Thursday, June 30, 2016

Tuskegee, North Carolina A&T in preseason football rankings

TUSKEGEE,Alabama -- With just 66 days before the college football season opens across the country, preseason polls are beginning to be released by several national publications. Tuskegee, fresh off a quarterfinal appearance in the 2015 NCAA Division II playoffs, its second straight playoff appearance, has made an appearance in two publications that have been released in the last month.

The Golden Tigers, 10-3 a season ago, are ranked 13th in The Sporting News Football Annual preseason NCAA Div. II poll. They are the second-highest rated team from region, behind West Georgia who is ranked third in the preseason poll and the only HBCU team in the Preseason Top 25. The Golden Tigers are ranked one spot ahead of North Alabama – who they defeated in the second round of the playoffs – and two spots ahead of the first round opponent from a season ago, Catawba.

North Carolina A&T, who finished in a three-way tie with North Carolina Central and Bethune-Cookman for the 2015 MEAC title and defeated SWAC champion Alcorn State in the inaugural Celebration Bowl, is the only HBCU team in the preseason FCS poll. The Aggies are ranked 22nd nationally. The Sporting News also released its preseason Div. II and FCS All-American teams. Johnson C. Smith junior defensive back Carlo Thomas, who led the nation in interceptions, and Tuskegee junior safety Jonah McCutcheon earned first team Div. II honors.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

JCSU Athletics Celebrates the Retirement of Head Tennis Coach James Cuthbertson

JCSU Athletics Celebrates the Career of Head Tennis Coach James Cuthbertson at Retirement Reception

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina 
– Friends of the Johnson C. Smith University tennis programs gathered on Tuesday afternoon, June 28th to celebrate the career of longtime tennis coach James Cuthbertson at a retirement reception held at JCSU's Faculty House. Cuthbertson will retire effective July 29, 2016.

Cuthbertson has led the JCSU tennis programs for the past 18 years, compiling a 245-212 record at the helm of the men's team and a 164-207 mark as the women's head coach. Under Cuthbertson's guidance, JCSU won six consecutive CIAA men's titles from 1999-2004.

"Coach Cuthbertson has been a constant for JCSU and is well known around the area for his love of the game and his coaching ability," said JCSU athletic director Stephen Joyner, Sr. "We wish him well in his retirement."

In addition to his coaching duties, Cuthbertson has served JCSU in several roles, including the disability services coordinator and as sports information director.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

SIAC to host Football Media Day in Montgomery

To purchase tickets, CLICK HERE

ATLANTA – The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) will host the annual Football Media Day on Wednesday, July 20 at the Doubletree by Hilton Montgomery Downtown (120 Madison Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104). Head football coaches and two student-athletes from each team will be available to offer an up close and personal look on the upcoming 2016 football season.

This year the SIAC will have a limited number of tickets available to the public for the press luncheon portion of the Media Day. Tickets can be purchased by calling Taunita Stephenson at (404) 221-1041 or Tickets are $40 per seat or $300 per table (10 persons) and must be purchased by Friday, July 15.

Media members may obtain a credential for the luncheon and/or one-on-one interviews by completing an application found on One-on-one interviews will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. in the Martin Luther King Jr. Ballroom.


Southern's A.W. Mumford Stadium unveils new field turf

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana -- A welcomed, new addition awaits the Southern University football program and their passionate fanbase when they enter A.W. Mumford Stadium on Sept. 17 for the 2016 home opener against Alabama State.

Construction to install a new state-of-the-art synthetic playing surface is nearing the final phase ahead of the project's July 18 scheduled completion date. The new field turf is a part of several University initiatives which will be highlighted during the Million Dollar March kickoff event Wednesday, June 29 at 11 a.m. in the A.W. Mumford Fieldhouse. The event, hosted by the Southern University System Foundation, is reserved for all Foundation donors and corporate sponsors.

“The installation of a turf field aligns with the University’s aim to shape a standard of excellence in our athletic endeavors," said SU System President Dr. Ray L. Belton. "We are pleased to bring the project to fruition with the support of the Southern University System Foundation and the longstanding contributions of the Baton Rouge Coca-Cola Bottling Company.

We are also grateful for the partnerships with SMG and UBU Sports, Incorporated that allows us to achieve this much-needed improvement to A.W. Mumford Stadium.”

The Southern University System Foundation (SUSF) partnered with the Southern University Athletics Department for the installation of the NFL-grade synthetic turf field at A.W. Mumford Stadium. The project was made possible by a joint venture between Baton Rouge Coca-Cola Bottling Company, the Southern University System Foundation, SMG (Louisiana Superdome Management Company) and UBU Sports, Incorporated.

"Southern University and SU Athletics remains committed to providing our student-athletes with a first-rate college experience," said Roman Banks, SU Interim Athletics Director. "Through the support of the Southern University System Foundation, the installation of this state-of-the-art playing surface at A.W. Mumford Stadium addresses any player safety and gameday logistic concerns while offering our coaching staff a powerful recruiting tool which also reasserts the SU athletic brand."

UBU Sports, Incorporated, located in Downers Grove, Illinois, is a leading brand of indoor and outdoor synthetic turf surfaces for use in a variety of sporting events, including football, baseball, field hockey, soccer, rugby and lacrosse. Teams that currently play on UBU, Incorporated fields include the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes Benz Superdome, the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium, the New York Giants and New York Jets at Met Life Stadium, the University of Houston at TDECU Stadium, Tulane Green Wave - which host Southern on Sept. 10 - at Yulman Stadium, and the Houston Texans practice fields.

2016 Season Tickets are on sale now at the SU Ticket Office located in the service entrance of the F.G. Clark Activity Center. Fans are encouraged to contact the ticket office at 225-771-3171 for more details.


Poore’s contract at West Virginia State extended to 2022

Bryan Poore
INSTITUTE, West Virginia -- West Virginia State men’s basketball coach Bryan Poore, already the program’s career leader in wins, will get a couple more years to extend that lead.

WVSU agreed in January to extend Poore’s contract to the 2021-22 academic year. He had four years left on his previous deal.

“Coach Poore has demonstrated he can win championships at State,” WVSU athletic director Nate Burton said. “We have high expectations and our alumni base and fans have high expectations for our men’s basketball program, and those are in large part because of what we’ve been able to achieve under Coach Poore’s leadership.

“And I felt it was important for our student-athletes to know he was locked in and will be here for their next four years,” he added.

The extended contract will pay him $76,695.26 annually, according to a copy of the deal WVSU provided to the Gazette-Mail. That includes an ongoing appointment to the College of Professional Studies, where he is an instructor.

Poore, in November, broke Mark Cardwell’s career wins record at State by winning his 289th game as the Yellow Jackets’ head coach. The Yellow Jackets’ coach since 1999, Poore finished the season with 293 wins at State after a 6-22 campaign. He has 305 career wins, including a 12-win season at the University of Charleston in 1996-97.


Xavier welcomes back Alfred Williams as head coach

NEW ORLEANS — Former Xavier University of Louisiana student-athlete and assistant coach Alfred Williams, who engineered one of the best turnarounds in NAIA Division I men's basketball this past season at Harris-Stowe State University, is returning home to become head coach at his alma mater.
XU Director of Athletics & Recreation Jason Horn announced the hiring of Williams Tuesday. He replaces Dannton Jackson, who left Xavier in April after 13 seasons as head coach to become an assistant at NCAA Division I's University of Alabama at Birmingham.
The new head coach will meet with news media, the XU community and fans July 5 at 1:30 p.m. in Xavier's Convocation Center, 7900 Stroelitz St. (zip 70125).
"I'm super-excited about the opportunity to become the next head men's basketball coach at Xavier," said Williams, who played for the Gold Rush from 2004-08 and served as an assistant coach from 2009-15. "Xavier has been near and dear to my heart ever since I stepped on campus in 2004. The rich tradition is second to none. I am looking forward to continue building on the foundations of the past while growing toward the future. We will work day in and day out to build a program that mirrors toughness, grit, hustle and passion in everything that we do. I'm looking forward to the challenge and continuing to build for greatness both on the court and in the classroom."
Williams was head coach for one season at Harris-Stowe in St. Louis, where he led the Hornets in a 7 1/2-game improvement from the previous year and victories against a pair of NCAA Division II opponents. Harris-Stowe lost 84-83 in double-overtime Jan. 28 at American Midwest Conference champion Columbia (Mo.), a 29-game winner, after losing there by 46 points the previous season.
During his previous Xavier tenures, Williams was a member of three teams as a player and five teams as an assistant coach that qualified for the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I National Championship and won or shared four Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament regular-season championships. The Gold Rush averaged 23.3 victories during his three playing seasons and 23.2 victories during his six seasons as assistant coach.
Xavier won three consecutive GCAC regular-season championships from 2011-14, and its 121 victories from 2010-11 through 2014-15 are the second-winningest five years in the program history, topped only by the Gold Rush's 126 victories from 1936-37 through 1940-41. Williams was a 6-foot-4 forward at Xavier, was All-GCAC his senior year and is one of three Gold Rush players with 800 points, 500 rebounds and 150 assists in a career.
"After a comprehensive national search which attracted many outstanding candidates, we are excited to welcome back Alfred Williams," Horn said. "We are confident that AJ (Williams' nickname) will continue the Xavier tradition of excellence and lead the Gold Rush to even greater national prominence while graduating our student-athletes."
Williams, 32 and a native of Greenville, S.C., received his bachelor of science degree from Xavier in 2008.
Xavier was 21-13 in 2015-16 and qualified for NAIA's national tournament for a school-record sixth consecutive year. The Gold Rush were runner-up in the GCAC Tournament each of the past two seasons. Xavier's 31 seasons of 20 or more victories are the most in the history of Louisiana men's college basketball.

What They're Saying About Alfred Williams

Grady Brewer, Morehouse College Head Coach
     "Xavier University has picked an extremely talented young basketball coach in Alfred Williams. He has paid his dues and he has an incredible love for his alma mater. It's a win-win situation for all parties involved."

Larry Cordaro, Louisiana State University at Alexandria Head Coach
     "Alfred Williams is an outstanding young coach who is a great fit for Xavier. He has the coaching characteristics to keep the Gold Rush competing at a high level. AJ has an eye for talent and really cares about people. All he needed was head coaching experience which he went out and got. I'm really happy for AJ and look forward to seeing him back in Louisiana."

Mike Davis, Texas Southern University Head Coach
     "Alfred Williams is a really good basketball coach and has a bright future."

Michael Huger, Bowling Green State University Head Coach
     "Alfred Williams is one of the best young coaches in our business. He has a great basketball mind. AJ is also a people person which he will use to do a great job with his student-athletes. I wish him all the best."

Casey Long, Virginia Commonwealth University Assistant Coach
     "Alfred Williams is an unbelievable coach and God-fearing person. He really cares about developing players to be the best student-athletes they can be. He is truly appreciative of any opportunity, and he will be a great coach at Xavier."

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Norfolk State - Richmond Game to be Televised on Comcast

NORFOLK, Virginia -- Norfolk State's first road football game of the year, at the University of Richmond on Saturday, Sept. 10, will be televised by Comcast SportsNet and will kick off at 6 p.m. at Robins Stadium, UR announced.

The game will be broadcast on either CSN or CSN Mid-Atlantic, marking the first of at least three televised Spartan football games this fall. Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic is available on approximately 25 cable providers throughout Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, as well as parts of Delaware, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and West Virginia. It is also available nationwide on satellite via DirecTV. The channel reaches more than 4.7 million households in the Mid-Atlantic region.

NSU and Richmond are meeting for the first time ever on the gridiron this fall. The Spiders advanced to the Division I FCS semifinals last year.

In addition to the game at Richmond, it was announced earlier this month that NSU will appear on the ESPN family of networks a minimum of two times as part of the MEAC's yearly TV package. NSU's game at North Carolina A&T will be broadcast live on ESPNU and ESPN3 on Thursday, Oct. 6. The Spartans' home game with Bethune-Cookman on Saturday, Oct. 22 will air live on ESPN3 and tape-delayed on ESPNU (air time TBA). A conference matchup to be determined on Nov. 19 will also be shown on ESPNU, and the Celebration Bowl, pitting the champions from the MEAC and SWAC against one another, will be broadcast on ABC on Dec. 17.

Officials from William & Mary also announced recently that the Spartans' game against the Tribe in Williamsburg will kick off at 6 p.m. on Sept. 17, meaning gCe times for all 11 regular-season NSU football games are now set. To view NSU's complete 2016 NSU football schedule, click here.

Matt Michalec, Asst. AD/Communications

Mervyl Melendez leaving Alabama State for FIU

MIAMI, Florida -- After leading Alabama State to its first SWAC title and first trip to the NCAA Tournament, Melendez has taken a head coaching position at Florida International to take over a program that finished .500 this past season.

"It is indeed a pleasure," Melendez said after being officially named FIU's new head coach as it was streamed live via YoutTube from FIU in Miami. "I'm humbled to have this great opportunity to lead FIU baseball program to where it needs to be nationally."

Wearing a suit, tie and big smile at the news conference, the Carolina, Puerto Rico native said he "will dedicate my life" to FIU baseball.

"This journey started for me many years ago," Melendez said. "Twenty years ago, I became a baseball coach thinking that one day I'd be here. You start with the idea that you not only want to be successful, but you want to get to a place that you can call home. This is one of the few jobs that I looked at as one day could be mine. One day I could be there. One day I can call FIU home and this day has arrived."

FIU's Executive Director of Sports and Entertainment, Pete Garcia, introduced Melendez as the university's new head coach this afternoon.


5 things we learned from scouting Tampa's satellite camps

Alex Wood, head football coach for Florida A&M University (FAMU), organizes high school football players into groups on Friday (6/17/16) at the Alex Wood Football Camp, a satellite football camp, hosted at Skyway Park in Tampa. Satellite camps have been a hot topic in recent months after the NCAA Division I Legislative Council voted against college coaches from serving as guest instructors at satellite camps in April, 2016. But the NCAA Board of Directors overturned the ruling a few weeks later.

TAMPA, Florida — After becoming the most scrutinized subject of college football's offseason, satellite camps made their first major splash across Tampa Bay this month.

More than 1,100 high school players worked out in front of representatives from 40-plus colleges over a 16-day stretch. At least seven Division I-A head coaches attended the instructional camps away from their campuses.

Despite the criticism from Alabama's Nick Saban and initial skepticism from the NCAA, the camps went off with seemingly no major incidents or drama.

"No, the sky hasn't fallen," Tampa Catholic coach Mike Gregory said after his Crusaders hosted Florida International's camp June 19.

Maybe not. But after attending all four major camps in the area, the Tampa Bay Times came away with five lessons in a controversy that will likely continue to be dissected next spring.


Local Principal, FAMU Alum's Acapella National Anthem At Lincoln Memorial Goes Viral

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- It's not exactly Marian Anderson singing in front of the Lincoln Memorial. But Star Swain's rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner at the national landmark was the sort of life-changing performance few who've heard it will soon forget.

Swain, a former Florida A&M Marching 100 trombonist and vocalist, has been thrust into the digital national spotlight after an impromptu a capella rendition of the National Anthem has gone viral, being viewed by millions on Facebook and other social media.

Swain, 34, said she and her family were in Washington, D.C., on vacation two weeks ago with Marcus Henderson, minister of music at her church, and his family, along with Godby High assistant principal Benny Bolden and his family.

They were inside the Lincoln Memorial, when and Henderson started talking about the superior acoustics inside the landmark.

“I said, ‘I could break out and start singing The Star-Spangled Banner,'" Swain recalled Monday. That was enough to get Henderson and Bolden to start urging her on.


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Kenneth Jones steps down after 30 years as the ‘Voice of Bragg’

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- Kenneth Jones has seen every Florida A&M football game played at Bragg Memorial Stadium over the last 30 years, and he’s never had to buy a ticket.

In fact, he came as part of the package when someone bought a ticket to see the Rattlers play. A football game, a performance from the “Marching 100” band, and commentary from Jones – it was all part of the Bragg experience on Saturdays.

It’s going to be a little weird this year. For the first time in three decades years, Jones will be sitting in the stands with his family when the Rattlers take the field at Bragg. The only people who will be able to hear him will be the ones sitting close to him, and they might not get the commentary they’re used to.

Jones, finally, is taking the chance to relax and be a fan of a team he loves. The 54-year-old associate professor of journalism at FAMU stepped down after the 2015 season as FAMU’s “Voice of Bragg,” saying he wished to spend some more time with his family.

“My mother is going to be down there with me,” Jones said with a smile.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Southern University’s ‘Human Jukebox’ band to perform in battle of the bands competition in Charlotte, N.C.

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana -- The Jaguar Nation’s prestigious marching band will be displaying its talents at the annual McDonald’s Queen City Battle of the Bands, to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina’s Memorial Stadium, on August 27.

Webber Marketing sponsors the annual event, which they say was created to support the creativity, showmanship, and commitment it takes to be a part of a historically black college and university (HBCU) marching band. The company has donated more than $160,000 in scholarships to participating schools over the last three years.

Derek Webber, president/CEO of Webber Marketing, says, “At Webber Marketing we are committed to enhancing the exposure of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The McDonald’s Queen City Battle of the Bands event highlights the community’s exclusive interest in HBCU marching bands and the roles that they play in educating aspiring musicians and developing our future leaders.”

The SU marching band will receive a $10,000 scholarship donation, in addition to travel and lodging expenses, for participating in the battle of the bands event.

“The SU band has performed in more Super Bowls than any other band in the country. We’ve performed on many national and international stages, but now is the time to bring the talents and passion of our band to the Queen City. We are looking forward to it,” says Nathan Haymer, SU band director.

The “Human Jukebox” band will begin practicing in early August, and they will be hosting numerous events before their performance in order to prepare for the opportunity.

“Southern University is excited to support our world-renowned band for an inaugural presentation at the McDonald’s Queen City Battle of the Bands. The growing excitement of the Human Jukebox 2016-17 season is extremely high. The best is yet to come,” says M. Christopher Brown, executive vice president and provost of SU.


Prairie View A&M University to unveil $60M football stadium and sports complex in Sept. 2016

Date: SUNDAY, SEPT. 4, 2016, 5:30 PM
Location: PVAMU, Texas

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas -- Prairie View A&M University's Blackshear Stadium was in rough shape for as long as Roy Perry can remember.

The wooden benches he sat on as an engineering student in 1978 to watch Panthers football games had not changed much from when the team was in its heyday and won five black college titles between 1953-1964. Perry graduated in 1978 dreaming improvements would someday be made, but after an historic 80-game losing streak from 1989-1998, they never came.

Even when the Panthers program broke the skid of losing seasons in 2007, won a Southwestern Athletic Conference championship in 2009 and made sweeping building improvements campuswide, some fans had to watch games played on a field in disrepair from behind a perimeter fence because the 6,000-seat stadium was at capacity. Perry said Blackshear's appearance never meshed well with the overall beauty of the campus.

"It wasn't much of anything," Perry said. "Kids played in better stadiums at their high schools."

Perry, who now serves as chairman of the Prairie View A&M Foundation, said he watched with joy on Jan. 23 as the tiny stadium was demolished with a few swings of an excavator arm.

With Blackshear gone, the university will finally get what Perry felt the school deserved more than 30 years ago in a $60 million, 15,000-seat football stadium and sports complex, which will open for its first game in September 2016.

The movement to build a new stadium gained momentum in 2009 after Perry and other alumni helped raise $30 million to start the Prairie View A&M Foundation. Shortly after, Prairie View A&M President George Wright said, Perry started beating the drum to raise funds for a new stadium, and the Texas A&M System Board of regents responded.


Fayetteville State Football Schedule Set for the 2016 Season

FAYETTEVILLE, North Carolina - The Fayetteville State University Department of Athletics has announced the 2016 football schedule. This year's schedule features five games on the road and five at home to include hosting a televised game to be broadcast on ASPiRE TV Network for the regular season conclusion against divisional rival and defending CIAA champions Winston-Salem State University on November 5th at 2:00 p.m.


September 3rd (6:00 PM) vs. Chowan – 1000 BRONCOS Appreciation

September 24th (6:00 PM) vs. Virginia Union – Military Appreciation

October 15th (1:00 PM) vs. Johnson C. Smith – “Ball in Pink”

October 29th (1:30 PM) vs. Livingstone – HOMECOMING

November 5th (2:00 PM) vs. Winston-Salem State – Televised Game by Urban Sports and Entertainment


September 10th (7:00 PM) at UNC Pembroke – Two Rivers Classic

September 17th (6:00 PM) at Elon

October 1st (6:00 PM) at Bowie State

October 8th (1:00 PM) at Shaw

October 22nd (1:00 PM) at Saint Augustine’s

Last season, the Broncos finished third in the CIAA Southern Division at 4-6 overall and 4-3 in the CIAA.

FSU will kick off the 2016 season at home on Saturday, September 3rd in a non-conference contest versus Chowan University at 6:00 p.m. inside Luther “Nick” Jeralds Stadium. In the following week, the Broncos will travel to Pembroke, NC for the annual "Two Rivers Classic" against UNC Pembroke on September 10th. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Grace P. Johnson Stadium for the “Two Rivers Classic.”

Fayetteville State will remain on the road for their third contest of the season against Division I Elon University out of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). Elon finished the 2015 season with a 4-7 overall record, including losses to Wake Forest and North Carolina A&T State.

FSU will return home to begin CIAA cross-divisional play versus Virginia Union University on September 24th. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. at Jeralds Stadium.

The Broncos will begin the month of October on the road against Northern Division champions Bowie State University. Fayetteville State will clash with BSU on October 1st inside Bulldogs Stadium in Bowie, MD at 6:00 p.m. This will be the first matchup against Bowie State since the 2010 season.

The quest for the CIAA Southern Division crown begins on October 8th against Shaw University. Fayetteville State will travel to Durham County Memorial Stadium for a 1:00 p.m. divisional showdown with the Bears.

The Broncos annual “Ball in Pink” game to awareness about breast cancer and preventive measures will take place on October 15th against Johnson C. Smith University. Game time is slated for 1:00 p.m. in Jeralds Stadium; fans are encouraged to wear pink in support of the initiative.

As the season progresses, Fayetteville State returns to the Raleigh-Durham area to matchup against Saint Augustine’s University on October 22nd. Game time is slated for 1:00 p.m. although stadium location has yet to be determined.

The 2016 FSU Homecoming is scheduled for October 29th at 1:30 p.m. against Livingstone College.

Fayetteville State will close out the regular season with a nationally televised contest at home on November 5th against the defending CIAA champion Winston-Salem State University. In their 2015 matchup, the Rams closed out the regular season with a two-point victory over the Broncos. The FSU football program has since taken new leadership with head coach Richard Hayes, Jr., former WSSU defensive coordinator. Game time is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at Luther “Nick” Jeralds Stadium.

The conference schedule will conclude with a television broadcast of the 2016 CIAA Football Championship on November 12, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. EDT. The Northern Division and Southern Division Champions will faceoff for the title at Durham County Memorial Stadium in Durham, NC. The championship contest will air live on ASPiRE.

CIAA Regional Television Network is produced by Urban Sports & Entertainment Group.


FVSU President Accepts Resignation of Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Dr. Joshua Murfree

Dr. Joshua Murfree
FORT VALLEY, Georgia (June 24)
-- Today President Paul Jones accepted the resignation of Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Joshua Murfree.

"We are most appreciative of his accomplishments and loyalty to the institution and department during his tenure, and his upbeat personality and positive attitude will be missed," Jones said.

"Moving forward, we look to not only build upon the strong athletic success the teams have had in competition over the past few years, but also to placing major emphasis on compliance and fundraising," he said. "It is vital to Fort Valley State's infrastructure that our student athletes not only win on the field, in the classroom and in life after athletics, but also that we attract funding for scholarships that support our students in their academic degree pursuit(s)."

The university will name an acting athletics director within the next few days and will immediately begin a search for a permanent replacement as well. Dr. Murfree will remain at the institution until the end of July to assist with the transition.

Please join us in thanking Dr. Murfree and wishing him well in all of his future endeavors.

WVSU Drops 'Interim' Tag From Nate Burton's Athletic Director Title

Nate Burton 
INSTITUTE, West Virginia -- Nate Burton now owns a more streamlined job title — and Burton couldn’t be happier.

Outgoing West Virginia State President Brian Hemphill, who becomes the new president at Radford University in July, removed the “interim” tag from Burton’s role as the Yellow Jackets’ athletic director. The Charleston Catholic graduate is now WVSU’s full-fledged AD.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “It truly is amazing to be part of this athletic department. I’m honored, I’m humbled and I’m just grateful for the opportunity.”

State named Burton, who came to WVSU as the school’s director of development in September 2014, interim AD in January, after then-AD Sean Loyd stepped down to focus his energies as the Yellow Jackets’ head baseball coach. Loyd had been West Virginia State’s athletic director since 2008.

In the short term, Burton said he’d like to see each of State’s student-athletes carry at least a 3.0 grade-point average, to positively impact the surrounding community, and to compete for Mountain East Conference and NCAA titles.


Looking at Week One of FCS versus FBS in 2016

HOUSTON, Texas  -- As has become tradition in the first week of college football, many FBS teams will start their campaign at home with a money game against FCS teams.

Last season, we divided all 107 FCS vs FBS games into five tiers. The results were interesting with at least one upset from each tier. Here's the five tiers

Tier 1 - Very Possible.
Tier 2 - Eyebrow Raiser
Tier 3 - If The Ball Bounces Right
Tier 4 - Doubtful But Possible
Tier 5 - Good Grief.

This season, the number of FCS vs FBS games is at 110. So instead of putting all of those into tiers, we're gonna break it down into sections with individual game analysis. For now, we'll look at the 46 such contests of Week 1.

Hampton at Old Dominion - The battle of the 757 returns. The Pirates could give the Monarchs fits. Tier 3

Alabama State at UTSA - The Roadrunners are bringing in a new coach in Frank Wilson, but this shouldn't be too difficult. Tier 4


Former Alcorn State WR Tollette George killed in New Orleans

Tollette George
Tonka graduated from Alcorn in May 2016 and was a member of the Braves football team for five years.

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana – Former Alcorn State wide receiver Tollette George was shot and killed late Friday night in New Orleans.

George reportedly lived near where the shooting took place in Algiers. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported George’s family said he was the second fatal shooting victim in Algiers on Friday. On Saturday morning, the SWAC released a statement on George’s death.

George, also known as “Tonka,” finished his Alcorn career in 2015 after catching 22 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns. In the inaugural Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, George had six catches for 63 yards two touchdowns (one receiving and one passing). He played five years for the Braves and led the team in receptions in 2013. He graduated from Alcorn in May.

Below is a press release from the New Orleans Police Department:


XU legend Janice Joseph to enter state hall of fame

NEW ORLEANS — Janice Joseph-Richard will be inducted posthumously Saturday into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame for a variety of accomplishments, but none more impressive than her brilliant coaching tenure with Xavier University of Louisiana women's basketball.

Six seasons (1992-98), 159 victories, 34 losses, 26.5 victories per season and a winning percentage of .824. Those are the basics, and they are outstanding. But dig deeper into the numbers, and these gems emerge:

• Her final five teams won Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament championships.
• She won her final 38 games at The Barn and her final 28 games against GCAC opponents.
• Her final XU team (1997-98) was the first of two GCAC teams to win all 18 regular-season conference games, then three straight in the tournament. The Gold Nuggets' average winning margin in those 21 games that season was 24.5 points. There were no single-digit victories, and there were six decisions of 30 or more points. The other GCAC team to make the 18-0, 3-0 run — the XU women of 2009-10 — won by an average of 13.5 points.

• She is the only GCAC basketball coach to win in the first round four consecutive years at the NAIA Division I National Championship.

Known as Janice Joseph during her XU tenure, she departed the school in the spring of 1998 to marry for the second time. She then returned to coaching a year later at San Jose State where she jump-started a perennially losing program. After leaving the Spartans because of her health — she was diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer of 2006 — she resurfaced a year later at her alma mater, Louisiana College, where she coached three more seasons, including a 24-3 record in her final season, 2009-10.

Joseph-Richard died Dec. 1, 2010, at age 46 after her lengthy cancer battle. Her 16-year record as a collegiate head coach was 307-163.

As a player at Louisiana College, Joseph-Richard was an American Women's Sports Federation two-time first-team NAIA All-American and was All-GCAC four times, the last three unanimously. She collected more than 2,300 points and 700 assists at LC and as a senior (1985-86) set the GCAC season record of 283 assists. She led the GCAC in scoring and assists each of her final two seasons. Her final season she led the Lady Wildcats to third place in the NAIA Division I National Championship.

Ten other new members will be inducted Saturday. The banquet, which is sold out, will start at 6 p.m. at the Natchitoches Events Center, 243 miles northwest of the XU campus.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Savannah State Student Heads to 2016 Olympics

This is a video that was conducted by a group of students from the SSU Media High summer camp and it is about Burkina Faso's Olympic swimmer Thierry Sawadogo

SAVANNAH, Georgia -- Savannah State Student Thierry Sawadogo is heading to the 2016 Olympics being held in Rio De Janero, Brazil later this summer.

The freshman athlete will be competing in swimming for Burkina Faso, a small country in West Africa.

“Here in America from 10 months ago I’ve improved my spots with my coach Joe Witt,” says Sawadogo.

According to SSU Assistant Athletic Director of Media Relations Opio Mashariki, Sawadogo is not the first Olympian to come from SSU.

Former student Pa Modou Gai represented Gambia in the 2000 Olympic games in track and field. Former student Amara Jones represented the Bahamas in the 2012 Olympics in track and field also.

Due to SSU not having a swim team or an Olympic pool, Sawadogo has been training with the Savannah Swim Team at the Chatham County Aquatic Center.

“It is a bit hard for my parents to help me because I am here for my studies and my sport so it costs a lot of money, I’d like to get some help like a scholarship,” he said.

Athletic Director Sterling Steward says “budgets” are the primary reason why SSU and other schools in the MEAC fail to have swim teams.

Despite the obstacles, Sawadogo remains hopeful in competing this summer and for his future.

“Its more of a big experience for me, I’m still a young swimmer my level is not like the big swimmers of the world,” says Sawadogo.

Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps who will be competing in his last Olympics is one swimmer Sawadogo looks up to.

“I met him in Barcelona of 2013, I took a picture with him,” he said.

Some students although unaware that a SSU student was competing in the Olympics, are excited for what this could mean for their school.

Student Malaysia Bacon says, “ We already have enough different students receiving various accolades, and helping build the name of the university, so for one of our students to be going to the Olympics, that’s great.”

She goes on to say, “ They are just building more exposure for our school so one day we’ll be up there with Duke or something.”

Sawadogo will be leaving in late July for the Olympics and will not return until October just in time to pick up mini semesters for the fall semester.

By Asha Gilbert

Battle of the Bands return to Memorial Stadium in August 2016

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina -- One of the biggest black-college band competitions in the Southeast is coming back to Charlotte.

The fourth annual black college band showcase will take the field August 27 at Memorial Stadium. The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $15 in advance and $20 on Saturday. Advance tickets can be bought at or by calling 1-888-547-6478.

On football Saturdays, HBCU football games give way to the halftime pageantry of bands, which show off intricate marching styles, musicianship and choreography. At Battle of the Bands, the entire program is devoted to elaborate shows, which encourage crowd participation.

North Carolina schools committed to participate are N.C. A&T State, Winston-Salem State and N.C. Central universities. Tennessee State and Bethune-Cookman universities have been confirmed, as has Talladega College, a perennial crowd favorite.

HBCU bands in North Carolina can be traced to A&T, which formed its first ensemble in 1918 with 50 musicians. They are known for their integration of intricate marching formations and cadences that set them apart from the military corps-style processions typically executed at historically white schools.


Decatur's Godwin will continue hoops career at UMES

BERLIN, Maryland -- It always seemed certain that Dayona Godwin would play college basketball.

The question was, where would she play?

The dynamic guard decided earlier this week to accept an academic scholarship to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Stephen Decatur High’s all-time leading girls scorer will play Division I college basketball and she’ll stay on the Lower Shore to do it.

Godwin, who had a 3.75 GPA at Decatur, said she will study criminal justice at UMES.

“It felt like a great fit from the start,” Godwin said. “I would go to some of the open gyms and I could just connect with girls like we have been playing together for years. Another reason is when I went on campus the first time, I liked the atmosphere and instantly felt like I was a part of the family.”

And, with UMES being just a 35-mile ride away from Decatur, Godwin’s family, friends and fans will be able to see her play in maroon and gray fairly often.


Big Man on Campus: Laron Smith Ready for Basketball Block Party

AUBURN, Alabama - It has the opportunity to be a match made in hoops heaven.

A basketball coach, Bruce Pearl, in need of a big man to block shots and rebound.

A student-athlete, LaRon Smith, in need of an opportunity to display his talents to a larger audience.

"When I came here, Coach Pearl said he needed a shot blocker," Smith says. "A person who could rebound, run the floor. Those are my specialties. So, he's going to put me where I'm comfortable at this level, so now I can showcase what I was doing at the past levels, on the highest level."

But not everyone believed Auburn would be the best fit for Smith, a 6-foot-9 graduate transfer from Bethune-Cookman.

"When I said I was considering Auburn, a lot of people said, `Oh, you're going to play backup to the other bigs. You're not ready for that level. It's a whole different type of competition. I don't know if you want to go there and fail. It's your last year.'


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Legendary JSU Golf Coach Eddie Payton Retires

JACKSON, Mississippi -- Eddie Payton, Jackson State University's head golf coach, has retired from the position after leading the Tigers and Lady Tigers programs for 30 years.

During his tenure the trailblazing men's golf team won 25 conference championships and eight National Minority titles. In 1995 the Tigers made history by becoming the first HBCU to compete in the NCAA Men's National Golf Championships.

"Following my professional football career, it was an honor and privilege to return to my alma mater as head golf coach," said Payton. "It was an opportunity for me to give back to the University that had given me so much."

Payton helped start the women's golf program in 1994 and the Lady Tigers went on to win 16 SWAC titles. The Lady Tigers program also holds a special place in history by becoming the first women's team from an HBCU to compete in the NCAA National Golf Championship in 1999.

"My goal when I returned to coach golf at JSU, was to win a National Title. Unfortunately we came up short. But it was not from a lack of trying."

90 percent of Payton's golfers graduated and program has received the NCAA's Public Recognition Award three times (men's golf in 2013-14 and women's golf in 2009-10 and 2010-11).

Tim O'Neal, AJ Montecinos, Shasta Averyhardt and Clay Myers are some of the standouts who went on to have professional golf careers during Payton's tenure.

Payton's retirement begins July 1. Jackson State will hold an official retirement party for Payton at a later date.


XULA's Cassiere earns 2 CoSIDA district firsts for writing

NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana's Ed Cassiere has received two more awards for his work, this time in the College Sports Information Directors of America Fred Stabley Jr. Writing Contest.
Cassiere received first place in District 6 (Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas) in the categories of event and season preview/recap. The event was a women's tennis dual match against Oklahoma Baptist in the second round of the 2015 NAIA National Championship. The other winner was a men's basketball preview of the 2015-16 season.
Of the 59 district-winning entries nationwide, Cassiere was the only one from a Louisiana school, and he was the only NAIA entrant with more than one victory. CoSIDA's writing contest includes entries from the NAIA, all three NCAA divisions and community colleges.
Cassiere this past week received second place in the NAIA for website and seventh place in winter publications.
Cassiere in July will begin his 11th year as Xavier's SID and his 25th as a fulltime college sports publicist. The Shreveport, La., native previously worked at the University of New Orleans and at Louisiana-Lafayette.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

MEAC Football Press Luncheon Kicks Off July 29

NORFOLK, Virginia -- The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) will host the annual Football Press Luncheon, Friday, July 29 at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott Hotel (235 E. Main Street, Norfolk, VA 23510/ (757) 627-4200).  MEAC head football coaches and two student-athletes from each team will be on hand to offer an inside view on the upcoming 2016 football season. 

A limited number of tickets are available to the public for the press luncheon and can be purchased by calling Natiara Satsatin at (757) 951-2055 or  Tickets are $30 per seat or $300 per table (10 persons) and must be purchased by 5:30 p.m. on Friday, July 22. 

Media members may obtain a credential for the luncheon and/or one-on-one interviews by completing an application found on  One-on-one interviews will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m.

The 2016 MEAC football season kicks off on Thursday, September 1 as Delaware State visits Delaware in a non-conference game.

Bethune-Cookman will compete against Alcorn State in the 12th annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge also on Labor Day Weekend, Sunday, September 4.  Details and ticket information can be found on

For more information about the MEAC, log on to

Click the link to access the credential application:

Click the link to purchase tickets:

Southern Heritage Classic tickets on sale Friday for JSU, TSU showdown

MEMPHIS, Tennessee -- Are you ready for some football?

Tickets to the 27th Southern Heritage Classic presented by FedEx went on sale June 10th. More than 50,000 fans from Jackson State University and Tennessee State University will gather Sept. 8-10 in the River City to witness a lively longstanding football rivalry.

Even if you’re not a football fanatic, there will be a plethora of exciting entertainment that includes a parade, fashion show, golf tournament and not one but two star-studded concerts. Of course, there will be plenty of tailgating.

“The Fun Never Stops” is the theme for 2016, and no one has more fun than JSU Tigers and supporters. Many look forward to the Southern Heritage Classic, and founder Fred Jones is no different.

“We hope to repeat the nice weather of last year and bring out, even more, fans. The classic is dedicated to presenting quality events that allow people to enjoy themselves while supporting these two wonderful universities and the local economy. It’s not uncommon for some of the events to sell out, so the earlier individuals purchase their tickets the better,” Jones said.

Tickets can be purchased at Jackson State Athletics Ticket Office at 601-979-2420;; and Ticketmaster outlets at


The JSU vs. TSU football game weekend is one of the most thrilling productions of the year.

Sept. 8: Attendees will be treated to the Grammy Award-winning vocals of Stephanie Mills and comedian Jammin Jay Lamont. The concert will be at the Orpheum Theatre at 8 p.m.

Sept. 9: Everyone should slide into his or her best all-white apparel and join the funky R&B band MAZE featuring Frankie Beverly for the Classic Music Festival’s “All White Friday” at the Landers Center at 8 p.m. Neo-soul artist KEM will also hit the stage, and Jammin Jay Lamont returns as host.

Sept. 10: JSU and TSU supporters will swarm the parking lot of Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium for one of the most monumental tailgating enterprises ever held in the soulful South. Expect cool giveaways from classic sponsors, in addition to vast quantities of food and an endless supply of enjoyment and camaraderie.

The climax begins at 6 p.m. when JSU and TSU face off to determine the “baddest” football team in the land. Expect a routinely amazing halftime performance from the No. 1 ranked HBCU Band for 2015 — JSU’s Sonic Boom of the South followed by TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands. After the game, the highly anticipated and fiery battle of the bands will bring the evening to a close. For those who still have energy, Memphis nightlife is always ready to shake things up.


The host hotel for 2016 is the Sheraton Memphis Downtown. For a listing of other suggested hotels, visit


The Southern Heritage Classic (SHC) provides an annual cultural celebration as the premier sports and entertainment event in Memphis, helping to create a strong economic impact and promote higher education. Each year, the teams’ participation allows them to earn dollars to support their institutions of higher learning. Since the classic began in 1990, JSU and TSU have earned more than $10 million collectively. Students, alumni, and fans see the importance of the classic and don’t mind coming year after year to support the event while enjoying themselves. It’s also become a welcomed tradition for many people who make the classic a part of their family reunion, class reunions, and other important gatherings. Additionally, the classic brings tourism dollars to Memphis. A 2014 study conducted by the University of Memphis revealed that each year $21 million is pumped into the local economy.


SHC is sponsored by FedEx and other major supporters such as AutoZone, Allstate Insurance, Nike, Carrier Corporation, Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office and Coors Light.

Jones said he considers it a blessing to be able to host the event each year.

“I don’t take the success the classic has had lightly. Jackson State and Tennessee State are wonderful schools to work with, and we are all grateful for the dedicated individuals who return to Memphis year after year and bring new friends with them. I appreciate their support,” he said.

SWAC Coach of the Year Domond resigns as GSU women's hoops coach

GRAMBLING, Louisiana -- The 2016 Southwestern Athletic Conference Coach of the Year won't be on the sidelines for Grambling in 2017.

Nadine Domond has resigned from her post as Grambling women's basketball coach after just two seasons and is expected to join the staff at Rutgers as an assistant coach.

Domond submitted her resignation letter June 17, according to HBCU Sports, which came about six weeks before her contract was set to expire. Domond and men's coach Shawn Walker both agreed to one-year, $120,000 deals last year that run through July 29, 2016. Grambling, which is without a permanent athletic director, had yet to approach Domond or Walker about new contracts.

HBCU Sports first reported the news Thursday.

For a coach who always mentioned changing the culture at Grambling and starting a rebirth of the Lady Tigers' program, Domond leaves on a high note after orchestrating a noteworthy turnaround in 2016. Domond gets a chance to reunite with her mentor at Rutgers in Vivian Stringer, who coached Domond at Iowa in the 1990s.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Taking the FAMU Marching 100 to new acclaim

Dr. Shelby Chipman
Florida A&M University Marching 100
Miami native Shelby Chipman named director

MIAMI, Florida -- The announcement caught some fans by surprise. But the alumni of Florida A&M’s famed Marching 100 say the selection of Shelby Chipman as the new director is more than music to their ears.

Chipman, a Miami native and longtime musician, has taken the reigns as head of the uber popular band. He becomes just the fourth director in the band’s modern history, following in the footsteps of legends William P. Foster and Julian White. And, he also is the first South Floridian to lead that prestigious program.

Chipman’s first on-field performance will be Labor Day weekend in South Florida when the FAMU Rattlers will face the University of Miami Hurricanes. But even before that, Chipman will return home late July to help groom another generation of budding bandsmen at the annual band camp, sponsored by the Black Archives History & Research Foundation of South Florida.

And South Florida band heads already are savoring the idea of seeing the Chipman-led Marching 100.

“We’re getting lots of calls … with Dr. Chipman having been a student in the band. Alumni are excited,” said Miranda Albury, an alumna who operates the HBCU Shuttle transportation service. “When they come to Miami the stands are going to be filled.”


FAMU Marching "100" Summer Band Camp 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- The Marching “100” Summer Band Camp is one of the most comprehensive band camps in the country. This band camp offers middle and high school students the opportunity to improve their music proficiency, improve their marching concepts, play in small chamber groups as well as perform solo/ensembles. We have an excellent auxiliary staff that instructs our color guard, dancers, twirlers and drum majors.

Be a part of the internationally famous Florida A&M University Marching Band Programs for grade levels 9th-12th. A special invitation is extended to middle school students who will be entering a high school band in the fall 2016. Emphasis is placed on developing music and marching skill.

Learn from the FAMU band staff, alumni and visiting directors. Over 100 of the band's present members have volunteered their time and effort in order to make this the best summer band camp in the country!

July 09 - 16, 2016
Deposit Due:
June 24, 2016 ($100.00) non-refundable per student
Balance Due: June 24, 2016
Refunds/Cancellation Deadline: June 24, 2016 (No refunds after June 24, 2016)
Registration Deadline:
June 24, 2016


Group Registrations: Please contact Eric Williams at 850-599-3474 or .
No on-site registration

Registration and on-line full or partial payments are available by using VISA or MasterCard debit or credit cards only.