|Thursday, July 23, 2015|
|CIAA Media Day|
Shaw coach Robert Massey must be feeling the heat. Massey didn’t mince words at Thursday’s CIAA Media Day. “We’ve got a lot to prove. We plan to be competitive and we’re trying to make sure that when you come to Durham, you’re coming to our home stadium. And to our players, if you can’t ride, you can’t play. And that’s all I have to say.” That was plenty. Looks like the heat will be on the players as well.
St. Augustine’s coach Michael Morand was a bit more diplomatic. “We’re looking to improve and score more than the 19 points we did last year. Offensively and defensively, we have some guys coming back that’s going to help us learn how to win some football games.” Morand said more but those darn free ads kept popping up on the video stream right in the middle of the coaches’ conversations. Then when they came back, their speech was over. Typical.
But enough of Elizabeth City State coach Waverly Tillar’s speech was heard, and he didn’t disappoint. Take it away coach:
“We’ve been down the last couple of years. 4-6 don’t sit too well with me and we’re going to do something about it. Things are about to change this year as we chase Virginia State. Our slogan is ‘Our Backs Against the Wall.’
“The walls of Jericho, they came tumbling down. All of you who think that you’re in the land of milk and honey and unconquerable, got news for you, the mighty Vikings won’t take seven days to bring the walls down. By the power and hands of the mighty Vikings, those walls will come tumbling down.
“The great walls of China came tumbling down. …Behind the wall was a legendary Chinese coach. Every year he told people what he was going to do and how many games he was going to win, but every year he lost every game. His name? WinOneSoon is the legendary coach.”
Thank you coach, as always.
Predicted order and preseason team:
Elizabeth City State
Johnson C. Smith
2015 Preseason All-CIAA Football Team
TE AJ Mundle, ECSU
OL Addison Hayes, VUU
OL Jhamil Haley, VSU
OL Jac’que Polite, WSSU
OL Justin Nester, BSU
OL Kristjan Brown, FSU
WR Jalen Hendricks, LC
WR Jaivon Smallwood, VSU
QB Drew Powell, LC
RB Roderick Davenport, SAU
RB Kavon Bellamy, VSU
PK William Johnson, WSSU
KR Antonio Huff, ECSU
DL Anthony McDaniel
DL Michael Bloomfield
DL Ray Prosise, VSU
DL Kemaree Alcorn, CU
LB Austin Jacques, JCSU
LB Joseph Blanks, VUU
LV Brandon Lynch, VSU
DB Curtis Pumphrey, VSU
DB Darion Thomas, VSU
DB Brion Robinson, TLU
DB Rodeshawn Joseph, VUU
P Christopher Palmer, BSU
PR Antonio Huff, ECSU
|Tuesday, July 7, 2015|
|Sports news & notes, 7/8|
The SIAC will soon have another full-time member. Central State, which had a partial membership with football, will be granted full status in the fall. CSU had competed in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference in its other sports, but ended its affiliation with the conference last month.
“Joining the SIAC is a great opportunity for CSU. The SIAC provides additional exposure for Central State and enhances the collegiate and academic experience,” President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond said.
Sometimes you just need for the dominoes to fall your way. Lynn University released head women’s basketball coach Niki Washington, who was hired as associate head coach at Bethune-Cookman. Meanwhile, Furman assistant coach Julia Huddleston takes the job at Lynn, opening up a spot on staff. Ergo, Lincoln (Pa.) head coach Jessica Kern gets the call. Bye. Bye.
The CIAA office has a position for assistant director of communications and media relations. The job description is three pages long and has more duties than a gopher. I don’t know how much it pays, but whatever it is, IT’S NOT ENOUGH! See for yourself, here
|Thursday, June 25, 2015|
|What we are talking about, 6/24|
Governor Pat McCrory signed two bills Wednesday to support veterans and military families. Bill 478 waives the 12-month residency requirement for non-resident veterans and others to receive education benefits for in-state tuition. And Bill 43 extends the time period from 90 days to a year in which a retired or discharged veteran can be regularly employed and his application for a CDL.
McCrory also signed 12 bills into law. A few are:
- SB 7 allows food stands to provide tables and chairs for customers while eating on the premises.
- SB 621 authorizes the DMV to send renewal notices via email after receiving car owner’s consent.
- SB 488 will help the state better collect child support payments.
Now, what about expanding Medicare now that the ACA is NOT – I repeat NOT – going away. Get over it, and let’s move on!
Ellis Hankins, former executive director of the N.C. League of Municipalities, has announced his candidacy for the District 16 seat in next year’s primary. D-16 includes west Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville and surrounding areas.
After losing a federal lawsuit, Cameron Village Library has agreed to allow religious meetings in its meeting room. After twice denying Liberty Counsel’s application for space, the nonprofit filed a lawsuit. The fact that it had to even go to court is shameful. Why would a library, of all places, try to sensor free speech?
|Friday, June 5, 2015|
|What we are talking about, 6/5|
Get ready to become a one-sticker car owner. Instead of having two stickers on your license plate – one for the month and one for the year – DMV will now only print one sticker that includes both the month and the year. The company says the change will save money. Our renewal fees won’t go down, however.
How much bigger is North Hills going to get? Allscripts plans to build a 12-story tower and will be moving its 1,000 employees at North Hills. Evidently developer Kane Realty can do no wrong with the city council, no matter how much traffic and congestion it brings to the Six Forks Road area.
Are you one of those drivers who always push the envelope when it comes to on-street parking in Durham? Well, if caught, you’re going to have to pay double. Beginning July 1, the tickets will rise from $10 to $20.
Some bills signed by Gov. Pat McCrory this week:
• HB 113 increases the penalty for the commission of certain sex offenses committed against a student by school personnel. It also requires education institutions to obtain a list of employees who are registered sex offenders.
• HB 294 makes it a criminal offense to provide a cellphone to a delinquent juvenile in custody.
• HB 595 allows active and recently departed veterans to use their military police experience and training toward a N.C. Law Enforcement Officer Certification.
But the biggest McCrory signature was giving pardons to former death row inmates Henry NcCollom and Leon Brown. Now, show them the money!
|Friday, May 29, 2015|
|Sports news and notes, 5/29|
Stacy Danley, former athletic director at Alabama State, had the last laugh against his employer. An Alabama judge awarded Danley $140, 216.87 in his wrongful termination lawsuit. Judge James Reid also dismissed a counterclaim by ASU that accused Danley of unapproved travel expenses. Danley was fired in 2012.
• Play ball! Texas Southern (31-17) will face Texas A&M (45-11) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday at 7 p.m. This is the Tigers first trip to the tourney since 2008. The MEAC’s Florida A&M will travel to Florida for a Friday matchup. The Rattlers are making their first-ever tourney appearance. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.
• Hoops Classic. Former N.C. Central players Emanuel Chapman, Alfonzo Houston and Jordan Parks will reunite to play in the 2015 Gotham Hoops Classic at Adelphia University in Garden City, New York, on Saturday. The Classic showcases top players before professional scouts, fans and media. Joining them from the MEAC are Norfolk State’s Malik Thomas, and Coppin State’s Arnold Fripp, Jahvari Josiah and Michael Murray.
• Somebody grab me a blanket! Former Winston-Salem State football player William Hayes, now with the St. Louis Rams, and teammate Chris Long, went undercover in the homeless community as part of an ESPN feature. The story will air May 31 at 10 a.m. and re-air throughout the day. Said Hayes: “It was the worst night I’ve ever had in my life for sure…My body hurts so bad right now.” See a clip of the feature on our website’s video page.
|Thursday, May 14, 2015|
|What we are talking about, 5/15|
North Carolina is the ninth worst state for working mothers, according to a WalletHub Study. With No. 1 as the best and No. 25 as the average ranking, the state is 36th in percentage of single-mothers in poverty; 37th in length of the average woman’s workday; 38th in female unemployment, 46th in the ratio of female to male executives, and so on.
• Liberty Counsel recently filed a federal lawsuit against Wake County for its public library’s unconstitutional policy. Cameron Village Regional Library, a PUBLIC library, mind you, twice denied the Counsel the right to hold meetings there. According to a Liberty Counsel statement, the library’s director said they did not allow meetings discussing religion.
“Any policy that expressly prohibits meetings based on the religious viewpoint of the program is simply unconstitutional,” Counsel Chairman Mat Staver said. “The Supreme Court has struck down countless attempts by local government bodies to remove religion from the public arena. Of all places, a public library should not only understand but strive to uphold the First Amendment rather than engage in censorship.”
Indeed. Bet if the KKK wanted to have a meeting, nobody would censor it.
|Friday, May 8, 2015|
|Sports news & notes, 5/8|
Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will be the guest speaker at a fundraiser for Lane College. Lewis and other NFL and NBA stars will appear June 13 at the Oman Arena on campus. Individual tickets are $100. Contact football coach Derrick Burroughs at (731) 421-7461 or email@example.com.
• Are you ready for some REAL football? The SWAC Football Media Day is July 17 in Birmingham, Alabama. More details coming.
• Movin’ on up. Coppin State sophomore sprinter Alexis Marsh (left) will attend the NCAA Career in Sports Forum in June. The forum gathers 200 selected student-athletes to explore careers in sports. (Personally, why would anybody want to be anywhere else?) Marsh earned all-conference honors this past season in the 4x400-meter relay.
• Ramblin’ Rams. Winston-Salem State baseball won a record 40 wins this season. The Rams will find out their tournament opponent Sunday at 10 p.m. after the NCAA Selection Show. The Division II championships will be in Cary May 23-30.
• ASU golf stellar. Alabama State’s men’s and women’s golf teams earned automatic berths to the NCAA Tournament. The Hornets won their highest seeding ever at No. 13. The tourney begins May 14 in Indiana. The Lady Hornets are playing in their third straight tourney, which is being held this weekend in San Antonio, Texas.
|Friday, April 24, 2015|
|What we are talking about, 4/24|
The scammers are at it again. Imposters posing as city of Raleigh public utility employees recently tried to gain entry into a home in Rolesville for “water sampling” tasks. Also, several private companies have been placing water sampling door hangers on homes soliciting residents to purchase water filtration systems. They are not endorsed by the city. Always immediately ask for an employee ID from anyone claiming to be a city employee. They also should be driving company vehicles and wearing appropriate uniforms. If you suspect foul play, call (919) 996-4540.
• Overdue honor. The Leonard Medical Hospital and Leonard Medical School have been designated historic landmarks. The properties on Wilmington Street are owned by Shaw University. The hospital is historic for its role in improving health care for Raleigh’s black citizens during the Jim Crow era. The medical school, of course, educated black physicians and other staff.
• Respect the bus. The Senate tentatively passed a bill on Wednesday that would increase the penalty for drivers who pass stopped school buses. In addition to the current criminal offense, drivers would be penalized $500, and not have his vehicle registered if the fine is not paid. Still too easy we say. Unless your butt is on fire, there’s nothing in the world important enough to pass a stopped school bus.
• Pick me. No, me! Six residents have applied for the Chapel Hill Town Council seat left vacant by Matt Czajkowski that expires in December: Kevin Hicks, Adam Jones, Paul Neebe, Michael Parker, Amy Ryan and Gary Shaw. The six will state their case at a special meeting April 27, 6 p.m. at Council Chambers.
|Thursday, April 9, 2015|
|Sports news and notes, 4/9|
Alcorn State has named a search committee for its women’s and men’s basketball coaches. Both Tonya Edwards’ and Luther Riley’s contracts were not renewed. The committee will screen and interview candidates and submit a list to Athletics Director Derek Horne who will make the final decision. The nine members are LaKesha Batty, Jason Cable, Tracy Cook, Nedra Edmond, Dorianne Johnson, Peter Malik, Charles McClelland, James Stubbs and LlJuna Weir.
• Fred Whitted, an HBCU historian and author of the Black College Sports Encyclopedia, has finished another project he’d been working on for some time, "Shaw University: Decade of Champions, And, Beyond.” The 158-page booklet is on the history of Shaw athletics, from basketball to football to baseball and much, much more. It is dedicated to the late LeCounte Conaway, a Shaw alumnus and former sports information director. LeCounte, also my good friend, died in his sleep in 2011.
• Andy Seigal, former Boynton Beach High head football coach, has joined Savannah State as offensive coordinator. Former NFL wide receiver Lyle Leong is the new receivers coach.
• Maryland Eastern Shore outfielder Stephen Bull recently signed a spring training contract with the Camden RiverSharks of the independent Atlantic League. Bull finished his collegiate career as No. 2 in single season hits (68) and third in career hits (189). The Atlantic League is comprised of eight teams in New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut and Texas. Over 600 players have advanced to the majors in the past 13 years.
• Several HBCU players were invited to this week’s Portsmouth Invitational, a prestigious four-day 12-game tourney that showcases in front of NBA scouts. N.C. Central senior guard Nimrod Hilliard, and Maryland Eastern Shore’s Mike Myers and Issac Smith are participating.
|Thursday, March 26, 2015|
|What we are talking about, 3/26|
The long-awaited East End Connector Project has begun. The $142-million, 3.9-mile project will provide a freeway connection between I-85 and I-40, the Triangle Expressway and U.S. 1 in southern Wake County. Construction is not expected to snarl traffic, but we will see. Projected completion date is 2019.
• Identity theft. With so many tax returns being stolen through identity theft, the IRS will start sending out letters to taxpayers whose tax returns have been stopped due to suspicious activity. If you receive Letter 5071C, contact idverify.irs.gov. Warning: The letter will arrive by mail, so if you get any phone calls or emails on the subject, hang up!
• Reversal of fortune. N.C. Mutual Life Insurance Co. reported a $358,000 profit at its recent policyholders meeting. That may not sound like much to bigwig insurance companies, but considering the company lost $2.3 million the previous year, it’s a whole lot better.
• Best of the best. Forbes magazine recently named three Triangle companies in the top 50 of its list of America’s Best Employers. They are Quintiles at No. 30, SAS at No. 31 and UNC Health Care at No. 50. Sixteen North Carolina companies in all were in the top 500.
• Who needs emissions? Beginning April 1, the DMV will no longer require emissions inspections for newer vehicles that are three years and younger with less than 70,000 miles. The vehicle’s age is determined by its model year. However, all vehicles are still required to pass the annual safety inspection before your registration can be renewed.
• Long overdue. Homeowners who were wrongfully foreclosed on by SunTrust Bank should start receiving claim forms this week. Over 2,200 residents are owed $2 million from SunTrust. To find out if you’re eligible, call 866-590-8532.
|Friday, March 20, 2015|
|Sports news, notes & rumors, 3/20|
Times they are a-tough for HBCUs. Stillman College announced this week that it was cancelling all spring sports matchups against non-conference teams. Here is the official statement from the school:
Like most private institutions around the country, Stillman Athletics acknowledges the financial challenges facing the college at this time and has embarked upon cost-saving measures. These measures included the cancelation of non-conference events and do not jeopardize the post season eligibility of the Tigers and Lady Tigers.
A full list of cancellations will be released on StillmanAthletics.com by the end of this week as we work with the schools involved and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference office.
• Coaching vacancies. If what is being reported is true, and Kermit Blount and Adrian Jones are the two finalists for the Johnson C. Smith football job, it puts an interesting twist on old school versus new. Blount has been around since Father Time, and many thought that football had passed him by. But it’s easy to forget how successful he was at Winston-Salem State before its failed try at Division I. Plus, with age and limited offers coming his way, JCSU can probably get him for a bargain price.
Jones, on the other hand, is part of the up-and-coming generation. As an assistant under N.C. Central coach Jerry Mack, he’s still young enough to not only relate to today’s players but can still beat most of them on the field. And, as a first head-coaching opportunity, he won’t be commanding too high a salary, either. It will be interesting to see what Athletics Director Steve Joyner Sr. will do. But what’s taking so long?
Two names were brought to my attention this week for the Shaw men’s basketball vacancy. Greg Jackson, sources say, has been inching to get back into coaching and back to the Triangle, although he’s not for want of money. Jackson reportedly had two years left on his contract at $260,000 when he was fired. Now I would be quite happy to just to sit and watch the games instead, but coaches are a different breed.
The second name mentioned, and this one is a shocking surprise, is former Shaw coach Joel Hopkins. Hopkins hasn’t coached since he left Shaw after the 2003 season. He did lead the Bears to their first-ever CIAA championship in 2002. Whether true or not, I for one would like to see him back. With him and Dave Robbins gone, the CIAA just isn’t as interesting as it used to be.
And finally, here we go again. Already folks are asking about rumors of LeVelle Moton leaving – AGAIN! This time, UNC Charlotte is reportedly interested. If Moton leaves N.C. Central, it will prove once again that money can’t buy an employee’s happiness. NCCU Chancellor Debra Saunders-White jumped through hoops to get him to remain an Eagle, and then he leaves after a year! Go figure.
|Tuesday, March 17, 2015|
|Sports news and notes, 3/17|
Postseason is in play tonight for Division I HBCUs.
Hampton men will take on Manhattan tonight at 6:40 on TruTV in one of the NCAA tournament’s play-in games. The Pirates are the only team in the tourney with a losing record. The winner goes on to meet Kentucky. Thanks a lot.
N.C. Central men, although disappointed not to be in the Big Dance, are at Miami tonight at 7 in the first round of the NIT. Game will be televised on ESPN2.
Maryland Eastern Shore earned its first postseason bid in school history and will travel to High Point University Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the CollegeInsider.com tournament. Hawks fans can watch the game on the CIT website.
Norfolk State got to extend its season with a CIT invite. The Spartans are making their fourth straight postseason appearance. NSU travels to Eastern Kentucky tonight at 7. The game can also be viewed on CIT website.
|Thursday, March 12, 2015|
|What people are talking about, 3/12|
The N.C. Senate unanimously passed on Tuesday a bill that provides additional protections for sexual assault victims against their attackers. Sponsored by Sen. Stan Bingham (R-Davidson), Bill 60 would allow a victim to obtain a protective order and keep it for as along as the attacker is alive. Now, that’s something we can clap our hands at.
•WalletHub has named Durham the 15th best-run city in America. The study rates cities that are efficiently spending taxpayer dollars on, among other things, education, police and parks and recreation. The Bull City is No. 23 in education, No. 32 for police and No. 46 for P&R.
• Mo’ money, mo’ money. Time Warner Cable announced this week that beginning on May 5, it will go all-digital. That means all TVs, VCRs and DVD recorders that cable lines are plugged directly into will need a Digital Adapter box. If you already have a set-top box, you won’t need another adapter. Oh yeah, the adapter will be free until June 30. Then TWC will charge $2.75 per month. The rich just keep getting richer.
• Where is Pharrell? According to CareerBliss, these are the 10 happiest jobs:
1. School principal
2. Executive chef
3. Loan officer
4. Automation engineer
5. Research assistant
6. Oracle database administrator
7. Website developer
8. Business development executive
9. Senior software engineer
10. Systems developer
|Sunday, March 8, 2015|
|Sports news & notes, 3/8|
Bowie State men’s basketball coach Darrell Brooks was so sure his team had earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Division II playoffs that that was all he talked about at the CIAA Tournament’s postgame press conference after the Bulldogs lost to eventual champion Livingstone. BSU was ranked No. 6 in the Atlantic Region at the time and could only hope the Blue Bears won the title, which would only help their cause.
And it did. LC won and BSU moved up to No. 5. But it wasn’t high enough; only LC received a playoff berth.
I can only imagine the disappointed looks on the coaches and players faces as the region’s bracket was filled in Sunday night.
And, as suspected, Livingstone women dropped from No. 1 to out of the rankings after the NCAA took into account their 18-game forfeits/nullifications. Another sad ending to a good season. (Read more in my column this week.)
The MEAC Tournament kicks off Monday with the women at 11 a.m. between Norfolk State and Delaware State. South Carolina State vs. Howard at 1:30 p.m., and Bethune-Cookman vs. Florida A&M at 4 p.m. Hampton is the No. 1 seed and Savannah State No. 2.
On the men’s side, Delaware State vs. SSU at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, followed by Hampton vs. Morgan State at 9 p.m. N.C. Central men are the No. 1 seed. Norfolk State is No. 2. All preliminary games will be broadcast on ESPN3.com.
Former Norfolk State center Brandon Goode has signed a professional contract to play for BK Barsy Atyrau in Kazakhstan. Goode graduated from the Spartans in 2014, and averaged 11.1 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks as a senior. He ranks second all-time at NSU in blocks. The 7-footer was drafted by the Delaware 87ers of the NBA Development League last November. Goode is now the fourth Spartan currently playing overseas: Michael Deloach and Pendarvis Williams (Italy) and Malcolm Hawkins (Lithuania). Former NSU great Kyle O’Quinn is with the NBA’s Orlando Magic.
|Thursday, February 12, 2015|
|Williams dishes out advice|
At St. Aug’s football signing day last Wednesday, Athletics Director George Williams gave a passionate speech to members of the football team. He told them about a white track coach who, after receiving an award at a ceremony, thanked Williams. Coach wondered why the man was thanking him since they were rivals.
Williams said the coach told a story about a track meet they were both competing at during Williams’ early years as coach. Every time St. Aug’s won an event – which were many – the officials would disqualify them. Finally, a frustrated Williams asked why were his runners being disqualified. He was told it was because the team wasn’t wearing uniforms with St. Augustine’s written on them.
The college couldn’t afford track uniforms so they were shirts that said “Physical Education.” But, get this, instead of just disqualifying them from the start, they waited until they won.
Williams said the coach told him that that was when he realized that it’s not what’s on the outside but the inside that counts. And that same sentiment was what Williams wanted to convey to the players.
“Look at yourselves; you are here, so make the best of what you got,” he said. “People are going to see what’s in that uniform. You represent St. Aug’s. This year is our year. We have five home games, and help is on the way. What are you going to do with it?”
|Friday, February 6, 2015|
|St. Aug's FB Signing Day|
For one horrifying moment, I thought I was in the wrong gymnasium. That a college president would actually want to meet me AND shake my hand instead of trying to set me on fire was a new experience.
But there was St. Augustine’s interim president Everett B. Ward, standing patiently by as I interviewed one of the Falcons’ new recruits Wednesday on National Signing Day. “It’s a pleasure to meet you,” Ward said. PLEASURE?! “If there is every anything I can do for you, don’t hesitate to call.”
But the entire Falcons football staff was gracious on Wednesday. Maybe it was because The Tribune was the only outside media to show up.
It is a new day at SAU. Permanent football coach Michael Morand is as polite and open as they come. With the interim tag off, Morand could delight in calling the 2015 squad “his team.”
“Tonight is special to me because it is my first recruiting class,” he said. “We met our needs on the offensive line (how many coaches say that) and expect you guys to step up.” “You guys” meant most of the returnees who were in attendance at the Martin Luther King Center on campus. Morand still has to complete his staff, however. He said he needs a defensive coordinator, a defensive line coach and is in the process of hiring another assistant soon.
Morand introduced 14 recruits of mostly freshmen, including Southern Durham OL Eric Allen and defensive end Montreal Cherry. Two newcomers he particularly mentioned that would compete for the starting job were Virginia Military Institute OL Jaron Rice at left tackle and Shepherd University quarterback Darryl Johnson, who also attended Delaware State. Johnson is listed at 5-foot-11, but I’m 5-foot-7 and he isn’t too much taller than I am.
Johnson said he’s out to prove critics wrong. “They say I’m too short and I’m out to prove them wrong.”
Ward, in his enthusiastic voice, asked the players that even if they lost every other game, “Who must you beat?” They chimed back “EVERYBODY!” Uh no, he meant S-H-A-W!
And speaking of…
The Bears release eight signee names, with more expected. Obviously times are tight as all eight are high-schoolers. Two – fullback James Taylor and kicker/punter Leonardo Orozco – are from Southern, and one – WR Raymond Green – from Hillside. All positions except for one are on offense. That’s not going to cut it if the Bears expect to get back to championship contention.
|Thursday, February 5, 2015|
|HBCU Football Signees - updated 2/11|
• For a look at the MEAC's recruitment list, visit http://www.meacsports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=20800&ATCLID=209875566.
• N.C. A&T coach Rod Broadway has picked some good ones since taking over at the Aggies. Read about them at http://www.ncataggies.com//ViewArticle.dbml?SPID=74503&DB_OEM_ID=24500&ATCLID=209877308.
• For a look at the SIAC recruits, visit here.
• For a look at the SWAC recruits, visit here.