling short of coach Tony Shaver's 400th career victory, takes a 3-7 mark into Colonial Athletic Association play. It had won the last three meetings with HU.


Jerry Holmes named Hampton University head football coach

Photo: Hampton University Pirates head football coach Jerry Holmes

by beepbeep

Jerry Holmes was named Saturday evening as the new head football coach at Hampton University, HU athletic director Lonza Hardy said. Holmes, the Pirates' defensive coordinator the past three seasons, replaces Joe Taylor, the Pirates' head coach the past 16 seasons.

Taylor has accepted the job as head coach at Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference rival Florida A&M, according to a story posted Saturday on Taylor compiled a record of 136-49-1 at Hampton, guiding the Pirates to five MEAC and three CIAA titles. He is the winningest coach in school history.


Coach Holmes is well qualified for the position with 10 years NFL experience as a player and five years as a NFL position coach. He has served 10 years combined at both West Virginia University and Hampton University as a linebackers coach/co-defensive coordinator, defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator.

Holmes is a graduate of Chowan Junior College where he earned an associate degree in business administration before transferring to West Virginia University. There he was a two-year Letterman in football, earning his degree in business administration in 1979. He is also an inductee in the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame.

You got to give Hampton University credit for having a succession plan for the future College Football Hall of Famer, Joe Taylor who will be welcomed to Florida A&M University in a Monday press conference.

This is amazing--two head football coaching hires in the same evening in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. This has never happen before in MEAC history.

Florida A&M gets blown out by bored Texas A&M

Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon thinks his team is getting bored after five straight wins by 20 points or more. Josh Carter scored 18 of his 20 points in the first half and the 14th-ranked Aggies beat Florida A&M 83-54 Saturday in their latest blowout victory.

"I think our guys need competition," Turgeon said. "We've been a little bit bored out there and we're playing that way. We need a stiffer test."


The Rattlers have dropped five of their last six, including losses at Connecticut, Florida and Kansas State.

"Playing against very good players, it really helps us to try to build a team where maybe someday we can be ranked," first-year Florida A&M coach Eugene Harris said. "We were around a good basketball atmosphere. This will help us in the long run if we get to the conference tournament and have this same type of atmosphere."

Note to FAMU Coach Harris:

Coach Harris, we understand that you are working with the players that were left when you were hired by Florida A&M, so please go out and recruit the type of Division I players that will allow FAMU to beat the Texas A&Ms, Florida, Kansas State and others.

It's real simple--the FAMU fans goals are to get ranked, win more than 22 games every season, sell out our new 9,000 seat arena, lead the MEAC in home attendance and go to the big dance (NCAA Tournament) and get past the first round each season. We recognize you are undermanned in 07-08, but don't expect the same results in '08-09 from Rattlers basketball.

Let's make a run in the MEAC as we still have an opportunity to make it a good season. Go Rattlers!

Joe Taylor accepts Florida A&M offer

Photo: Former Hampton University head football coach Joe Taylor has accepted offer to become Florida A&M University head football coach, replacing Rubin Carter that was fired on November 20, 2007.

by beepbeep

One of the most reliable sources in the FAMU football universe, Heath A. Smith of the Tallahassee Democrat has published the linked report this evening indicating that Florida A&M University has hired Joe Taylor, current head football coach at Hampton University to head the Rattlers football program.

Heath states:

Hampton head football coach Joe Taylor has accepted an offer from Florida A&M President James Ammons to become the school's next head football coach, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

The source said Taylor and his wife are expected to fly down to Tallahassee on Monday for an official announcement.


This is no rumor--this is the real deal with the information being provided to the Democrat from official sources in the Ammons administration.

This is an excellent selection for FAMU as he is one of the most respected coach in the Football Championship Subdivision. Taylor has been a head coach for 25 years and has won 75 percent of his games with a career record of 136-44-1 at Hampton.

He has served the past 16 years heading the program at Hampton University and has made the FCS playoffs three of the past four seasons.

As the winningest coach in Hampton University football history, Taylor has won four Black College Championships, eight conference titles, a Heritage Bowl Championship and seven trips to the NCAA playoffs, where his record is 0-7.

However, Coach Taylor has been placing more players in the NFL lately than any other FCS program. He has a proven record of recruiting Division 1A level talent in both Florida and the Tidewater regions to Hampton University. He has had a player drafted by the NFL in 12 of his previous 15 seasons at Hampton.

Coach Taylor is past president (2001) of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and is the chairman the AFCA Minority Issues Committee and the Board of Directors of the American Football Coaches Foundation.

His career mark of 197-78-4 (.706) places him on the national level as the third winningest active coach in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) when ranked by total victories and fifth when ranked by winning percentage. Appalachian State coach Jerry Moore is tied for fourth with 194 wins and three consecutive FCS National Championships.

Coach Taylor has served as a head coach at Howard University, Virginia Union University and Hampton University in his 25 year career.

His contract will require the approval of the Florida A&M University Board of Trustees before the hire is finalized on Monday.

Taylor also interviewed for the vacant head coaching position at Western Carolina University and was reported to have been offered the position. However, North Carolina state law preclude university personnel from public discussion/confirmation until the contract has been ratified by their board of trustees. Coach Taylor declined this offer to accept the position at Florida A&M University.

On an ironic twist, last season Joe Taylor offered former FAMU head coach Billy Joe, the position of offensive coordinator for the Hampton Pirates. Billy Joe declined but the other Joe (Taylor) accepts the offer for College Football Hall of Famer Billy Joe's old head coaching position. Life does come full circle.

Friday, December 28, 2007

MEAC/SWAC Clip Board: MEAC/SWAC shorts

Compiled by beepbeep

Norfolk State University football program is making a strong scheduling move to position themselves for a NCAA FCS playoff position if the Spartans improve upon their 8-3 record of last season. NSU has a money game scheduled with the University of Kentucky Wildcats of the Southeastern Conference for their second game in history with a football bowl subdivision(Division IA) program.

The Kentucky game is scheduled for September 6, 2007, at 67,606 seat Commonwealth Stadium, Lexington, Kentucky in the home opener for the Wildcats. The Spartans will earn $250,000 for this match up.

Athletic director Marty L. Miller has also addressed the strength of schedule issue by setting up a I-64 rivalry game with Colonial Athletic Conference local, the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia. W&M holds a 2-0 advantage in the series with the Spartans, though the teams haven’t met since 1985. W&M and the Spartans will play on September 20, 2008 at Walter J. Zable Stadium at Cary Field. The Tribe has fallen on hard times and has had a losing record for the past three seasons.

This should be an interesting battle for tickets as Zable Stadium seating capacity is 12,259. However, in the 1985 Homecoming victory over Richmond, a record crowd of 18,054 packed the stadium and grounds.

The Spartans were ranked #7 in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision ("FCS"), with 103,320 accumulated attendance for six home games. NSU average game attendance was 17,220 and leads all HBCUs in accumulated home attendance. Last season, NSU home games with in-state rivalry Virginia State and Hampton University had 26, 970 and 27,756, respectively.

The W&M campus is located only an hour or 45 miles from NSU campus. This sounds like University of Delaware vs. Delaware State with a Colonial Athletics Conference in kicking distance of a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference 1-AA program. W&M opens their season on the road at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, in a money game.

It would be great if W&M, Hampton University and NSU setup a rotating schedule to play a home and home schedule as a threesome. This would be great for the home gate, strength of schedule, and would reduce transportation costs for both the fans and the teams.

Grambling State University head coach Rod Broadway is making the appropriate steps to be a major force in Louisiana football recruiting. The Tigers coach recently made a scholarship offer to Louisiana's 'Mr. Football', standout Bastrop quarterback Randall Mackey. He is the state's Class 4A most-valuable player and the state's 'Mr. Football' for 2007. He has been offered by several programs, including Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State and University of Louisiana - Monroe.

As a senior, Mackey threw for 3,103 yards and 33 touchdowns, while rushing for 1,087 yards and 17 scores, to complete a perfect 36-0 record on the field as a starter.

Norfolk State University September 20, 2008 opponent, the College of William and Mary has an achievement that no other 1-AA program can touch.

William & Mary holds the distinction of producing twelve professional football coaches, such as Mike Tomlin ('95) - Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach; Michael "Pinball" Clemons ('87) - Toronto Argonauts (CFL) Head Coach; Brian Daboll (Former Assistant Coach, 1997) - New York Jets Quarterbacks Coach; Mark Duffner ('75) - Jacksonville Jaguars Linebackers Coach; Ivan Fears ('76) - New England Patriots Running Backs Coach; Hal Hunter - San Diego Chargers Offensive Line Coach; Marv Levy (Former head coach, 1964-68) - Buffalo Bills General Manager (Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee); Kevin Rogers ('74) - Minnesota Vikings Quarterbacks Coach; Jim Ryan ('79) - Denver Broncos Defensive Assistant Coach; Rip Scherer ('75) - Cleveland Browns Assistant Head Coach/Quarterbacks Coach; Danny Smith (Former Assistant Coach, 1980-83) - Washington Redskins Special Teams Coach; and Alan Williams ('92) - Indianapolis Colts Defensive Backs Coach.

This is an amazing accomplishment for a 1-AA football program.

Jackson State University coaching staff has been selected to head a team in the inaugural American Heritage Bowl. Rick Comegy and his assistants will coach an all-star team of players from the SWAC and SIAC.

Delaware State University's Al Lavan has agreed to coach the opposing team, made up of players from the MEAC and the CIAA. The game will be played Jan. 26, 2008 at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Field. Rosters will be released after Christmas. Television details have not been finalized.

"It's a great honor for our school and this coaching staff," said Comegy, who hopes to get seven Tigers on the team. "It's going to be shown in front of 31 million ... on ESPN. "They want to keep this game going and make it a historical game for black college."

Newly hired Alcorn State University coach Ernest Jones will not retain any of the assistants who worked under previous coach Johnny Thomas. The former Cincinnati running backs coach made the decision Wednesday. "I interviewed everyone," Jones said. "Then I looked at some guys I was able to get and decided to go in another direction."

Jackson State University alumnus Fred Jackson was brought back as Michigan's running backs coach on Friday, a day after new coach Rich Rodriguez fired all the assistants on Lloyd Carr's staff. "Rich spoke with everyone individually last night and did not want to hold them up in exploring other options," said school spokesman David Ablauf. "He has rehired Fred Jackson as an offensive coach."

Thursday, December 27, 2007

FAMU 0-2 in head football coaching search

Photo: John Eason, University of Georgia Associate Head Coach Wide Receivers, will remain with Bulldogs.

by beepbeep

Florida A&M University's William "Bill" Hayes era is getting off to a shaky start in the selection of a new Rattlers head football coach to replace Rubin Carter.

Carter was fired by FAMU on November 20, and placed on administrative leave until April 22, 2008. His assistant coaches are on paid administrative leave until February 12, 2008.

Former athletic director Nelson Townsend resigned November 20, and will be on administrative leave with pay until February 12, 2008, his last day of employment.

The University of Wyoming hired Bob Cole as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach for the Cowboys football team. Cole, formerly the Rattlers offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach under Carter, was selected "sole source" by head coach Joe Glenn at the Football Bowl Championship Subdivision (Division 1A) Western Athletic Conference school. Cole's salary as the offensive coordinator of the Cowboys will be $123,480 per year for two years.

Rubin Carter was a finalist last week for the head coaching position at Savannah State University. Carter was not selected by the Tigers administration to lead the woeful 1-AA Independent football program that has not had a winning season since 1998. Savannah State has had 9 head football coaches in the past 13 years. Theo Lemon was fired after two seasons and a 3-18 record.

First year Grambling State University head football coach Rod Broadway turned down an offer by Florida A&M to lead the Rattlers program on December 18, when he decided to accept a matching offer from the Tigers administration and remain in his present position. Prior to the new deal with Grambling State, Broadway's base salary was $156,000, plus bonuses of $13,000 for winning the SWAC West division title ($3,000) and playing two 1-A schools--Pittsburgh and Louisiana Monroe ($10,000) for a $169,000 salary. He also gets additional bonuses based on the net revenue Grambling receives from those Football Bowl Subdivision contests.

Yesterday, Georgia associate head coach John Eason admits being flattered by the attention from his alma mater, Florida A&M. But in the end, Eason decided that he wanted to remain a Bulldog, rather than accept the opportunity of becoming the Rattlers' head football coach.

"I really wanted to do it," said Eason, 62, who also serves as Georgia's receivers coach. "It was something that I wanted to do and I just felt like I could not. I just felt like I had to stay here. I was looking at what I've got coming back and what I've got coming in and it's a treat."

"It was just a situation where it was just not meant to be."


So, the big question--who's next on the Rattlers short list of candidates? May be a full and open coaching search with the submission of applications/resumes' by interested applicants may be the best approach at this time. This is not an easy task fans, so let us all be patient with the process.

If Florida A&M had a new coaching staff in place with assistant coaches, the staff would not be able to go see kids again until Jan. 14, 2008, when the dead period ends, and can recruit all the way to February 3, 2008. National signing day, the first day that a high school athlete can sign a binding letter of intent to play college football is February 6, 2008. These are the real time-lines that the administration is working with in hiring a new coaching staff.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

MEAC Basketball: I Believe WE Can Fly

Yolanda Adams, I Believe I Can Fly

Yolanda Adams, Be Blessed

Have yourself a Merry Christmas, MEAC/SWAC fans... be blessed!


Monday, December 24, 2007

Trash talking gets Winston Salem State rammed

Photo: Mr. Michael Beasley, 6-foot-10 Forward - Kansas State University; hometown: Washington, D.C.

If "Michael Beasley: The Movie" should come to a theater near you, this particular scene surely will be included.

Walking off the floor after a relatively lackluster first half, the 6-foot-10 Kansas State freshman is the object of some ill-advised trash talk from an opposing player, the Rams' Jamal Durham. He responds by thrashing hapless Winston-Salem State in every way imaginable, scoring 24 points in roughly eight minutes and rattling off 16 straight points for the Wildcats.

At one point, he snares a rebound and dribbles coast-to-coast for a layup and foul. Later, he rips a loose ball from a pack of players and drops it in the basket. The grand finale consists of back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers.

Thing is, it all happened. Beasley scored 40 points and had 15 rebounds in Saturday's 90-48 win against Winston-Salem State, 28 coming after the Rams' Jamal Durham uttered the now-infamous words "Beasley who?"


North Carolina Central sets record at Nebraska

by beepbeep

The North Carolina Central University Eagles took it down another notch on the futility scale and entered the record books of the University of Nebraska, replacing Savannah State and Bethune Cookman in the process. The Eagles were hammered in a record-setting 71-28 win by the Huskers.

North Carolina Central turned the ball over 18 times in the first half, including a stretch of 10 straight possessions that ended in turnovers. Can any one on this team pass, dribble or shot?

We got two gifts to send the Eagles to start the new year: the Magic Johnson's Comprehensive Basketball Fundamentals DVD; and The Wizard of Oz DVD, so this team can see it's possible to get a heart.


Family rearranges DSU star's priorities

Photo: MEAC PreSeason Player of the Year, Roy Bright, Delaware State University

Against all odds, DSU basketball player finds success on and off court...

Roy Bright spent three years at Northern High School before transferring to Mount Zion Christian Academy, both in Durham. After the 2003-04 season, in which Gatorade named Bright North Carolina's player of the year, Mount Zion retired his number. The school had done that only once before -- for NBA star Tracy McGrady.

"No one mentored me there," Bright said of his time in Kansas. "No one taught me about God in Kansas. That's what I wanted. I tried by myself. I didn't understand the Bible like I should have."

"College [basketball] is prostitution. They give you shoes and try to leech onto you. Ninety percent of people want something. They don't see the dream you have for yourself. You see it, but they don't."

Continue reading this intriguing article by clicking on Blog Title above.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

HBCU football players named AP All-Americans

Photo: #45 Dominique Rogers-Cromartie is the best CB in HBCU football.

Tennessee State cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has been selected an Associated Press first-team All-American in the Football Championship Subdivision, (Division I-AA).

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound native of Bradenton, Fla., has been projected as a possible first-round draft pick by some analysts. He finished the season with two interceptions, 11 pass breakups and 37 tackles. He also returned 33 kickoffs for an average of 24.4 yards, including one touchdown.

Continue Reading Article by clicking above Blog Title.

Congratulations to: Bobbie Williams, Bethune Cookman University, Jeremy Gilchrist, Hampton University, Kendall Langford, Hampton University, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Tennessee State University, Rudolph Hardie, Howard University, Zach East, Prairie View A&M University, Al Donaldson, Alabama A&M University, James Lee, South Carolina State, Marcus Dixon, Hampton University, and Ronnie McCullogh,Bethune-Cookman University.

2007 Associated Press (AP) NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) All-Americans

Quarterback _ Ricky Santos, senior, 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, New Hampshire.
Running backs _ Omar Cuff, senior, 5-10, 195, Delaware
Jayson Foster, senior, 5-9, 164, Georgia Southern.
Wide receivers _ Ramses Barden, junior 6-6, 228, Cal Poly
Terrell Hudgins, junior, 6-2, 226, Elon.
Linemen _ Kerry Brown, senior, 6-6, 290, Appalachian State
Chad Rinehart, senior, 6-5, 310, Northern Iowa
Mitch Erickson, senior, 6-6, 290, South Dakota State
Brennan Carvalho, 6-1, 310, senior, Portland State
Demetrius Bell, senior, 6-5, 263, Northwestern State.
Tight end _ Blake Martin, senior, 6-3, 235, Sam Houston State.
All-purpose player _ Jeremy Gilchrist, junior, 5-10, 174, Hampton. Kicker _ Jon Striefsky, junior, 6-1, 185, Delaware.

Linemen _ Kroy Biermann, senior, 6-3, 241, Montana
Eric Bakhtiari, senior, 6-4, 260, San Diego
Bryan Smith, 6-2, 230, McNeese State
Brian Johnston, 6-5, 280, Gardner-Webb.
Linebackers _ Bobby Daly, senior, 6-1, 215, Montana State
Brian Bradford, senior, 6-2, 235, Towson
Brannon Carter, senior, 6-3, 233, Northern Iowa.
Defensive backs _ Tony LeZotte, senior, 6-0, 200, James Madison
Corey Lynch, senior, 6-0, 205, Appalachian State
Bobbie Williams, senior, 6-1, 210, Bethune-Cookman
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, senior, 6-2, 180, Tennessee State.
Punter _ Chris MacDonald, senior, 6-4, 215, Texas State.


Quarterback _ Josh Johnson, senior, San Diego.
Running backs _ Tim Hightower, senior, Richmond
Tyler Roehl, junior, North Dakota State
Wide receivers _ Eddie Cohen, senior, Western Carolina
Aaron Boyce, sophomore, Eastern Washington
Offensive linemen _ Nate Safe, senior, North Dakota State
Matt Austin, senior, Massachusetts
Jesse Padilla, senior, Lafayette
David Hale, senior, Weber State
Brad Samsa, junior, Youngstown State.
Tight end _ Matt Champa, senior, Dayton.
All-purpose player _ Larry Shipp, senior, Tennessee Tech
Kicker _ Dan Carpenter, senior, Montana.

Defensive line _ Kendall Langford, senior, Hampton
Rudolph Hardie, senior, Howard
Jovan Belcher, junior, Maine
Greg Peach, junior, Eastern Washington.
Linebackers _ Mike Gallihugh, senior, Colgate
Zach East, senior, Prairie View A&M
Jason Williams, junior, Western Illinois.
Defensive backs _ Kareem Brown, senior, Nicholls State
Derrick Huff, senior, Eastern Kentucky
LaDarius Webb, junior, Nicholls State
Al Donaldson, junior, Alabama A&M.
Punter _ Benjamin Dato, senior, Fordham.


Quarterback _ Eric Sanders, senior, Northern Iowa.
Running backs _ Herb Donaldson, junior, Western Illinois
Mike McLeod, senior, Yale.
Wide receivers _ Tremayne Kirkland, senior, Portland State
Andre Roberts, freshman, Citadel.
Linemen _ Mike Byrne, senior, Delaware
Stephen Field, junior, Cal Poly
Matt Alfred, senior, Eastern Washington
James Lee, senior, South Carolina State
Brandon Keith, senior, Northern Iowa.
Tight end _ Clay Harbor, sophomore, Missouri State.
All-purpose player _ J.T. Rogan, junior, San Diego.
Kicker _ Gavin Halliford, junior, Jacksonville State.
Linemen _ Marcus Dixon, senior, Hampton
Pierre Walters, junior, Eastern Illinois
Robert Brown, junior, Wagner
Gary Tharrington, sophomore, Appalachian State.
Linebackers _ Joe Mays, senior, North Dakota State
Jason Hatchell, senior, Massachusetts
Ronnie McCullogh, senior, Bethune-Cookman.
Defensive backs _ Steven Williams, senior, Harvard
Tyler Koch, senior, South Dakota State
David Hyland, junior, Morehead State
K.J. Gerard, junior, Northern Arizona
Punter _ Tyler Johnson, senior, Montana.

Vandy avoids Tennessee State upset

Photo:TSU's Bruce Price goes up for two points during the Vanderbilt vs. Tennessee State men's basketball game Saturday at Vanderbilt.

Robinson, a dynamic freshman from Martin Luther King High, scored TSU's first 20 points of the second half, but the Tigers failed to upset the No. 17 Commodores, who held on for an 83-74 win before a relieved Memorial Gym crowd of 13,808.

"We lost the game when we had them down and we didn't bury them,'' TSU Coach Cy Alexander said. "Against a great team like Vanderbilt you have a chance, you have some free throw opportunities, you have some wide open shot opportunities, you're up seven or eight points and you don't take advantage."

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For UAPB Monte Coleman, it's a matter of perspective

Photo: UAPB Head Football Coach Monte Coleman

Coleman, one of the two great rags-to-riches stories from the University of Central Arkansas, was recently named head football coach at Arkansas-Pine Bluff after serving several years as an assistant coach for the Golden Lions and a minister in the area.

It's interesting that probably the two greatest athletes in UCA history, both from a national and international perspective, began as walk-ons. Basketball star Scottie Pippen began as a manager. Coleman, who played one quarter of high school football, was recruited by UCA coach Ken Stephens on his projected athletic ability and upon he recommendation of Coleman's brother, Sam, whom Monte still says was the best athlete in the family.

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Coleman closes year for Sports Club
Monte Coleman wasn't pleased in 1978 when University of Central Arkansas coach Ken Stephens moved his all-conference senior safety to linebacker, but nearly 30 years later, he acknowledged that move as part of God's plan for his life.

Coleman, 50, a former University of Central Arkansas great who was recently named head coach at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, was the year-end speaker for the Arkansas Sports Club's 2007 season. He addressed the crowd at Ryan's on Monday....

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As good as their words: The Great Debaters

Denzel Washington is donating $1 million to Wiley College, featured in his new movie “The Great Debaters,” to re-establish its debate team. The gift was announced Tuesday by college officials.

Mr. Washington was in Marshall last week for a screening of the film, a story about Wiley’s 1930s debate team. He stars as the educator and poet Melvin Tolson, who led the all-black college’s elite debate squad. During his appearance, Mr. Washington, 52, said he would like to see the team get going again.

Marshall is a city of about 24,000, located 140 miles east of Dallas. Wiley has about 926 students. Attention drawn to the school because of the movie also was key to Wal-Mart pledging $100,000 for a scholarship fund and a Dallas businessman promising $300,000.

Photo: L-R, James Farmer Jr. (Denzel Whitaker), Burgess (Jermaine Williams), unknown extra as a Wiley College student, Lowe (Nate Parker), Samantha (Jurnee Smollett), unknown extra as Wiley College student

As good as their words
Jurnee Smollett, a 21-year-old actress with Louisiana roots, had never heard of Wiley College when she got the script last year for the movie that just might change her life.

She knew nothing of Wiley's greatest moment, the day in 1935 when a debate team from the struggling black school beat the defending national champions from the University of Southern California in a nationally broadcast debate.

"I was ashamed that I didn't know that story," she said recently while promoting the film, The Great Debaters, in Dallas. "I didn't know anyone who did know the story. Why didn't I know?"

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HENRIETTA BELL WELLS, Great Debater overcame odds to bust barriers. The team's sole woman and last survivor grew up in Houston, Texas.

The Great Debaters, opening in theaters on Christmas Day, tells the story of the triumph of underdogs. It is also Henrietta Bell Wells' story.

Born in Houston's Fourth Ward on the banks of Buffalo Bayou and raised by a struggling single mother from the West Indies, Wells became the only female member of the 1930 debate team from Wiley College who participated in the first collegiate interracial debate in the United States. She is the last surviving member of the 1930s team coached by Melvin B. Tolson.

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Photo: Denzel Washington (Mel Tolson), Jurnee Smollett (Samantha), Nate Parker (Henry Low) and Denzel Whitaker (James Farmer Jr) in The Great Debaters movie.

Kately making bear tracks from California to Baltimore

Photo: Morgan State forward Marquise Kately is third in scoring for the Bears, averaging 12.6 points per game.

Even more than 3,000 miles from home, Marquise Kately couldn’t be more comfortable playing at Morgan State.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound forward from San Francisco is one of three Bears players with ties to California, lured to Baltimore by Morgan State coach Todd Bozeman, who spent four seasons coaching at the University of California in the 1990s.

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Back on the sidelines after decade in exile

Photo: Morgan State University Head Basketball Coach Todd Bozeman

Forty-one games into the second chapter of Bozeman's coaching career, it's difficult to gauge where he's headed and how swiftly he's moving. Will he lift Morgan State out of the basketball wilderness and land another high-profile job? Will he orchestrate another transcendent moment, as he did in guiding Cal past Duke in the 1993 NCAA Tournament? And will he avoid another headline-grabbing scandal?

The answers to those questions require time, but this much is certain: Bozeman returns to Northern California this week, to coach locally for the first time since his meteoric rise at Cal ended in shame and exile. His Morgan State Bears play Niagara on Friday night in the Cable Car Classic, after host Santa Clara meets Denver.

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Savannah State selects Wells as head football coach

Photo: Robert Wells, SSU Head Football Coach

by beepbeep, MEAC/SWAC Sports Main Street

Savannah State University announced this afternoon that it has selected Robert "Robby" Wells as the Tigers new football coach. Wells becomes the ninth head football coach at the university in the past 13 years and the 21st head football coach in school history.

Mr. Wells is 39 years old and is SSU first white head football coach hired in the 93 year program history.

He was selected from four finalists and 68 applicants to replace Theo Lemon, who was fired after two seasons for not winning enough with a 3-18 record. Lemon had only one recruiting class and 23 scholarships for a 1-AA program allotted 63 by the NCAA.

Wells has no prior head coaching experience at the collegiate level.

He has served one year as the the general manager for the American Indoor Arena Football League Augusta Spartans team in 2006. He claims to be an 18 year veteran of the coaching profession.

Coach Wells completed his first year (2007) as the defensive coordinator/linebacker coach at Benedict College, a NCAA Division II school in Columbia, S.C. in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC). Benedict College finished the season with a 2-9 record and ranked near the bottom in the ten team conference in most defensive statistical categories, allowing 24.2 points per game (8th) and giving up 326.7 yards per game (7th).

Prior to his one year with the Augusta Spartans, he served as the defensive coordinator at South Carolina State University for four years (2002-2005) under Coach Oliver "Buddy" Pough. With Wells orchestrating the defense, the Bulldogs were ranked near the top statistically among all Division I-AA teams and led the nation in pass defense efficiency in 2003.

Wells told the South Carolina Times and Democrat newspaper on January 6, 2006, "Buddy and I sat down (after the season) and decided it was best that I move on," Wells said. "I agreed with him. It was time for me and I though it was time to move on." The two worked together at the University of South Carolina when Pough was the running backs’ coach and Wells served as a graduate assistant, under Lou Holtz.

He is a 1990 graduate of Furman University and was a member of the Paladins’ 1988 I-AA national championship team where he played wide receiver and fullback. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Furman in health and physical education, and a master’s degree in adult education, University of South Carolina in 2000.

Wells also coached at the high school level at Murray (S.C.) High School (head coach) 1995-97; and at Greer (S.C.) High School (assistant coach) 1990-95.

Savannah State University went 1-9 in 2007 and the institution is under NCAA probation through May 18, 2009. The previous coach and staff were not responsible for the NCAA three year probation, which was issued one month after Theo Lemon was hired.

The NCAA probation includes a finding of unethical conduct against a former assistant coach, several recruiting violations, impermissible summer workouts with football prospects before their initial full-time enrollment and several prospects' receipt of impermissible benefits, including free housing. There were also findings against the institution for lack of institutional control and failure to monitor its athletics program.

This was the second major infractions case against Savannah State University in recent years. In 1998, the Division II Committee on Infractions also ruled that there was a lack of institutional control. It was found in both NCAA cases against SSU that institutional staff members misunderstood NCAA rules and the institution did not have an adequate compliance program in place to monitor the activities of the coaching staff.

Wells was selected over finalists Raymond Gross, Kent Schoolfield and Rubin Carter.

One has to question what the SSU administrators were thinking when they made this selection, as it is a real butt scratcher. It is difficult to see what strengths, if any, Coach Wells brings to this difficult situation.

Savannah State is in desperate need of financial support from its alumni; a winning football program; satisfactory completion of NCAA probation; conference affiliation; more than 24 scholarships allotted to the football program; an increase in home attendance for five home games from 3,710 average; and payment of realistic scaled 1-AA head and assistant coaches salaries.

The handwriting is on the wall--there are going to be some very difficult days ahead for Savannah State University football program with this hire, in light of the fact the program has been historically underfunded and the product on the field is not competitive in 1-AA.

Wells is not a proven football program builder and will be unable to succeed in this environment lacking the appropriate recruitment skills, coaching abilities and funding. This is not the best situation for an on-the-job training head coach, especially one that wasn't a standout player in college or known as a great recruiter of 1-AA talent.

Here are the overview of the other finalists that weighed in on the SSU administration final decision.

Raymond Gross is currently the quarterbacks coach at 1-AA Bethune Cookman University (1999-2002, 2005-Present) and has served as the offensive coordinator at Division II Clark Atlanta University (2001-2004) before returning to BCU. He was an All-American Quarterback at Georgia Southern University and lead the Eagles to the 1989 1-AA National Championship with a 15-0 record under legendary coach Erk Russell. He won a second 1-AA National Championship with GSU in 1990 under Coach Tim Stovers. He is a member of the GSU Hall of Fame, and played professional football as a starting quarterback calling the signals for the Ravenna Chiefs of the Italian Football League.

Gross graduated from Georgia Southern University in 1993 with a degree in Commercial Recreation. He later earned his Master's Degree in Education from Cambridge College in 1999.

Kent Schoolfield is a 32 year coaching veteran with extensive Division II, I-AA and IA experience. Schoolfield’s most notable success occurred at Division II Fort Valley State. In six seasons as a head coach (1997-2002), Schoolfield compiled a 48-21 record and advanced to the NCAA playoffs three times. Schoolfield was named SIAC Coach of the Year in 2001 and has been honored twice by the Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C., as its Coach of the Year.

Schoolfield has served as the offensive coordinator at North Carolina A&T State University (2005) and 1-AA James Madison University. He has held coaching positions at Temple, Pittsburgh, New Mexico State, Florida A&M and N.C. A&T. His most successful stint as an assistant came during his time under legendary Florida State coach Bobby Bowden. He spent five seasons at Florida State, his recruiting skills helped to make the Seminoles an elite Division I program. He is currently serving his second stint as the wide receivers coach at Division III Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.

Schoolfield is an inductee in the Florida A&M University Sports Hall of Fame and played professional football for the New England Patriots. He earned a B.S. in History and an M.S. in Education from Florida A&M University.

Rubin Carter has a career record (2004-2007) of 16-17 (6-5, 7-4, 3-8) at Florida A&M University where he served as the Rattlers head coach. Carter was hired two weeks before Spring practice in 2004. He was somewhat successful in reshaping the Rattlers program and had two very strong recruiting classes with topnotch student athletes. He was responsible for leading the Rattlers program from under NCAA probation, operating with a reduction of scholarships from the previous administration infractions. Carter was not responsible for FAMU being placed on NCAA probation.

Prior to FAMU, Carter served as the Defensive Line Coach at Temple University (2004); the New York Jets' Defensive Line Coach for three seasons (2001 to 2003; and the Washington Redskins' Defensive Line Coach for two seasons (1999-2000).

Carter first coached in the NFL with Denver under Dan Reeves from 1987-88, directing the Broncos defensive line while also assisting with strength and conditioning.

Carter also coached at the collegiate level for nine years:
He was Defensive Coordinator and Strength & Conditioning Coach at Howard University from 1989 to 1993, leading the Bison defense to a number one national ranking in Division I-AA in total defense (220 yards per game) and scoring defense (10.5 points per game) in 1989.

He went on to serve as Defensive Line and Strength & Conditioning Coach at San Jose State in 1995 and 1996. Carter's last position at the collegiate level prior to Temple, was at Maryland, where he instructed the defensive line from 1997-98.

Carter began his coaching career after playing 12 seasons (1975-86) at defensive tackle in the NFL with Denver. He was part of five AFC West Championship teams as a key member of the Broncos famed "Orange Crush" defense and played in two Super Bowls (1978, 1987). Upon his retirement, he had played in more games (152) than any other nose tackle in NFL history. Carter was drafted in the fifth round by Denver in the 1975 draft out of University of Miami, Florida, where he was a Kodak, UPI and AP All-American as a senior in addition to being named the MVP of the Hula Bowl.

Carter holds the distinction of being the first African-American to be cited as an All-American on the Hurricanes' defensive line. He earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration in 1975 and was inducted into the University of Miami's Hall of Fame in 1992.

Good luck Tigers!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Savannah State University head coach finalists announced

Compiled by beepbeep

Former Florida A&M University head football coach Rubin Carter has been named among the four finalists for the Savannah State University head football coaching vacancy.

In addition to Rubin Carter, Raymond Gross, Robby Wells and FAMUan Kent Schoolfield were invited to the campus yesterday by SSU vice president for administration Claud Flythe to continue the interview process. President Earl Yarbrough will make the selection tomorrow.

The final selection will be announced Saturday before a 2:00 p.m. basketball game at Tiger Arena with High Point University with the coach being introduced to the fans. This will be the ninth head coach for Savannah State in the past 13 years.

The football program is currently under NCAA probation until May 19, 2009 for violations in recruiting, playing and practice seasons, financial aid, ethical conduct and institutional control.

Theo Lemon and his eight assistants were fired on November 30 after a two season record of 3-18, with only 24 scholarship players at the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (1-AA) level. Lemon was not responsible for the school being placed on NCAA probation.

Savannah State currently plays as a FCS Independent having been denied membership into the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in 2006. The position previously paid $65,000 annually, but the school has indicated that the new coach will earn more, but Flythe has not stated publicly what that amount will be. The scholarships will also be increased, but Flythe did not disclose the number that would be allotted.

National signing day for student athletes is February 6, 2008.

Savannah State is reporting that 68 candidates submitted applications on December 14. The announcement for the job was issued on December 1, with selection to be made on December 22.


1. Rubin Carter (Fired November 20, 2007 after compiling a 3-8 record, 16-17 record in three seasons; paid $135,000 annually with 2 years remaining on contract).

2. Kent Schoolfield - Inductee in FAMU Hall of Fame. Assistant coach (wide receivers) at Capital University, a Division III school in Columbus, Ohio. He spent the 2005 season as the offensive coordinator at North Carolina A&T. He coached at Capital in 2003 and 2004. Prior to that, Schoolfield was the head coach at Fort Valley State and guided the Wildcats to three Division II playoff appearances in six seasons.

3. Ramond Gross - Inductee in Georgia Southern University Athletic Hall of Fame; currently Assistant Coach - Quarterbacks at Bethune Cookman University (2nd year).

4. Robby Wells - Assistant coach at Benedict College, a Division II school in Columbia, S.C. Wells is the Tigers' defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

Florida A & M coaching search focus on goals

by beepbeep, MEAC/SWAC Sports Main Street

The Florida A&M University coaching search hit a snag a few days ago but there was no real damage other than to the egos of a few Rattlers that were in a premature braggadocios mood with colleagues. A few had to eat crow as Grambling State University head coach Rod Broadway decided to accept a matching offer from the Tigers administration and remain in his present position at the institution.

Notwithstanding this unforeseen detour, the FAMU administration is moving forward in a stealth hiring mode as it is in the best interests of all the parties involved.

This sends the message to the most serious prospects that their identity will be protected by Florida A&M University from the national press and their current employers. This is very important for some prospects who may not want to be rejected for the position and have their names broadcast world-wide by the press and bloggers.

What can we can learn from the recent Rod Broadway and Pete Adrian hiring serenades?

First, overzealous Rattler fans and message board bloggers do not select head football coaches at major institutions like Florida A&M University and/or Norfolk State University.

As the president and his dedicated staff are engaged in contract negotiations with prospective new employees of the university, there is no need for public involvement on these matters. Sensitive personnel matters should be handled under a cloak of confidentiality until the deal is completed and the contract approved by the Board of Trustees. Then, it becomes public information and available for scrutiny.

Secondly, university experts must stay cognizant of the current market conditions for competent and productive football coaches that can fulfill the requirements of the FAMU head coaching position. The income levels within the marketplace for good football coaches has increased more than 32 percent for the MEAC conference in the past six months. Successful experienced coaches are becoming more difficult to procure and competent athletic directors and major supporters are willing to play the "match game" with any suitor that is in pursuit of their winning head football coach.

That was the strategy successfully implemented by Grambling State and Norfolk State athletic directors when FAMU and University of Rhode Island, respectively set forth to hire away their head football coach. Even when your hiring process starts with multiple candidates, you eventually get down to serious negotiations with only one or two candidates like Broadway, and at that point the key advantage lies within the hands of the prospect. He has exactly what you want and is smart to work both ends of the deal with the current and future employer.

The prospect has two methods to maximize his market value and lower performance expectations and standards--negotiate better terms with his current employer using FAMU's best and final contract offer as the mechanism or introducing a third suitor to the process, i.e., the Duke University interview. FAMU had no option but to move on as the candidate was only attempting to better his current situation without the lateral transfer of employment.

FAMU has not screw up the hiring process as some grossly misinformed individuals have alleged. In the very best of situations, every negotiation will not yield a successful contract unless there are parties on each side committed to make the deal happen.

Broadway certainly played his hand well dealing from a slight position of strength due to his prior knowledge and relationship with Ammons. The timing of the perfunctory courtesy interview extended by Duke University played a small part in undermining FAMU’s actions with Broadway as it gave him more leverage to seek additional powers beyond the ordinary scope given to head football coaches, like control over scheduling and staffing.

The final turn in the negotiations came when Grambling State athletics director Troy Mathieu decided to match the monetary aspects of FAMU’s best and final offer to keep Broadway at GSU. This sizable increase in base salary and job security made the decision for Broadway and his designated agent, a no-brainer.

Even the slowest thinking mugs in the Blog sphere and message boards understand that when all is equal, there is no reason to jump ship when there is a possibility you might fall in the water and drown.

"Nobody listened," Broadway said. "Everybody had me doing this and doing that. They all had their own opinion. I've said all along that I think this is a good situation. You can win here." Yessiree! Broadway is entirely correct. You can win at Grambling State and he will win and keep his fans happy with a traditional diet of classic victories, West Division titles and an occasional SWAC championship title.

Likewise, Pete Adrian contract is being financially upgraded by his athletic director after he initiated an interview for the head coaching vacancy at the University of Rhode Island.

Norfolk State athletic director Marty Miller said he is in the process of finalizing a new contract for Adrian, which would increase his salary to at least the middle of the MEAC scale, which reaches $175,000. Miller said he anticipates having the contract complete by the holidays. "We need to at least bring him up to where the average is," Miller said. Adrian base salary was at $102,300 and he signed a two year contract extension in September 2007.

Former FAMU coach Rubin Carter base salary was $135,000, which is far below today's MEAC average. Carter and his assistant coaches dismissal were justified by substandard football performance which included cruel and unusual punishment for passionate Rattler fans for a period of three long years.

The business and educational performance standards for the FAMU head football coach and staff positions are far above what has been acceptable in the past. President Ammons rightfully so, has a lucrative financial package designed to procure the type of head football coach that will achieve his academic standards, performance goals and economic objectives.

Let us take a brief moment and bring Rattler fans forward on the present state of the coaching economy, as it impacts FAMU.

There is no debate that Florida A&M University is the premier brand in HBCU sports and academics--not Grambling State.

The average base salary paid to MEAC coaches is now at $175,000 annually, which is greater than the SWAC, Colonial, Gateway, Big South, Southern, Southland, NEC, Pioneer and the lower tier of Division I-A, which include ten universities that are members of the Mid-American and Sunbelt conferences. We are sure that some MEAC'ers still believe the other conferences ice is colder, but the salary and the annual attendance data does not support those allegations.

In the Southwestern Athletic Conference, Southern University's Pete Richardson and Rod Broadway (revised deal) are now earning $200,000 to $210,000 annually with incentives. The SWAC teams do not compete nor participate in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs for the national championship. Their West and East Division title holders play the latest conference championship game of the season on ESPN Classic to showcase their conference two best teams.

Florida A&M has demonstrated with the recent Broadway negotiations that our new coach will probably be at the upper level of the salary scale for the top 10 percent of FCS football coaches. The days of the $135,000 head football coach in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference is now history at FAMU, NCA&T, SCSU, DSU, NSU, MSU, HU and Hampton.

The action by Ammons opens a lot more doors to high profile, high quality coaches with both Division I and NFL coordinator experience, non-BCS coordinators and assistant head coaches, FCS head coaches and talented coordinators, D-1A mid-major head coaches and Division II championship playoff seasoned head coaches. And let us not forget the 25 approved minority coaches/coordinators on the Black Coaches Association list. This pool of potential head coaches is vast.

For example, here is where the new salary range can reach and the quality of the people it can touch. Our purpose is not to suggest names or individuals for the coaching search process but to demonstrate where the dividing line has been moved by the FAMU president. This may give some a clearer understanding of the expected outcome of the FAMU hiring process.

a. Mark Farley, seven year head coach at University of Northern Iowa. This team was ranked #1 for six weeks in 2007 and was the #1 seed going into the FCS playoffs. UNI was 11-0 for the regular season. Farley base salary is $159,000, plus additional income from radio and TV, winning season ($14,500) for a total package of $173,500.

Athletic director Rick Hartzell is currently attempting to raise salary to $200,000 to avoid a raid by another FCS or FBC university for Farley services.

b. Turner Gill, University of Buffalo ($191,000) Division I-A Mid-American Conference. Interviewed for University of Nebraska head coaching position.

c. Shane Montgomery, Miami of Ohio ($144,000) Div. I-A, MAC.

d. Doug Martin, Kent State ($170,000) Div. I-A, MAC.

e. Brady Hoke, Ball State ($170,000) Div. I-A, MAC.

f. Steve Roberts, Arkansas State ($171,000) Div. I-A Sun Belt

g. David Elson, Western Kentucky ($180,000) Division I-A Independent

h. Gregg Brandon, Bowling Green ($181,000) MAC

i. Jeff Genyk, Eastern Michigan ($196,000) MAC

j. Ricky Bustle, La. Lafayette ($196,000) Sun Belt

k. Charlie Weatherbie, La. Monroe ($205,000) Sun Belt

You may review most of the above coaches contracts at this link,as the information is public record: (see: ).

Rattlers fans could better serve our cause if we do not fall into the trap encouraged by local newspapers on playing the game called "Guess who the next coach will be." This is a senseless game that may increase hits on a website, but is becoming an annoyance to the individuals named; their respective alums and fans at their present institutions; and projects Florida A&M University in a negative light.

As Mr. Broadway stated in his remarks to the press in the aftermath, "Nobody listened and everybody had me doing this and doing that. They all had their own opinion."

And we are all guilty of this type of conjecture.

Public silence is very beneficial to the selection and negotiation process and MEAC/SWAC Sports Main Street will await the official announcement from the FAMU president when the process is completed. There are no deadlines, so do what you gotta do, Mr. President. We support your efforts and understand the challenges involved.

Wishing each of you and your families a Merry Christmas and a happy and successful new year. Let us all pray that our Military Troops return home safely!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

MEAC/SWAC Clip Board: Do not blame the MEAC officials

by beepbeep

FCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME - If you watched the national championship game last evening, let us be the first to tell you that your eyes were not lying to your brain. Appalachian State University Mountaineers are a top 15 Division I-A club, although they play at the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly 1-AA) level. The final score of 49-21 does not quantify how thoroughly the University of Delaware was beaten by Appalachian State. The Mountaineers were so superior in speed, play calling and defense, that Delaware had no answers for ASU's superiority.

No need to blame the MEAC officials, as they called an outstanding game and only missed one call, which was corrected by the re-play official after review. The replay booth awarded Delaware a touchdown on Flacco's 39-yard pass to Mark Duncan at the right edge of the end zone with 1:46 left in the second quarter. Officials on the field had not called a touchdown; they only called pass interference. The replay official decided Mark Duncan had either come down in bounds or been forced out by the ASU defender. This was a gift touchdown given by the Southeastern Conference official controlling the re-play evaluations.

Re-plays are not used in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference games nor FCS games other than the championship game. The officials made the adaptation very nicely. However, it was priceless to have one of the MEAC officials announce that "Delaware State" calls a timeout before the half, which was met with booing from the UD fans.

The ESPN announcers were awful as usual and were upset with the officials because they were all prepared to heavily tout UD quarterback Joe Flacco as the second coming of Joe Montana or Peyton Manning. How silly is it to say that Flacco will be drafted in the NFL second round--in a college championship game, when there is no factual evidence that Flacco will be drafted at all from the 1-AA level.

Why do these announcers feel compelled to hype any player for that matter when the stats show ASU sophomore Armanti Edwards was the top quarterback on the field with one NCAA national championship to his credit. Serves them right for not be objective in calling the game as it developed on the field.

The 6-0, 175 pound Edwards won the national championship as a freshman and has repeated that performance this season, completing 67 percent of his passes (148/222, 17 TDs 7INT) for 1948 yards and rushed for 1588 yards (237CAR, 6.7 ypc., 21 TDs). No other player in the FCS has played at his level the past two championship seasons in the division.

Edwards quarterbacked ASU to a 34-32 upset of #5 ranked Michigan in Ann Arbor before 110,000 hostile Michigan fans, completing 74 percent of his passes (17/23, 227 yards/3TDs/2 INT)and 17 rushes/62 yards, one TD. No doubt, Armanti Edwards is the best quarterback in the division and has an opportunity to win four national championships before his college career is over.

ASU senior quarterback Trey Elder could have been a starter for any other FCS team but was content to be Edwards backup for the past two season.

Delaware, blame the MEAC officials all you want but give credit to 68 year old head coach Jerry Moore and his staff for assembling this three-peat championship team that can beat most of the teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision with only 63 scholarship players. In lieu of looking for excuses, let us all use Appalachian State on field performance as the standard that all FCS teams should be striving to achieve with our student athletes. UD was simply outclassed by a superior team that plays to their full potential each game, especially when a championship is at stake.

Incompetents blame subordinates. Let us not blame the officials for University of Delaware being outclassed by the most successful dynasty in NCAA 1-AA football history. The Blue Hens were beat-down by more powerful offensive and defensive lines that handled their business. Appalachian State was clearly the superior football program on this night.

Delaware State University, Al Lavan was second in balloting for the Eddie Robinson award, which goes to the Coach of the Year for the Football Championship Subdivision. DSU ended the season at 10-2, won the MEAC title and made the first round of the FCS Playoffs. The Hornets lost 44-7 to University of Delaware.

Northern Iowa head coach Mark Farley was named the 21st winner of the Eddie Robinson Award. The Panthers were 11-0 in the regular season and held the No. 1 ranking in the Sports Network Top 25 poll for six weeks. The Panthers grabbed attention in the second week of the season when they dominated an FBS opponent, Iowa State, by a 24-13count on the way to a 4-0 non-conference start.

Former Florida A&M University offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Bob Cole has been hired in the same titled positions at the University of Wyoming. Cole served two years under fired FAMU coach Rubin Carter and will work for Cowboys head football coach Joe Glenn. Wyoming is in the FBC subdivision and finished last season with a 5-7 overall, 2-6 record in the Mountain West Conference. Cole’s salary will be $123,480 per year for two years.

The Southwestern Athletic conference championship game is scheduled today at 1:00 pm from Birmingham, Alabama Legion Field. Expect 8-3 Grambling State University Tigers to beat 7-4 Jackson State University Tigers in this battle for television exposure and more program income. GSU defeated JSU 30-20 on their home field on October 20.

There is more excitement anticipating the announcement on Monday that Grambling State head coach Rod Broadway is accepting the offer to head Florida A&M University storied football program. Expect GSU to win this one for Broadway.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

MEAC/SWAC Clip Board: NSU Adrian considering CAA - Rhode Island Rams

by beepbeep, MEAC/SWAC Sports Main Street

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) 2007 Coach of the year Pete Adrian interviewed on December 12, for the head coaching position at Colonial Athletic Conference member University of Rhode Island. The Football Championship Subdivision (formerly 1-AA) Rams were 3-8 this past season, marking their sixth consecutive losing season.

Adrian is one of four candidates for the position, along with Darren Rizzi, an associate head coach at Rutgers; Maine coach Jack Cosgrove; and Robert Talley, head coach at Stonehill College.

Former URI head coach Tim Stowers was fired after an eight year term on November 19, with one year remaining on his contract. He posted a 33-57 record during his tenure with the Rams and had only one winning season in 2001.

University of Rhode Island paid Stovers $196,027 in 2006.

The Rams home facility, Meade Stadium was constructed in 1928 and seats approximately 5,180 fans. Yes, that is no typo--5,180 maximum capacity.

Photo: URI Meade Stadium

Coach Adrian has been at Norfolk State for three years posting records of 4-7, 4-7 and 8-3 for the Spartans. He currently earns $102,750 (base pay) and just signed a contract extension on September 13, 2007, that presumed would keep him at NSU until 2010. Adrian had a record of 9-14 at the time the contract extension was executed with NSU athletics director Marty L. Miller.

Adrian current career record for the Spartans is 16-17 (.484), but he is a finalist for the 2007 Eddie Robinson Award given to the top Division I-AA coach, for his 8-3 breakout season.

NSU home facility, William "Dick" Price Stadium has a seating capacity of 30,000 and was built in 1997. It is recognized as one of the largest sports and entertainment venues in the Hampton Roads region and one of the 10 largest Division I FCS football stadiums in terms of capacity. Dick Price Stadium is also one of the best facilities in the MEAC along with the football facilities at North Carolina A&T State University and South Carolina State University.

The Spartans was tops in historical black college and university (HBCU) football for accumulated home attendance in 2007. The Spartans are ranked #7 of 119 schools in the total Division I Football Championship Subdivision, with 103,320 accumulated attendance for six home games. NSU average game attendance was 17,220 and the Spartans had two home games with Virginia State University and Hampton University that had 26,970 (#19) and 27,756 (#16) in attendance, respectively.

Norfolk State's first game in history with a football bowl championship team--Rutgers University on September 15, had 43,712 in attendance. This game's attendance was greater than the Scarlett Knights games against FBC foes, West Virginia (43,620), Pittsburgh (43,531), Navy (43,514) and Buffalo (43,091). The Spartans were beat by Rutgers 59-0, but earned $250,000 for this money game. NSU will play University of Kentucky in Lexington in 2008 for the same fee.

For comparison purposes, University of Rhode Island had an accumulated home attendance of 17,181 for five total home games in 2007. Their average home game attendance was 3,436, for a ranking of #98 of 119 FCS programs. This was worst than Howard University (#96) and Savannah State University (#94) home attendance for the past season.

So, what would make Adrian talk with Rhode Island about its vacancy when he is on the verge of building a powerhouse at Norfolk State with the very best facilities, great fan support and a tremendous recruiting area in Richmond, Norfolk and Virginia Beach? It is no accident that Norfolk State had a school record ten Spartans named to either the first or second-team All-MEAC squads. He was also only one win from the MEAC championship and the automatic berth to the NCAA FCS playoffs.

It is all about the money!

Under Adrian current contract, he can earn a maximum of $147,750 with performance bonuses, for winning the MEAC title and FCS national championship.

Rhode Island is offering a base of $155,300 and up to $196,027 if targeted performace incentives are met. URI has shown unusual patience for just one winning season in eight years. The 59 year old coach has experienced success with the Rams as an assistant coach in the 1980's winning three Yankee Conference championships and making the NCAA playoffs. Adrian salary is at or slightly above the average for the MEAC and SWAC conferences and based on his career winning record at NSU.

We wish Coach Adrian the best of success at Rhode Island, if the position is offered. If more money is his focus--go to Rhode Island with their tiny stadium, little fan support and history of being a loser in the Colonial Athletic Conference. He can change the latter two by just building a winner. The stadium expansion will take some time.

Our advice to Marty Miller--let him go!

The nature of the coaching business today is a contract does not really obligate the coach to fulfill it, if more money is offered elsewhere. No one will blame him for jumping for the money and the opportunity to move up to a perceived difficult conference.

NSU fans love Spartan football and average 17,220 in home attendance in 2007 to lead MEAC & SWAC.

Expect more Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and Southwestern Athletic Conference athletic directors to be contacted more frequently in the future about their head coaches for lateral coaching opportunities in the FCS. Both conferences currently are at the bottom in average head coaches salary compared to others, especially programs seeking an instant winner, like University of Rhode Island.

Rhode Island's former coach had a strong resume in FCS coaching circles. He served previously as an assistant coach at Temple; and head coach at Georgia Southern for six years, winning the NCAA I-AA national championship in 1990. Stovers career record is 84-80, but he was unable to compete in the CAA with the Rams facing a difficult schedule of six playoffs teams and one I-A team. Adrian will have the same difficulties as Stovers. But, one winning season can be a stepping stone to a mid-level FBC position and the increased earnings.

Adrian is just the start of this migration of HBCU coaches as other FCS conferences and FBC teams begin to value the coaching talent and experience that exists in the MEAC and the SWAC. Transitioning programs will be willing to pay more for that proven talent of winning head football coaches. Expect more lateral transfers in the near future as MEAC and SWAC coaches prove themselves as builders of financially successful programs.

Imagine that! The MEAC and SWAC are now proving grounds and career launching pads for new head coaches with the opportunity to step up to more lucrative positions in the FCS and FBS coaching ranks--and that's the way it should be for all. Just win, ba-by!

NOTICE: 7:35 PM - Norfolk State University football coach Pete Adrian announced on Thursday evening that he has withdrawn his name from consideration for the head coaching position at the University of Rhode Island and will remain with the Spartans.

NSU athletic director Marty L. Miller said he is in the process of finalizing a new contract for Adrian, which would increase his salary to at least the middle of the MEAC scale, which reaches $175,000. He anticipates having the contract complete by the holidays.

Spartan Nation can now relax until the Spartans record goes under .500 next season...

Photo: Norfolk State William "Dick" Price Football Stadium