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The Charlotte Post Blog

Friday, December 12, 2014
Sports news and notes, 12/12

Former Alabama State football coach Reggie Barlow is not going away quietly. Barlow was released two weeks ago despite signing a contract extension during the summer. Barlow, who was the lowest paid SWAC coach before the extension despite five straight winning seasons, went to the local TV station to air his grievances. His attorney said they will give the university 30 days to change course or they plan to file a lawsuit. Barlow said he was waiting to hear back from ASU President Gwendolyn Boyd. Good luck with that. UPDATE: The Montgomery Advertiser this week quotes board chairman Locy Baker as saying that the university doesn’t have the money to hire a top-level candidate. Then why didn’t they keep the qualified one they had?

Follow the leader. Bethune-Cookman 1959 graduate Franklin Beckwith donated $60,000 to his alma mater. He is one of several alumni to give back. Trustee Joe Petrock bequeathed $1 million, some former students also donated $1 million, and alumnus Harold Lucas Jr. gave $100,000 last year.

Coaching vacancies. The list is down to five: Florida A&M, Norfolk State, Lane College, Alabama State and Benedict. St. Augustine’s made Michael Morand permanent head coach Friday.  According to footballscoop.com, Florida A&M has narrowed its field to eight and will trim that down to three by next week. The eight are: former Louisiana-Monroe head coach Charlie Weatherbie, former Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips, Alcorn State offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Willie Simmons, Florida A&M interim head coach Corey Fuller, Virginia State head coach Latrell Scott, former Central State head coach Ester Junior III, Prairie View offensive coordinator Mark Orlando and former Southeast Missouri State head coach Tony Samuel. Scott appears to be a particular hot candidate right now. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Norfolk State has asked permission to discuss its vacancy with him.


Posted by: Managing Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, December 11, 2014
What people are talking about - 12/12

As a gesture of good will and appreciation, the Wake County school board voted to give a one-time $1,250 bonus to school support staff, i.e. bus drivers, cafeteria workers, custodians, teacher assistants and secretaries. Considering most if not all of these positions did not receive raises by the General Assembly, it’s a worthy gesture. Timing couldn’t be any better either with Christmas approaching.

• In the No Surprise department, Gov. Pat McCrory joined other governors in a lawsuit that challenges President Obama’s presidential power on immigration law. President Obama last month bypassed Congress to legalize approximately 5 million illegal immigrants. “The president has exceeded the balance of power provisions clearly laid out in the U.S. Constitution and his unilateral expansion of power must be challenged,” McCrory said.

• And speaking of, McCrory has appointed Chief District Judge R Gregory Horne replace retiring Senior Resident Superior Court Judge C. Philip Ginn in District 24. Ginn will retire at the end of the month. District 24 covers Madison, Yancey, Mitchell, Avery and Watauga counties.


Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Christmas Grinch

The Christmas Grinches have started early. Employees of the Denver Post recently contacted Liberty Counsel after receiving a memo banning them from writing or using cards that say “Merry Christmas.” Really?

Newspaper carriers were provided Holiday Cards to give out instead and threatened with firing for using any others. In case those Scrooges forgot, Christmas is a federal holiday. Each season Liberty Counsel publishes a Naughty and Nice list on retailers who either censor or recognize Christmas. See list here at www.lc.org/index.cfm?PID=17981, which will be updated regularly.


Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
MEAC Tiebreaker

The MEAC has released its tiebreaker format for this weekend. Read here.

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Saturday, November 15, 2014
CIAA championship game

Beautiful day for football. Winton-Salem State side is packed with a sea of red. Virginia State has a nice crowd but folks are still coming in or tailgating outside. Was told over 40 members of media are here. All I care about is I'm inside where it's warm.The last time the game was at Durham County Stadium, a blow occurred between former commissioner Leon Kerry and a couple of the presidents. Kerry was fired the following week.

Touchdown Trojans! Defensive back Dontrell Jones picks up fumble by Mustafa Greene and returns it 64 yds for score. VSU leads 7-0 wth 10:05 left in first quarter.

Durham County Stadium is not big enough for this game. Folks are on top of folks. The coaches on both teams are in booths. Last time they were outside and it wasn't pretty. Fans didn't hesitate to let them know what kind of job they were doing. And of course we have the Commissioner's box.

Virginia State fans have the advantage. They are sitting on the sunny side. Rams folks are bundled up, but loud.

Trojans are moving the ball wee on second possession of game. At the WSSU 41. Trojans have used up almost the entire first quarter. Now at Rams 25.Kavon Bellamy went out after a great leaping catch but fell on the ball and had the wind knocked out of him.

End of 1st quarter - 7-0 Trojans lead and threatening again

Oh yeah, Trojans are starting a freshman QB Niko Johnson because starting sophomore QB Tarian Ayres was suspended for allegedly driving under the influence and being underage drinker. Trojans have 15 plays so far in this drive. Johnson runs for the end zone but fumbles. Elder Hudson III recovers fumble for VSU in end zone. Trojans lead 14-0 with 12:55 left in 1st half.

Rams playing like they've never been in the title game before right now. QBs overthrowing receivers, fumbling the ball. Trojans are fired up.

Trojans on the move again. Johnson hasn't missed in hitting his receivers. Rams fans in shock.

Trojans go for it on 4th-and-2 at Rams 22 but are denied. Will this wake up the Rams? 4:15 left in the first half.

Touchdown Rams! Phil Sims throws a 38-yd pass to Eric Williams. That 4th-down stop did fire up the Rams. Instead of 17-0 or 21-0, it's 14-7 with 1:18 left in half.

Now it's the Rams turn to be fired up. But neither team can score again. End of first half. 

Virginia State band is on the field. Enough horse hair out there to start a horse farm. Ladies and gentlemen, we had a wardrobe malfunction ala Janet Jackson.  Of course a man in the press box up here noticed it first.

Members of the media are still upset over the snub from the football banquet. We were not allowed in for the first time ever. Expect to hear more about that.

And we're off in the second half. Debate's been going on if two CIAA teams will get in if Trojans win. Or does the winner take all. Personally, I can't see the Rams not getting a shot based on reputation alone, and that's how a lot of the white schools get a berth.

VSU RB Kavon Bellamy fumbles and Rams recover at the Trojans 26. 9:56 left in 3rd quarter.

Rudy Johnson returns the favor and fumbles. Ray Prosise recovers. Trojans at own 14. Rams defense holds.

WSSU defensive lineman Jac'Que Polite is down with 6:02 left in third. Is helped off the field.

Rams and Trojans defenses have taken center stage. 3 minutes left in 3rd and no score so far from either team.

End of 3rd quarter. Still 14-7, which I'm sure is just fine with Trojans. Great crowd at Durham County Stadium. 

Bad punt has Rams at VSU 28. Tyree Massey runs 11 yards to 16. Someone mentioned that dreaded word: OVERTIME. NOOOOO! Touchdown Rams! Sims hits Brendan Felder for 20 yards. And we're tied at 14 all. What a game! You always want these type of games on national TV. Best recruiting tool  there is.

Trojans fumble the ball! Conor O'Neal recovers for WSSU.  Rams at VSU 30 with 11:11 left in game. WSSU gets first down. At the 19. Rams fumble but get the ball back. Mustafa Greene gives WSSU first down at 9. 8:07 left.

Daryl Simmons just got a big sack on Sims. Rams forced for 29-yard FG. Makes it. Leads 17-14.

Trojans driving. Johnson just threw a beautiful 38-yard pass to Kavon Bellamy. VSU at Rams 31. Touchdown Trojans! Johnson runs 25 yards for TD with 3 minutes left. 21-7 Trojans lead.

Rams start at own 29. In hurry-up offense. Sims runs ball at VSU 44 with 1:31 left. 4th and 11 at VSU 46. 43.3 seconds left. This is it for the Rams.

A new CIAA champion will be crowned.  35.9 seconds left and VSU has ball.

I've never seen a bunch of people exit a game like those Rams. it took all of 3 seconds to clear their side. Rams players are inconsolable. Niko Johnson was named game's MVP.  Tarian Ayres just may have dranked himself out of a starting job next season. Johnson was 12 of 19 for 128 yards, no TDs and no INTs. Johnson was also the game's leading rushing with 76 yards.

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Sports news & notes 11/13

SWAC basketball will have 11 televised games this season. Beginning tomorrow (Friday) at 11 a.m., Grambling State women take on Old Miss on the SEC Network. Then the men of Mississippi Valley State travel to Indian for a Big Ten Network telecast at 6 p.m., and Alcorn State brings up the rear with a 9 p.m. slot at California on the PAC-12 Network.

Although not televised, Jackson State men come to Raleigh Friday night to take on NC State. It appears the Wolfpack didn’t want to risk another matchup with N.C. Central after being upset by the Eagles last season in overtime.

• Is there any place TMZ is not? A video released by TMZ Sports this week got Bowie State volunteer football coach Charles Grant fired. Grant was shown body-slamming a student to the floor in the school’s gym and then shoving him into the bleachers. Goodbye.

• Prairie View A&M will face Texas Tech in the first round of the NCAA Soccer Tournament Friday at 7 p.m. Although Howard won the SWAC division title, it is ineligible for postseason play in its first season in the SWAC. PVAM is the runner-up. Not a good sign for a conference when a newbie from another conference comes in and wins the division title the first season.

• The SIAC was informed last month that the NCAA had inadvertently missed five games in counting the conference’s total football attendance for the 2013 season. After the adjustment, the conference wins the top Division II football attendance title for the 11th straight season and 22 of the past 24 years.

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Friday, October 17, 2014
Scam Alert

The scammers are at it again.

Banking on Ebola fears, scam artists are touting products from silver to herbal oils to snake venom as a cure or to prevent Ebola. Of course, none of it is true, but these people know how to capitalize on fear. Both the Federal Trade Commission and Food and Drug Administration have denounced the “cures.” There are NO FDA-approved vaccines or drugs to treat Ebola. None. Nada. Got it?

Second scam: The N.C. Attorney General is warning residents to hang up if you get a call from someone claiming to be from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Scammers are pretending to be Treasury officials to trick victims into sending prepaid debit cards to pay unpaid federal taxes. Seven hundred complaints have been filed so far.


Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Friday, October 10, 2014
Sports news & notes 10/10

After a two-year hiatus, the Labor Day Classic returns to Norfolk, Virginia, in 2016. The game pits Norfolk State against a CIAA squad. The classic was cancelled the past two seasons due to NCAA rules regarding the later start of Division II football.

“I am extremely happy to be able to finalize arrangements to return the Labor Day Classic to Dick Price Stadium,” Athletics Director Marty L. Miller said. “This is a winner for all of our programs, student-athletes and fans.”

The Spartans host Elizabeth City State Sept. 3, 2016; and Virginia State in 2017 and ’18.

• Maryland Eastern Shore will bring back alumni for a weekend of events beginning Oct. 17. Former student-athletes from men’s and women’s basketball, and baseball will bring back their game to show off during Hawk Hysteria and Hawktoberfest. Volleyball begins Oct. 17 at 6 p.m., followed by basketball. On Oct. 18, the baseball team will host its annual alumni game at Hawks Stadium. Alumni will battle the current 2014-15 squad for bragging rights. Any alumni interested in participating should contact Stan Bradley at (410) 651-6499 or email gsbradley@umes.edu.

• Hampton defensive coordinator Kenny Phillips is taking an indefinite leave of absence for personal reasons. Tremayne Henry will fill in on an interim basis. Phillips joined the Pirates and reunited with coach Connell Maynor after serving as head coach 13 years at Fayetteville State. Henry was recently released as St. Augustine’s defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator.

• Game of the Week: Aspire will broadcast the 79th Annual Tuskegee Morehouse Classic live Saturday at 5 p.m.

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Friday, October 3, 2014
CIAA Basketball Luncheon - 10/2/14

Leave it to Jacques Curtis to get the party rolling at Thursday’s CIAA basketball media day. The Shaw women’s basketball coach was saying how much harder it is to win year in and year out. “We got beat by some people last year that we didn’t want to get beat by,” he said. And then the kicker: “Not by Steve, though.” The room at the Charlotte Convention Center roared with laughter and probably some embarrassment for Steve Joyner Jr., whom Curtis was referring to. Joyner Jr. has yet to defeat Shaw as a head coach at Winston-Salem State and now at Johnson C. Smith. Vintage Curtis stuff.

Curtis also had to be a bit miffed that the Bears were picked to finish second in the South behind Fayetteville State. SECOND! Yes, I hear the Broncos are loaded but they’ve been loaded before and bombed at the CIAA tournament. A four-time defending champ shouldn’t play second fiddle to anyone until they are dethroned – even if it is my “good friend” (cough, cough) Curtis.

• New Livingstone women’s coach Anita Howard helped Shaw win a couple of those titles. After turning around a dismal program at Salem College, Howard has an equally tough job at LC. “I’m not going to let you outwork me in the field and I’m not going to let you outwork me on the court,” she said. “We are going to build a championship team.” I believe her.

• St. Augustine’s women’s coach Rachel Bullard said the past week has been a tough one for the campus after the untimely death of football player Matthew Mangram. Bullard said many of her players arrived on campus in the same class as Mangram and were quite upset. It’s also put some things in perspective. “When you lose somebody, it puts into perspective how precious we are, and we need to let the small stuff go,” she said. “We get caught so much in the rut of things and the foolishness.”

• St. Aug’s new men’s coach MarQus Johnson said he didn’t know what type of offense he was going to have, but he did have one goal. “Hopefully, we can win the GPA award,” he said to laughter. “We got to win something.”

Read more in my column next week.



Women’s Southern Division

Women’s Northern Division

1. Fayetteville State

1. Virginia State

2. Shaw

2. Virginia Union

3. Winston-Salem State

3. Lincoln

4. Johnson C. Smith

4. Bowie State

5. Saint Augustine's

5. Chowan

6. Livingstone

6. Elizabeth City State


Men’s Southern Division

Men’s Northern Division

1. Livingstone

1. Bowie State

2. Winston-Salem State

2. Lincoln

3. Fayetteville State

3. Virginia State

4. Johnson C. Smith

4. Virginia Union

5. Shaw

5. Elizabeth City State

6. Saint Augustine’s

6. Chowan

2014 Preseason All-CIAA Team






Donia Naylor



Alisha Mabley



Jadda Jefferies



Deja Middleton



Ashley Porter



Cierra York



Zephrah Pam



Regime McCombs



Tiffanie Adair



Jessica Lyons



Ashle Freeman



Dionna Scott







Andre Jackson



Miykael Faulcon 



Darrell Ward



Joshua Dawson



Emilio Parks



Eric DuBose



Eric Mayo



Larry Richardson



Alphonso Leary



Ray Anderson



Wykevin Baxemore



Marquez Jones




Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, September 18, 2014
What people are talking about - 9/19

You mean something else besides the NFL?

According to the social network WalletHub, North Carolina is the 10th worst state to have a baby. With No. 1 being the best and No. 25 just average, here are the reasons why:

• 16th in hospital cesarean delivery charges

• 14th in hospital conventional delivery charges

• 29th in average annual infant care costs

• 36th in infant death rate

• 42nd in low birth weight

• 21st in number of midwives and OB-GYNs per capita

• 26th in access to pediatric services

• 18th in number of child centers per capita

• 23rd in parental leave policy score

Yeah, pretty pitiful, eh?

A Raleigh task force has submitted its recommendations for the city’s sign ordinance:

Windows: Allow up to 50 percent of the windows per floor per building to be used for signage. That’s an increase from the 30 percent maximum currently allowed.

Vehicles: Signs may not be located within 40 feet of the right-of-way unless screened. Box trucks or tractor-trailers with vehicular signage must be located at least 100 feet from the right-of-way.

String lighting: Prohibit within 100 feet of a residential district.

Governor Pat McCrory Thursday signed legislation that now makes it a felony for giving a prisoner a cellphone. Previously the offense was just a misdemeanor.

And finally, in the no-brainer department, a Rutgers research project recently published that a wife’s happiness is more critical to a marriage’s success than the husband’s. “Happy wife, happy life” is a popular phrase, but I prefer “If mama ain’t happy, nobody is happy.”


Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Sports news & notes 9/13

Reality TV has come to Alabama State Mighty Marching Hornets Band. The band will premiere in its own series called “Bama State Style” next January on A&E Network. Band director James Oliver said the show will be family-based. In other words, no Housewives of Atlanta, Los Angeles, Transylvania or any other city.

“I’ve never seen a band be put on national TV,” senior Bruce McDonald said in the Montgomery Advertiser. “It’s a blessing, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be in a band like this.”

Whether you’re a band fan or not, everybody knows you don’t get up at halftime to go to the concessions at a game. You do that DURING the game and wait for the bands.

• The SWAC begins its Mobile Marketing Tour this weekend at Alabama State U. The three-month campaign is to promote the Toyota SWAC Football Championship in December. A SWAC Toyota Highlander will visit several schools with prizes, music and tickets to the game. “SWAC fans are some of the most loyal fans across the HBCU athletic world,” Commissioner Duer Sharp said. “Our goal for the tour this year is to bring the news, information, excitement, and opportunity to the fans and provide them a sneak peak for what is schedule to take place on Dec. 6 at NRG Stadium.” Visit www.swacfootball.org.

• The classic 1999 Gold Coast matchup between Grambling State and Winston-Salem State will be rebroadcast Saturday at 6 p.m. on the ASPIRE network as part of its HBCU Playback Game of the Week. That Magic Johnson’s network in case you didn’t know. ASPIRE is broadcasting 11 HBCU games this season. Next Saturday (Sept. 10) is the Rams vs. Tuskegee live at 6 p.m. That should be a doozy. Now, if only more of us could get the network.

And speaking of TV games, Sept. 20’s matchup between Morgan State and Howard in the New York Urban League Classic will be broadcast live on ESPN3 at 4 p.m. and tape-delayed at 10 p.m. on ESPNU.


Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Sports news & notes 8/30

Former Jackson State women’s basketball coach Denise Taylor got the last laugh on the university. Taylor was awarded $200,000 by a district court judge for having her privacy violated after JSU released details of her personnel record to the local media. Taylor, who was released in 2011, had previously won a $180,000 breach of contract award in December following a two-year wrongful termination lawsuit against the university.

• Former Morgan State lineman Karim Barton is now a Brown. Barton was picked up off waivers after being released by the Eagles during the preseason.

• Not to be outdone by all the guys playing overseas, former Hampton standouts Alyssa Bennett and Nicole Hamilton signed pro contracts last week. Bennett will play for Division I Waregem in Belgium, while Hamilton signed with the CS Phoeni Galati in Romania. (Isn’t that Dracula’s hometown?)

• The CIAA is holding a press conference Wed. (Sept. 3) with other Charlotte city officials to discuss the new partnership between the city and the conference. Some of it we already know: a 6-year tourney renewal. However, sources say the rumor that the first couple of days of the tourney will be played at Bojangles Coliseum has been pushed back to 2016. We shall see.

• The honors keep on falling for N.C. Central men’s basketball coach LeVelle Moton. The city of Raleigh has proclaimed Sept. 2 as LeVelle Moton Day, although I’d like to know what took so long. Also on that day, the NCCU Alumni Association will host a book signing at the campus Student Union at 7:30 p.m. A book signing tour with Moton and co-writer Edward Robinson is also in the works.



Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Fathers Forever - 8/22

Read the latest from our guest blog from Fathers Forever, here.

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, July 31, 2014
What people are talking about 7/31

We knew that MBA programs don’t come cheap, but six figures? According to Poets and Quants, Duke University’s Global Executive MBA program is the seventh most expensive in the world at $166,000 for 15 months. Not to mention an additional $2,000 charge per elective. UNC’s Global One EMBA comes in at No. 34 with a $105,520 expense. And No. 1? The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business at a whopping $181,500. And it doesn’t matter if you enroll in the home or satellite campus. Is it worth it?

Where is Pharrell Williams? Raleigh-Durham is ranked No. 4 on a list of the happiest cities in the U.S. with a population of over 1 million. Are you happy?

What scandal? The academic scandal hovering over UNC-Chapel Hill hasn’t kept away donors. The university netted almost $300 million for fiscal year 2014, its second-best year ever, and a 9 percent increase from a year ago.

Close the gap. It’s pretty well known that American women who work full time are paid 77 cents for every dollar paid to a male counterpart. But black women fare even worse at 64 cents for every dollar paid to white men. That means black women have to work nearly 19 months to make as much as white men in the previous year alone, according to the National Women’s Law Center. And it crosses all occupations from doctors to customer reps to personal care aides. For shame!

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Friday, July 25, 2014
MEAC Football Luncheon

Bethune-Cookman Athletics Director Lynn Thompson missed his calling. He should be on radio. Thompson introduced the MEAC football coaches at today’s luncheon in Norfolk, Va. The conference really goes all out for its football coaches – dimmed lights, pulsating music. By the time it’s over, you are ready for some football.

New N.C. Central coach Jerry Mack was well supported with a busload of Eagle Club supporters in the house who didn’t take too kindly to the Eagles being picked to finish 8th. They booed associate commissioner Patricia Porter as she read the ranking.

Legendary football coach Willie Jeffries again was the keynote speaker and, to be honest, some members of the media groaned because they thought Jeffries was going to tell those same old tired jokes. We were all pleasantly surprised. He was in rare form. So much so that he’s going to get a separate blog tomorrow, but here’s a pre-taste: “My wife and I have been married for 52 years. How have we done it? We go to dinner twice a week; dim the lights, have some good food and music. She goes on Tuesday, and I go on Thursday.”

• Bethune-Cookman coach Brian Jenkins used his 3 minutes at the podium to plead the cause of all HBCUs. “HBCUs are in serious trouble. I challenge everyone to support our universities.” Jenkins said he’s given over $8,000 to Bethune in his four years in various capacities.

• Delaware State coach Kermit Blount recently wore red pumps for charity to protest violence against women. “If you find any pictures of me on the Internet in red pumps, it was for a good cause,” Blount said. “I have a new respect for women.”

• New Hampton coach Connell Maynor was much more subdued than his CIAA days. And he seemed to know what folks were thinking. “All y’all think I’m cocky. It’s because I know what my God can do,” said Maynor who is a professed born-again Christian. Then he issued this warning: “You picked me to finish 7th, that’s not gonna happen.”

• Leave it to the white guy to get the party started. Norfolk State coach Pete Adrian brought the house down with a revised version of The Temptations’ I Wish It Would Rain, and a breakdown dance after his speech. Priceless!

• N.C. A&T coach Rod Broadway had the most introspective speech. Broadway said his life has gone through three stages: the first was all about providing for his family; the second was to climb the career ladder; and now the third, which is to make a difference in young men’s lives. Doesn’t mean he still doesn’t want to win, though.

• Mack talked a little smack. He said NCCU is second to none and won’t back down to anyone. “I’m disappointed that we’re picked 8th. I’m not new to this, I’m true to this.”

Now, are you ready for some football!


Predicted order of finish:

1.      Bethune-Cookman                                            

2.      South Carolina State                                         

3.      North Carolina A&T                                            

4.      Howard                                                                                         

5.      Delaware State                                                

6.      Norfolk State                                                     

7.     Hampton                                                             

8.     North Carolina Central                                       

9.    Morgan State                                                         

 ** Florida A&M and Savannah State are not eligible for postseason competition, therefore they are not listed on the above prediction order.



Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, July 24, 2014
2014 CIAA Media Luncheon

The luncheon is about the start. So far, I have a whole media table to myself. More seats than media. And need I say why - AGAIN!

45 days till the start of football season. Shaw Athletics Director Marcus Clarke is president of the CIAA AD Association.

Commission Jacqie McWilliams about to speak. Looks good in a green dress. Says conference faces challenges. "Cancelling last season's football championship game was a dark day for us." The board recommended no additional penalties against Winston-Salem and Virginia State after "the fight." Did change the conference bylaws "to make sure it will never happen again." Focusing on developing leadership and sportsmanship. Committee is working on a sportsmanship campaign. VSU had highest graduation rate of athletes at 70 percent.

Student-athlete Ayanna Tweedy gives the invocation. So good to hear somebody use Christ's name at the end. This PC crap has gotten out of hand.

Food is excellent, especially when it's free.

Preseason predictions. No surprises. Virginia State picked to win North. Winston-Salem picked to win South and is the No. 1 overall pick. Another no surprise, Rams dominating the all-conference teams.

12. Lincoln speaks first since the Lions are picked last overall. Coach Ramon Flanigan said they want to become relevant in the CIAA and not just a participant. Lincoln's Akeem Jordan wants to be a Realtor for athletes. He's close to getting his Realtor license. Lincoln opens its season against archrival Cheyney. Flanigan call it the Hatfields vs. McCoys.

11. Livingstone is next. Coach Daryl Williams said QB Drew Powell had rededicated himself academically and athletically. Only 4 teams had winning records last season. Powell was 2012 CIAA Rookie of the Year. Says he has grown on and off the field. Hllman Evans IV wants to be a radio personality or TV broadcaster. Has the name for it.

10. Virginia Union. Coach Mark James is one of two new head coaches. Panthers haven't won championship since 2001.

9. St. Augustine's. Coach Michael Costa is alone. No student-athletes, just like last season. Costa is in his 13th season. Says it's a lucky number. "We're gong to do better than what we did last year," he said. Doesn't every coach think that? Team will play entire season at George Williams Complex on campus. Thinks he can replace Chaz Robinson and Nelson on defense. Chris Roberts,  it's his turn now, Costa said. He's played behind other good players, but this year is his. CIAA is not a slouch organization and is not a slouch conference, Costa said.

8. Chowan. Coach Tim Place said last season's 4-6 record was disappointing and that's a good sign. Means people expect better things now. Chowan has killer football helmets. Players like them but Place said he could care less about a helmet. He just wants to win. What else would a coach say?

7. Johnson C. Smith. Coach Steven Aycock says their goal is 11 in a row, one at a time. Jovantay Williams looks quite dapper in his suit and bowtie. Not a fan of men in dreds or earrings. Never will be. Wide receiver Christen Patterson has on Kevin Durant eyeglasses. Talking a little smack. Smith takes on Charlotte. Aycock said there's only one football team in Charlotte and it's the blue and gold.

6.  Bowie State. Coach Damon Wilson said the team came together during the final three games of the season. Will go as far as the offensive and defensive line will take them. Bowie getting a new locker room for opponents and a new weight room.

5.  Elzabeth City State. Coach Waverly Tillar is in his 11th season. Tillar is looking all serious. Almost forgot what it feels like to have a losing season. ECSU finished 4-6. Got some help on defensive line. We are going to run the football. That's what we're going to do, run the football, Tillar said. Vikings open season against N.C. Central. Latrell (Scott) found a hole and pounded me pretty good. Then Damon (Wilson) came and found that same hole. But that hole is now closed, Tillar said. I'm getting ready for Durham. I've already made 2 reservations: against NCCU and the championship game. "For everybody that beat me last year, I got something for you."

4. Shaw. QB Trevius Folston says he feels like he can do it all, rollout, dropping back, running, whatever it takes. Expect to see many transfers and JUCOs this season. Coach Robert Massey is tired of losing. Folston is 6-7, 230. No basketball in future but coach Cleo Hill Jr. has been giving him a lookover. Marquise Grizzle says he wants the team to come together as a brotherhood and get back to winning ways of 2010, the Bears last championship under Darrell Asberry.

3. Virginia State. You can tell Trojans have a chip on their shoulder. Coach Latrell Scott and Brandon Robinson and Jaivon Smallwood are at the podium. Scott said he was a Joe Taylor fan as a kid. Taylor, a legendary football coach at Hampton, is now AD at Virginia Union. 

2. Fayetteville State. Coach Lawrence Kershaw said he had a decent first year but fell short of goal to win a championship. Michael Johnson said chemistry wise, the Broncos are more of a family.

1. Winston-Salem State. New head coach Kienus Boulware says he's been prepared for a long time for his first head coaching position. Was assistant under Rudy Abrams, Rod Broadway, Connell Maynor and one more I forgot. Maurice Lewis says it's harder and harder to win each year. The bar has been set. Boulware said Lewis didn't earn his respect, he "took it." Rams have a QB controversy and a leader will come out of that, he said. The two QBs are Rudy Johnson and Phil Sims. Interesting that Johnson is not here. Larry Hearne is a chemistry major and wants to open up his own practice.

Southern Division
1.    Winston-Salem State
2.    Fayetteville State
3.    Shaw
4.    Johnson C. Smith
5.    Saint Augustine's
6.    Livingstone

Northern Division
1.    Virginia State
2.    Elizabeth City State
3.    Bowie State
4.    Chowan
5.    Virginia Union
6.    Lincoln


Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Friday, July 18, 2014
Sports news & notes 7/18

Current and former Fayetteville State softball players have filed a Title IX lawsuit against the university, according to the Fayetteville Observer. The group alleges inequitable funding and treatment between the men’s and women’s teams. Some of the grips in a 65-page document include forced fundraising activities, limited practice times, inadequate equipment and more. The Department of Education plans to launch an investigation in August. And don’t forget, former women’s basketball coach Eric Tucker still has a wrongful termination suit against the university, which refuses to settle.

Football kickoff. The SWAC kicks off the football season with its Media Day Friday in Birmingham, Alabama. Robert Williamson will moderate the live coverage at 10 a.m. CST on the SWAC Digital Network. The conference’s website, swac.org, will also carry video and radio broadcast stream.

He did what?! Folks are still talking about Tuskegee’s Leon Douglas resigning as men’s basketball coach. According to the university, Douglas turned down a compensation package that would have made him the highest paid SIAC coach. However, sources say Douglas has higher aspirations. Don’t be surprised to see him pop up as men’s basketball coach and athletic director at Miles College. We shall see.

On the move. Former N.C. Central offensive line coach Jamar Harp has accepted the same position at the SIAC’s Paine College, which is playing in its first season of Division II football. According to footballscoop.com, Savannah State has released defensive coordinator Corey Barlow.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014
News & Notes 7/17

Republican Mayor Adam O’Neal of Belhaven, North Carolina, began a 14-day, 273-mile walk to the Nation’s Capitol on Monday. O’Neal plans to petition politicians for help with health care in his rural community. The area recently saw the closure of Pungo District Hospital, which served more than 23,000 people. Finally, a Republican who gets it! Instead of trying to “get back at the black man in office” state leaders should put up more concern toward their constituents. Then maybe they’d change course.

• Another scam in the works. NC Quick Pass customers are receiving fraudulent emails stating they have an outstanding toll balance. Of course, there’s a link to pay the invoice. Once you do, your account will be cleaned out. NC Quick Pass folks say they NEVER request payment via email. Call 877-769-7277 with any questions.

• The homeowners insurance rate hearing originally scheduled for Aug. 6 has been rescheduled to Oct. 20, 9 a.m. in the Jim Long Hearing Room at 430 N. Salisbury St. Make your voices heard. Those greedy insurance companies are asking for a 25.3 percent increase in insurance rates.

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Monday, July 7, 2014
Sports news, notes & rumors - 7/7

What happened to a nice quiet summer?

Coaches are suing, athletic directors getting fired and band boosters up in arms. Typical HBCU summer, eh?

Grambling State interim President Cynthia Warrick is not letting the interim tag keep her from pounding the gravel. Warrick reassigned Athletics Director Aaron James and released men’s basketball coach Joseph Price on her first official day. Price had coached just two seasons. He issued a statement to the media last Thursday. Read here.

Rumor is women’s basketball coach Patricia Cage Bibbs will be named interim AD.

And speaking of the G-men, a report by Kenn Rashad of TSPNSports.com says the Tigers may be replaced by Langston in the 2015 State Fair Classic. The game has featured Prairie View and Grambling since the 1980s, but a scheduling conflict has the Tigers playing Jackson State on the supposed date of the Classic. Does anybody really want to see Langston vs. PVAM? Stay tuned.

• Alcorn President Alfred Rankins Jr. recently named LLJuan Weir interim AD effective July 1. Weir also is the associate director of athletics/senior woman administrator.

• Texas Southern Marching Band collected all the funds it needed to travel to the NFL Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony after alumnus Michael Strahan donated $100,000. TSU needed $150,000 but surpassed that amount after Strahan, comedian Kevin Hart’s $50,000 pledge and others. Nice job.

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (1)
Thursday, July 3, 2014
What people are talking about 7/3

And then there were two. The Republican site selection committee has dwindled the list down to Cleveland, Ohio, and Dallas for its 2016 Republican National Convention. “As we move closer to choosing a host for our convention, I’m more confident than ever that we’ll have an outstanding partner to showcase our party and our Republican nominee in 2016,” chairperson Enid Mickelsen said.

• Workers in Durham should have smiles on their faces. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Durham’s average wages grew the 14th fastest in the nation to an average of $1,255 weekly – the highest among North Carolina’s nine counties. Wake County’s wages grew a measly 0.5 percent to $984 per week. Of course, if you don’t make as much, I’m sorry.

• Safety first. Last month Raleigh City Council approved a contract with the Downtown Raleigh Alliance to provide security patrols for parking decks and parking lots. The nine safety ambassadors will be on duty Monday thru Friday, 6 a.m. to midnight; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to midnight; with some additional hours at specific areas. Call 368-7962.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July, and leave the fireworks to the pros!

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Fathers Forever - 6/26

Read the latest from our guest blog, Fathers Forever, here.

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Sports news & notes 6/24

It seems everybody is in lawsuit mode. Two anonymous Oakland Raiders cheerleaders recently filed a lawsuit against the NFL and the team, claiming they were denied wages, overtime pay and business reimbursements while being subjected to “degrading comments” and “grueling working conditions.”

Now I can sympathize over the money aspect since they are “employees,” but degrading comments. Hello! Women are subjected to harassment fully clothed; what do you expect when you’re half naked and shaking your booty like a tub of Jell-O. And no, that doesn’t excuse the men but as they say in the publishing field: Know your audience. If you constantly leave your door unlocked at home, chances are you’ll be robbed. Wearing scantily clad clothing around sober male species is bad enough, but when you add alcohol to the equation, well…put some clothes on!

Bring back the Sound. N.C. Central band fans are not going away quietly. The Sound Machine Booster Club is holding a public forum June 25, 7 p.m. at the Hayti Heritage Center in Durham to voice its dissatisfaction with the recent firing of band director Jorim Reid and two staff members, and a “history of pithy allocation of funds and overall support for the band.”

“They simply don’t give them all the money they need to run a successful program,” booster club president Marilyn M. Clemens wrote in a letter. “We’re volunteers. We don’t get paid one dime to do what we do. A lot of people are angry and upset; they want to know what needs to be done to fix this.”

• HBCUs on CBS Benedict at Miles is the only HBCU contest that will be broadcast by CBS Sports Network. The rivals go at it Oct. 2 at 8 p.m.

A different world. Prairie View A&M recently unveiled sketches of its new football stadium and field house. First-class stuff. It will rival anything from any FCS or FBS school. Click on this link and judge for yourself. http://www.panther-stadium.com/?page_id=67

Telling it like it is. Morehouse student De’Von Weatherspoon reveals his HIV status and the reactions from students and faculty in a blog on CocoaFab.com. It’s just amazing how many of us still have our heads in the sand when its comes to HIV and AIDS.

Crumblin’ Classic. Will Southern have a new opponent in the Bayou Classic? ] According to numerous reports, Superdome officials \ hinted that replacing the G-men would reverse lagging attendance. “If Grambling has fallen off that bad, maybe Southern could take the lead and it could be an earned-in game and bring in somebody else,” said Robert Bruno, the commissioner of the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District. “I just don’t know if Grambling can carry the load.”

Last year, Southern board member Tony Clayton also expressed dissatisfaction. “For the last several years, Southern has been doing 90 percent of the work and producing 70 to 80 percent of the fans, and we’re having to split the proceeds.”

However, Grambling President Frank Pogue said the university has no intention of dropping out of the televised classic. “This is a fierce, competitive rivalry in terms of football, but it is nothing short of a good, strong marriage between two world-class institutions when it comes to putting on a tremendous week of activities and events on and off the field,” he said. “There is no discussion to change this historic matchup, and there are no plans to change this annual challenge in any way.”

WNIT bound. Jackson State is one of 16 teams that will participate in the preseason WNIT. JSU will take on Arkansas State Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. JSU coach Surina Dixon was an assistant at ASU in the early 2000s.

Walkin’ the walk. Actor/comedian Kevin Hart has pledged $50,000 to the Texas Southern Ocean of Soul Marching Band to help the team travel to the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio. Former TSU alumnus Michael Strahan is being inducted.



Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, June 12, 2014
What people are talking about - 6/12

Tuesday will be the 20th anniversary of the white Bronco chase. If you weren’t born 20 years ago, or are too old to remember, it was the chase – and subsequent trial – that changed the world: O.J. Simpson vs. the Los Angeles Police Department. Like JFK’s assassination, everyone knows what he was doing during “the chase.”

“That was the godfather of the contemporary celebrity scandal,” Duke Professor Orin Starn said. “The American public was caught off guard by the strange, low-speed police chase of the football legend across Los Angeles, as well as by the subsequent trial. But we adapted quickly to this peculiar brand of theater. Now, the celebrity scandal has become our favorite national reality show…Simpson avoided conviction on the murder charges. We are very much still living in the shadow of his famous trial.”

The what virus? North Carolina saw its first case of chikungunya this week in a resident returning from the Caribbean. The virus is transmitted through mosquitoes commonly found in the state. Symptoms include the sudden onset of fever and severe joint pains in the hands and feet. Now that’s scary for those of us who are susceptible to mosquito bites.

The rivalry continues. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation recently surveyed 13,000 small businesses nationwide. Charlotte got the top spot for businesses with an A, while Raleigh received an A-minus. Small difference unless you’re hated rivals. Durham, for the record, received a B-plus.

Another blow for working families. The House Finance Committee Wednesday voted not to reinstate the Earned Income Tax Credit, which helps almost 1 million struggling families. I hope voters are keeping a running tally for the next election.

NAACP files complaint. The N.C. NAACP and five other plaintiffs filed a complaint Thursday in Superior Court challenging the new building rules instituted by the General Assembly a few weeks ago. The motion will be heard by Superior Court Judge Anthony Fox Friday.

New appointments. Gov. Pat McCrory’s recent judicial appointees: Robert Seth Banks (Yancey County), with Banks & Bailey, P.A., district attorney in District 23; V.A. “Woofer” Davidian (Wake County), district court judge in the 10th District; Tessa Shelton Sellers (Cherokee County), district court judge in the 30th District; and Hal Gene Harrison (Mitchell County), district court judge in the 24th District.


Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Green Tie Awards

Several state legislators were honored for their activism on environmental issues at Tuesday's 2014 Green Tie Awards in Raleigh.

Senator of the year – Angela Bryant for her "consistent ability to prioritize protecting our environment when making hard decisions....and providing real leadership over the years on key issues at the intersection of environment and social justice."

Representative of the year – Larry Hall for his "sponsorship and votes for sound environmental legislation, being proactive on environmental issues and his record."

Rising stars: senators' Valerie Foushee and Mike Woodard; reps. Nathan Baskerville, Carla Cunningham, George Graham, Duane Hall, Yvonne Lewis Holley, Bobbie Richardson and Evelyn Terry.

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
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