|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.
|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.
|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.
|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!
|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.
|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.
|Monday, May 19, 2014|
|What people are talking about – 5/19|
The N.C. Supreme Court sided with Parents for Educational Freedom in N.C. and granted a stay to the preliminary injunction issued by a Wake County Superior Court that had suspended implementation of the Opportunity Scholarship program in February.
• Can I get fries with that? Americans for Prosperity distributed earplugs at the N.C. General Assembly to combat activists who planned a “pot and spoon” banging demonstration. “While the opponents of tax reform, educational freedom and job creation are angrily banging on pots like young children, members of our legislature, their staff and others are trying to keep N.C. moving toward a brighter future,” a press release sated. “We want to encourage them to ignore the noise and stay on track.”
• Final settlement. The city of Durham finally settled its lawsuit with the Duke lacrosse players. Read the statement here.
|Friday, May 16, 2014|
|Sports news & notes – 5/17|
Former Morgan State Ian Chiles made an impressive showing at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. Chiles averaged 13 points and eight rebounds to help lead Sales Systems, Ltd., to a win over Norfolk Sports Club. The invitational showcases college seniors before professional scouts during the four-day, 12-game event.
• Home sweet home. With just three home football games last season, Tuskegee still managed to lead the NCAA Division II in attendance average with 14,954 fans per game. That’s over 4,000 more than second-place Grand Valley State, which averaged a little over 10,000 fans per game.
• Second chance. Free-agent signings are the norm after the NFL Draft is complete. So far, four SWAC players have signed contracts: Alabama State’s Isaiah Crowell to Cleveland Brown, Jackson State’s Qua Cox to Indianapolis Colts and Rob Smith to Oakland Raiders, and Southern’s Lee Doss to Washington Redskins. In the CIAA, Winston-Salem State linebacker Carlos Fields signed with the Oakland Raiders.
• The rich get richer. Bethune-Cookman football snagged another top transfer. Western Michigan wide receiver Jaime Wilson announced last month that he was transferring to the Wildcats. Wilson, a Florida native, was the 2012 Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year. He sat out last season with a broken ankle.
• SWAC football ready? The SWAC announced its Football Media Day is July 18 at the Birmingham Marriott. Last year’s day drew more than 400 attendees.
|Thursday, April 24, 2014|
|What people are talking about - 4/25|
How bad is the teacher exodus problem in Wake County? Check out these statistics from The Policy Watch:
• 9,000 – number of total teachers in Wake County public schools
• 612 – number of teachers that have resigned since the beginning of the school year
• 433 – amount of teachers that resigned in all of the previous school year
• 25 – percentage of teachers that have resigned from Underwood Elementary alone
• $20,000 – amount less one Underwood teacher makes now compared to teaching in California ELEVEN YEARS AGO!
• 45 – North Carolina's rank among the 50 states in average teacher compensation
|Friday, March 28, 2014|
|Sports news, notes & rumors - 3/28|
The question on everybody’s lips is, did he know he was going to get fired BEFORE he applied for the job, or did he get fired AFTER he applied? That’s the million-dollar question for former St. Augustine’s men’s basketball coach Tony Sheals who was “released” Thursday just a day after Virginia Union announced he was one of five finalists for its men’s opening. I talked to several CIAA coaches and it was a consensus: Once Sheals’ name was released, it was over.
What I’d like to know is how is he a finalist for any head coaching job after finishing 13-16 in only his first season at St. Aug’s. They did advance to the tourney semifinals but still… Then someone reminded me of the Florida A&M connection – Sheals was a longtime assistant with the Rattlers and Union Athletics Director Joe Taylor is, of course, from FAMU.
Wonder if Sheals knew Union is very open about publishing candidates for any of its coaching vacancies? President Girlfriend, Dianne Boardley Suber, got into hot water when she applied for the FAMU presidency job without informing the board. She withdrew her name. They didn’t give Sheals that option. Evidently former coach Lonnie Blow’s sudden departure to Virginia State is still fresh on some minds.
You know it’s bad when the SID doesn’t even include the coach’s record or the customary “We thank (fill in blank) for his service and wish him luck in the future.” It was just he’s been released and don’t let the door hit ya’ where the good Lord split ya’. OK, I added that last part.
• The list grows. Add another coaching vacancy to the growing list. Ron “Fang” Mitchell was released today by Coppin State. Mitchell coached at CSU for 28 years and is the winningest coach in school history with 429 victories. The Eagles upset No. 2 seed Hampton in the MEAC tournament and advanced to the semifinals, but there was a whole lotta other stuff going on behind the scenes in this one. Mitchell’s departure puts the list at eight: Delaware State, Livingstone women, UMES, Miles, St. Aug’s, Tennessee State and VUU.
• Golden goose. One Falcon who doesn’t have to worry about a swinging door is AD George Williams. Although Suber has tried – and failed – in the past, “Pup” isn’t leaving until it’s on his terms. After winning a 13th national indoor track title – and second straight – he was named the CaptainU Indoor Track & Field Winter Coach of the Year this week.
• NCCU reschedules. N.C. Central has rescheduled its football scrimmage Saturday at Rocky Mount High until April 5 due to the threat of severe weather. Called “Eagles Down East,” the game will be held at 12:30 p.m. Fans can also buy season tickets.
• Pro Day. Although it was closed to the public, Shaw and St. Aug’s participated in a shared Pro Day today on St. Aug’s campus. “This is big for us,” Shaw coach Robert Massey said. “We’ve not done this before, and it’s an outstanding opportunity for our young men to get exposure at the next level.”
• All-star invite. Norfolk State senior guard Pendarvis Williams will participate in the Reese’s College All-Star Game April 4 in Dallas. Williams is the first MEAC player to compete in the 6-year-old game. He finished his NSU career with 1,646 points.
• For women only. Bethune-Cookman will host its second women’s football clinic April 12. Humph, I know quite a few guys who could use some lessons, too.
|Saturday, March 8, 2014|
|Sports news & notes – 3/8|
The MEAC Tournament kicks off Monday at The Scope in Norfolk, Va. N.C. Central men and Hampton women are the No. 1 seeds. Both squads have byes until Wednesday. The Eagles will take on the winner of N.C. A&T/Howard. NCCU and Aggie fans know what happened last year this time. A&T upset the Eagles on Wednesday night en route to winning the tournament and an automatic bid to the Big Dance. The Aggies won the play-in game against Liberty and lost to eventual champion Louisville. Although NCCU has already qualified for the NIT, it’s the NCAA everybody wants. The Pirates are more concerned with their seeding in the NCAA. Coach David Six let his disgust be known after Hampton was given an undeserving No. 16 seed last year, particularly since the team was No. 15 the year prior. Even a TV commentator during a non-HBCU women’s game remarked that the Pirates deserved a higher seeding this year. We’ll soon find out.
More changes are coming to the Turkey Day Classic. First Tuskegee was replaced with Stillman vs. Alabama State. The Golden Tigers got tired of missing the Division II playoffs because of the classic date. New this year is the moving of the game to Nov. 22 instead of Thanksgiving Day. This, ASU President Gwendolyn Boyd told supporters, will allow more students to attend the game instead of going home for the holidays.
Shaw women have won their tourney so they’ll be watching the DII selection show Sunday night at 10 p.m. on www.ncaa.com. The Bears went all the way two years ago. Virginia State should also get a tourney bid. On the men’s side, Livingstone will be the CIAA’s lone representative.
NCCU still hasn’t announced a new volleyball coach. Let’s be honest, there are much more exciting things going on in Eagleland, and I like women sports. But the Eagles may be seeking a new softball coach soon. Theresa Stephens was hired in 2011. Since then, NCCU has gone 4-45 and 5-44, and is 0-12 so far this season. You do like to see some improvement.
|Thursday, March 6, 2014|
|What people are talking about – 3/6|
Scammers never get tired, do they? Now they are targeting the Cary Police Department. A resident reported getting a call from someone claiming to be with the Cary PD, even the Caller ID came up as the police department, demanding the person wire money to avoid outstanding criminal charges. The person did not respond, however someone else did. Call 469-4012 for more info.