|Tuesday, May 21, 2013|
|News & notes – 5/21|
Former Bethune-Cookman football coach Alvin Wyatt is not down for the count just yet. Wyatt, who was fired in 2009, sued the university for breach of contract and age discrimination after Athletics Director Lynn Thompson hired Brian Jenkins who was 39 at the time. Wyatt is the winningest football coach in B-CU history (90-54) in 13 seasons but folks only remember what you did yesterday. The Wildcats went 5-6 in his last year as head coach, including a 42-6 drubbing by Florida A&M in the Florida Classic. That will get most coaches fired. A judge will rule on Wednesday. Wyatt is seeking $1.2 million in damages.
• Watch out. And speaking of the Wildcats, quarterback Brodrick Waters has been named to the 2013 College Football Performance Awards Quarterback Watch List. The preliminary list highlights 32 QBs returning in FCS. Over in the SWAC, Alabama State running back Isaiah Crowell is on the College Football Performance Awards running back watch list. Crowell is third in the conference in rushing with 842 yards and a career-best 15 touchdowns.
• More free agents. Prairie View A&M defensive end Jarvis Wilson signed a free agent contract with the Green Bay Packers last week after impressing coaches in the rookie orientation camp. Wilson went into camp as a tryout player but left with some money. Grambling State DE Eric Harper signed with the Oakland Raiders, who can use all the help they can get. According to Harper, Oakland called during the NFL Draft and hinted at selecting him in the seventh round. “They told me that even if I did not get drafted, they were going to invite me to the rookie mini-camp,” he said. “I want to not only make the team and do well for myself, but I want to show the league that we have some great talent at Grambling.”
• Ring ‘o drama. Former NC State and Texans star Mario Williams is still trying to get his $785K ring back from ex-fiancée Erin Marzouki. Marzouki broke off the engagement earlier this month but decided to keep the ring. Williams has filed a lawsuit, but Marzouki has tweeted that he is so upset, he has texted her with “suicidal thoughts.” Oh c’mon, the man has signed a $100 million contract with the Buffalo Bills. It has been interesting reading the saga as it’s being played out. Williams’ attorneys claim Marzouki charged $108,000 to an American Express Card Williams gave her and “additional luxurious items’ valued at $230,000. But what really caught my attention was the comment on the lawsuit that says “Marzouki never intended to marry Williams and used the relationship as a means to get to Williams’ money and acquire gifts.” Nooooo, she’s not a gold-digger is she? Thought that only applied to black women.
|Friday, May 10, 2013|
|Wake Co. continues search for superintendent|
Vacant since the end of September, Wake County school board is closer to naming a new superintendent.
McPherson & Jacobson, an executive recruitment and development service, leads the search in finding the right candidate for the position.
Three days of public forums were held in March. Residents were invited to help determine leadership characteristics of the next superintendent. Forums were divided into interest group: Elected officials, business community, parents, employee leadership, student leaders, multicultural community and African-American community. A separate session was held for the general public.
“We try to match a district with the skills, abilities and personalities that best [match] the situation in that district,” said John Smith, a consultant with McPherson & Jacobson. “Through the community sessions, we hope to get from you some information that will help us to build a model for the kind of individual that will be best suited for this school system.”
Addressing strengths and weaknesses of the school systems, educators and community groups voiced their concerns and aspirations. The qualities defined by the school board, community groups and the general public helped determine a list of candidates.
During a closed session on May 8, the board met with McPherson and Jacobson to review a “short list” of the top seven candidates selected by the firm. Twenty-three applied.The list to four semifinalists.
Board Chairman Keith Sutton describes the four as “veteran educators, all working in leadership positions.”
Board members plan to conduct personal interviews May 14 and 15 before choosing finalists at the end of May.
A new superintendent will be named by July 1. The date could be modified depending on the top candidate's availability.
|Thursday, May 9, 2013|
|News & notes – 5/9|
Not everybody is happy with the matchup for the Atlanta Football Classic in October. North Carolina A&T will take on South Carolina State at the Georgia Dome. The classic, presented by the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, has normally hosted two teams from different conferences. Not to mention it’s the first time in 15 years Florida A&M won’t be participating. To some, this year’s game is not worth the trip to see two MEAC teams go at it – unless you’re Aggies and Bulldogs fans. It will be interesting to see how well attendance does. A&T’s ticket office is now taking orders at 336-334-7749.
My recent column on N.C. Central men’s basketball coach LeVelle Moton received so much response I thought I’d add a few more tidbits that didn’t get in the paper. In Moton’s own words:
“If you saw the movie ‘The Help,’ that was my mother. She had no benefits, couldn’t take off from work. It was humiliating yet inspiring because she taught us the value of hard work.
“Robitusin – that was the cure for everything. Whenever we had a cold or hurt somewhere, she’d just say ‘Put some ‘tusin on it.’
“My first love was in the ninth grade. I wrote her a poem every single day. The guys always teased me about it, but you know how they used to have words to the songs on the back of album covers? That’s what I used in my poems.
“When I was being interviewed for the head coaching job at NCCU, members of the search committee asked me ‘How are you going to manage these kids?’ I told them I had a crack head live next door to me (growing up in the Boston projects), a pimp down the hall and a loan shark below me, and I managed to get by them every day, so I think I can handle a bunch of college guys.”
According to the Associated Press, the parents of Wayne Jones III, a Tennessee State freshman football player who died during practice last November, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the university. “We think it’s a serious case and we’re going to test that issues with the courts and see if the court agrees with us, that punitive damages should be considered,” Attorney Joe Haynes said. The couple is seeking $5 million in punitive damages.
Fayetteville State men’s basketball coach Alphonza Kee was spotlighted in The Fayetteville Observer recently for a graduation rate of over 80 percent. That’s to be commendable, but how many coaches are in the unemployment line for having a higher graduation rate than winning record. With a 9-17 overall record last season, Kee needs to take a few classes of his own – in X’s and O’s.
N.C. Central senior defensive end Xavier Proctor has been invited to the Detroit Lions rookie minicamp this weekend. Proctor recorded 143 tackles and 10 sacks during his four-year career. “This opportunity for me means that the work has just begun, and it’s time to take it to the next level,” Proctor said.
|Thursday, May 2, 2013|
|What people are talking about – 5/2|
What else but the recently passed Voter ID bill. Now, all voters will be required to show some form of government ID to vote in elections. Of course, that doesn’t apply to absentee voters, which if there is any fraud, it would certainly come from predominately Republican absentee ballots. But according to Rep. Yvonne Lewis Holley (D-Wake), the bill could have been much worse. "It would have been 10 times worse if we (Democrats) had not fought," she said at last weekend's Strengthening the Black Family Conference.
Although the Republicans rule the House and Senate, Holley said Democrats and the N.C. Black Caucus are still fighting for voters’ rights. She said most Republicans actually believe what they are doing is the right thing. "Some have been willing to listen when we tell them how their bills will hurt certain segments of the population," she said. "I just want you all to know that we are still fighting and will continue to fight. Don't give up on us just yet."
Raleigh officials announced Tuesday that state recycling grants recently awarded should generate more than 240 jobs and $22.9 million in new business investments. Forty-three companies will receive $1.1 million in funds.
The Senate approved legislation Monday that will increase competition among health insurance carriers, expand choices for health insurance plans and drive down health-care costs. House Bill 247 prevents health insurance companies from including provisions that restrict negotiations in contract agreements with health-care providers. This supposedly will help doctors and hospitals negotiate reimbursement rates and lower the costs for patients. Sounds good on paper but we’ll hold judgment.
In some of the saddest news this week, the General Assembly will undoubtedly pass a bill that places even more restrictions on pre-K funding. The most ridiculous guidelines are the annual salaries for families to be eligible. (Read Taylor Shaw’s story this week.) What they are really saying, in a not so subtle way, is “More birth control, less children.”
|Thursday, April 25, 2013|
The Triangle Tribune has expanded our print circulation. We are now in over 73 Food Lions and Krogers in Raleigh, Cary, Durham and Chapel Hill. Check our website for paper locations or give us a call at (919) 688-9408. Pick up a copy today!
|Monday, April 15, 2013|
|News & notes – 4/15|
“And we’re movin’ on up – to the East Side!”
HBCU coaches continue to move on to swankier digs. Howard women’s coach Niki Geckeler Got the party started two weeks ago. Then Cynthia Cooper-Dyke recently left the SWAC’s Texas Southern for her alma mater, USC; and today it was announced the Norfolk State’s Anthony Evans is leaving for Florida International. What’s even more significant in these hires is the coaches are going to predominately white universities.
Not that there is anything wrong with coaching at an HBCU, but that coaches – especially males – tend to get pigeonholed into their surroundings. And if they – especially males – do advance to another institution, it’s usually as an assistant instead of head coach.
Cooper-Dyke is making her second sting on the “white people’s level.” She left Prairie View A&M to take over at UNC- Wilmington. Revitalized that program and took it to consecutive postseason tournaments before returning to the SWAC at TSU. Turned it from a 5-26 program in 2012 to 16-2 and a conference championship this past season. The woman has got the touch. So who can blame her for returning to her alma mater. Isn’t that every coaches’ dream?
Texas Southern is ecstatic for the opportunity coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke has to take over the USC women’s basketball program,” AD Charles McClelland said. “…We’re extremely said to see her leave, but we’re very excited about the foundation that our women’s basketball program has built under her leadership, and we look forward to our program continuing to succeed in the classroom and on the court.”
Evans compiled a 99-94 overall record and 66-30 MEAC record at NSU. But all fans will remember is the 2012 season’s upset over No. 5 Missouri in the NCAA tournament. Evans is leaving some of the best fans not only in the MEAC but all of college basketball.
• Not for women only. Bethune-Cookman football recently held a Women’s Football Clinic to interact with the coaching staff and “gain knowledge and insight into the game of college football.” Nice idea but the Wildcats should also hold one for males too. Just because you’re born with an Almond Joy instead of Mounds doesn’t mean you know a can of beans about sports. I can testify to that.
• Where’s a cattle prod when you need one? Since my NBA beat days in Baltimore, I have relished the thought of never having to go inside another professional players’ locker room. College is different. The NCAA has rules and players are covered up just fine. But I needed a cattle prod after last week’s game at the Durham Bulls. I guess player modesty is gone by way of the dashiki. One player must have thought he was in the Garden of Eden because he refused to put on any shorts. One of the Bulls representatives had to finally call him aside. First, I’m old enough to be their mother; second, my name is not Stella – she should have left her groove in the Bahamas – and third, well, if I ever get my hands on one of those wet towels…remember in gym class how you’d wring the towel into a tight ball and then SNAP somebody’s butt! ‘Nuf said.
|Thursday, April 11, 2013|
|What people are talking about – 4/11|
Actually, what people are STILL talking about is how the Republican legislature skillfully maneuvered to announce a voter ID bill, or rather voter suppression, on the same day (April 4) as the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination. So clever, don't you think? Wonder how many backroom meetings were held to come up with that idea? What I don't understand is if Republicans are so much better than the Democrats, why the need to cheat and steal for votes? Why don't they just challenge the Dems on the issues and let the voters decide. I'll tell you why: Because they don't know any more than anybody else. Their agenda is twofold – to retaliate against every voter that helped re-elect a black man (who is half white) and to make sure it never happens again. Voter fraud? PUh-lease! Who has stolen more votes than Republicans? Al Gore would have been the 2000 U.S. president if the state of Florida hadn't stolen it for George W. Bush! Physician, heal thyself.
• A scam a minute. Durham police are cautioning residents to be wary of callers pretending to be Duke Energy employees asking for money for past due accounts. The victims were told to purchase a pre-paid card and then call a certain number to give the person the card info. Of course once they did, the card was emptied immediately.
• Stay in your lane. Senate Bill 658 introduced by Sen. David Curtis (R-Lincoln) would negate a policy put forth by UNC Board of Trustees to allow students of the opposite sex to live together in dorm suites and campus apartments. "The purpose of this bill is to help the UNC system regain its focus on the core mission of educating young people and helping them find meaningful employment in our state," Curtis said in a statement. "UNC did not become a national leader in academics by wasting time and tax dollars on frivolous social experiment." He's right, especially since the policy would break UNC's tradition of putting first-year students together in housing. Any college graduate can remember how awkward and somewhat frightening that first year is away from home. A supportive freshman environment is much needed. Besides, college students can devise plenty of ways to do their dirty deeds that's not at taxpayers' expense. Now, if the General Assembly would only take the same cue.
• Everything's groovy. Rep. Kelly Alexander Jr. (D-Mecklenburg) has introduced a bill to downgrade the penalty for simple marijuana (one ounce or less) possession to the same as a traffic ticket. Hmmm.
• Reading, writing, robbery. A bill is in the works to take $90 million away from public schools and flow the dollars toward a voucher system. The GA is doing all it can do to destroy the public school system. You know why, right? Who is the majority that attend public schools? That should tell you all you need to know.
|Friday, April 5, 2013|
|News & notes – 4/5|
What a coup for Howard women’s basketball coach Niki Geckeler. Too often HBCU coaches are not viewed as having the “skills” to lead at a predominately white school, especially on the men’s side. But Towson officials obviously saw the program Geckeler had built at Howard was one of star quality. Texas Southern women’s coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke left Prairie View A&M several years ago for predominately white UNC Wilmington and turned that program around. And though she has stayed on the HBCU circuit, Grambling coach Patricia Cage-Bibbs is as good as they come – on any level and at any university.
• Reality football. Bethune-Cookman recently debuted its “Cat-Eye Netowrk,” a new football reality series. Nice opening with The Staple Singers’ song “I’ll Take You There” in the background as the players practice in the wee hours of the morning. Looks like N.C. Central's athletic department is starting to influence some people.
• As the stomach turns. According to the Associated Press, Jackson State Athletics Director Vivian Fuller has a fourth federal lawsuit filed against her on allegations she sexually harassed a female assistant and then fired employees who supported the woman. The university denies the claims and court documents show the EEOC declined to participate in the lawsuit. Should be interesting to see how all this turns out.
• Deserving honor. Livingstone men’s basketball coach James Stinson is in good company after being named the winner of the Clarence “Big House” Gaines College Basketball Coach of the Year for Division II. Harvard coach Tommy Amaker was given the award for Division I. Stinson had his best season in nine years at LC, setting a school record for most wins (22). The awards banquet is June 11 at Catawba College in Salisbury.
|Sunday, March 24, 2013|
|Hampton vs. Duke - NCAA tourney|
Despite the cold, wet conditions, Hampton fans are up in here at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Band and cheerleaders are here so you know who's going to win that battle.
Duke definitely has the size advantage but Ariel Phillips gives the Pirates the first lead but Alexis Jones ties it right up. This place should be packed. If it were a men's game, it would be. But the fans are loud. Hampton president is also here. No matter how you feel about Duke, Cameron Indoor is just the best place to watch basketball.
Pirates trail 8-4 with 16:01 left in 1st half. Blue Devils just too big in middle. Hampton has to hit perimeter shots, but also going inside. Not intimidated. You should see these white fans looking at Hampton's cheerleaders on the floor. They are in culture shock. But Hampton's band is a big hit.
David Six has put in Verdine Warner, his tallest player on the team at 6-6.Tricia Liston's 2 FTs gives Duke 14-8 lead. Allison Vernerey makes it 16-8, Duke's biggest lead.
Just heard that Hampton brought 8 buses. Now, that's fan support!
Olivia Allen hits Hampton's first 3-pointer. Duke leads 16-11.
Officials aren't calling any fouls. Oops, spoke too soon. Bad charging call foul called on Hampton. Duke leads 20-11.
Blue Devils starting to pull away, 25-11, as Hampton is cold from the outside. Now 32-13 but Hampton is battling.
Halftime: Duke 32, Hampton 15.
Pirates have had plenty of good looks at the basket but just couldn't hit from the field.
Allen scores first for Hampton, but Liston comes back with a 3. I covered Liston during the Greater N.C. Pro-Am Summer Basketball League when she was a freshman, and she was deadly from outside then. Her shot has only gotten better.
Pirates starting to get hot from the field. If they shot like this in the first half, game would be a lot closer. Duke leads 37-23 with 16:34 left in game.
Allen pulls Hampton to within 12, but there's Liston again with another 3.
Hampton won't go away, however. Allen jumper makes it 42-29. Pirates had a chance to pull closer but threw the ball away and Duke scored.
Hampton comes right back with a steal and basket to pull to within 11 with 12:50 left. Another turnover and Duke makes them pay. Allen is on fire. 46-36. Turnover Duke. Keiara Avant pulls Hampton to single digits - 8 pts - with 11:14 left. A Hampton steal. Pirates playing with some energy and confidence. Couldn't make the shot. Duke rebounds.
Avant's pretty reverse bucket pulls to 6. Another Hampton steal. Misses shot. Another Duke TO. Can't convert. 2 chances to cut lead to 6. Duke's Williams gets putback. This time a Hampton TO. 8 minutes left in game.
Lead back at 10. Not after a turnaround jumper by Avant. Lead has grown to 12 with 6:06 left. Liston's overhead layup makes it 56-42. Time out Hampton.
In other basketball news, Gonzaga men have lost. You knew it was going to happen after Southern exposed their flaws. Miami should have been the other No. 1 seed.
Duke is going to win this. Lead 67-48 with 35 seconds remaining.
Game over: 67-51. President Harvey congratulating each player on the floor.
|Thursday, March 21, 2013|
|What people are talking about – 3/21|
What else, but Gov. Pat McCrory's first budget. Yes, there are a lot of numbers and statistics involved, but here are some of the basic logistics, thanks to The Progressive Pulse.
In the budget:
• 1,800 new teaching positions
• 5,000 additional slots for early education program
• $5 million to pay private attorneys for indigent defendants
• Three positions in the Office of Charter Schools
• $4,000 for furniture for Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (and we know he so needs new furniture at taxpayers' expense)
• $3.4 million for drug treatment court funding
• Tuition increase of out-of-state students in the UNC system
Not in the budget:
• Teacher's assistants positions beyond the first grade
• Five prisons are slated to be shut down in Wayne, Bladen, Duplin and Robeson counties, and a youth prison in the western area
• Reduced aid to libraries and the elimination of four state historic sites: Aycock birthplace, Pol Memorial, Vance birthplace and House in the Horseshoe
• $10 million reduction to the N.C. Rural Center
• Cuts in advertising and marketing budgets for the N.C. Education Lottery. Advertising cuts? Now, those are fighting words.
Former Durham Mayor Nick Tennyson has been named chief deputy secretary of support at the NCDOT. Tennyson, who will oversee five business functions, will lead the implementation of a 25-year transportation infrastructure plan.
McCrory will continue to tradition of North Carolina governors by becoming the state honorary chair of the United Negro College Fund. Every governor sine James G. Martin has accepted the honor, but is there anyone else who finds the hypocrisy in McCrory?
|Friday, March 15, 2013|
|HBCU football signings|
Wednesday was National Signing Day. For most HBCUs, however, the day is a wait-and see to see which recruits go Division I and which don't.
For MEAC signings, click here.
For SWAC signings, click here.
For SIAC signings, click here.
Fayetteville State - UPDATED 3/15/13
• Dondre Whitmire, OL, Friendship Collegiate Academy, Washington, D.C.
• William Nelson, LB, Friendship Collegiate Academy, Washington, D.C.
• Darrius Wirt, OL, Hoke County High, Raeford, N.C.
• Phillip Bell, QB/DE, E.E. Smith, Fayetteville
High school signees:
Tyriek Able - DB - (5-9, 180) out of Ben L. Smith High School in Greensboro
Kanavius Brown - LB - (6-0, 200), Ben L. Smith High School in Greensboro
Kendal Dukes - LB - (5-9, 200), Upland High School in Upland, Calif.
Orin Gregg - RB - (5-11, 195), Dutch Fork High School, Irmo, N.C.
Christian Hartsfield - OL - (6-4, 320), Panther Creek High School, Apex
Vincent Jefferies - QB - (6-1, 185), Garner High School, Garner
Dontavious Jackson - DB - (6-2, 200), Hillside High School, Durham
Junior college/college transfers
Andres Magallon - K - (5-9, 170), Mount San Antonio College, Walnut, Calif.
Trevius Folston - QB - (6-7, 220), Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, Fla.
Thomas Street - CB - (6-0, 180), Mount San Antonio College, Walnut, Calif.
Kelvin Wagner - WR - (6-0, 190), College of Sequoias, Visalia, Calif.
Michael Douglas - DL - (6-4, 290), Contra Costa Community College, San Pablo, Calif.
Corey Johnson - DB - (6-0, 205), Los Medanos Community College, Brentwood, Calif.
De'Shawn Beck - WR - (6-0, 180), La Harbour Community College, Los Angeles, Calif.
Traneir Fraiser - LB - (6-1, 230), Garden City Community College, Garden City, Kan.
Virginia State (UPDATED 2/22)
Shaquille Robinson, LB, Eastern View High, Culpeper, Va.
Jae'len Williams, DL, Charles City High, Charles City, Va.
Niko Johnson, QB, Hermitage High School, Richmond, Va.
|Wednesday, March 13, 2013|
|Latest at Durham Public Schools|
In a media briefing on March 12, Superintendent Eric J. Becoats discussed topics impacting students and parents.
THE RESULTS ARE IN
Students that applied for one of the district’s 23 magnet schools through lottery were notified earlier this month of their acceptance. Over 8,500 applications were received. About 1,900 of them came from students currently attending private, charter or home schools. The overall application numbers are up this year by about 30 percent.
With goals to utilize school facilities, promote diversity and offer relevant programs to students in the district, the DPS Board of Education approved five new magnet schools to be implemented during the 2013-14 school year:
• Holt Year-Round Elementary will transition to a Language Academy offering Spanish and Mandarin Chinese beginning with the kindergarten class.
• Lowe’s Grove Middle will become a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics school offering “Techways,” including digital media technology, robotics and design technology, environmental technology and arts and kinesthetic technology.
• Neal Middle will also become a STEM school with an emphasis on engineering and design.
• Chewning Middle will be converted to the School of Creative Studies. Enrolling grades six to 12, students will focus on media and entertainment arts, graphic design, architectural design and literacy arts.
• Southern School of Energy and Sustainability will comprise of four small schools. Beginning as a freshman, students can select the School of Computer and Technology Engineering, the School of Infrastructure Engineering, the School of Business Management and Sustainability, and the School of Biomedical Technology.
2013-14 BUDGET UPDATE
As in pervious years, inflation and growth plus funding restrictions equal deficit. In April, Becoats will present the BOE with his proposed budget. The school system faces challenges, including the impact of $1.7 million from sequestration. In the meeting, Becoats warned that effects could be felt down the road and could change Title I funding.
With a projected shortfall of over $12 million for 2013, restrictions in the Central Office’s budget, transportation efficiency and state discretionary reductions are under construction.
STAKEHOLDER FEEDBACK SURVEY
From March 18-29, parents and DPS employees are encouraged to take the Stakeholder Feedback Survey on www.dpsnc.net. Questions will accesses services, internal communication and professional development.
Y.E. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON
The East Durham Children’s Initiative led 14 students (left) from Y.E. Smith Elementary (above) to embark on a bus tour to Washington, D.C. Students will visit the National Archives and the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial.
The tour is the first of its kind for EDCI. Follow their journey on Twitter (@EDCI_NC) or on Facebook www.facebook.com/pages/East-Durham_Childrens_Initiative.
|News, notes & rumors – 3/13|
Oh, the irony! When the MEAC tournament was in Winston-Salem, all fans wanted to see was N.C. Central vs. N.C. A&T matchup. Never happened. Now, in the first year at the Scope in Norfolk, Va., the archrivals will meet tonight for the third time this season. The Eagles have owned the Aggies since they resumed the series, winners of four of the past five matchups. But the Aggies may have a slight advantage tonight in that they have played a game – defeating Florida A&M yesterday – while NCCU had a bye. It should be a doozy of a game. If the Eagles should lose, fans better root for Norfolk State to win it all. That way the Spartans get an invite to the Big Dance, while NCCU will most likely go to the NIT. As far down as the men's basketball program has been, ANY postseason bid would be remarkable.
UPDATE: Norfolk State was upset by Bethune-Cookman. That means they get the NIT bid. NCCU lost to N.C. A&T. The Eagles season is 99 percent over.
More from the CIAA tournament:
• With all the talk about Shaw senior Karron Johnson getting put off the team, no mention was made of the dismissal of women's player Ronika Ransford. Why is that? Ransford was averaging 15.5 points per game and was instrumental in many of Shaw's wins. Some of us have heard rumors but due to possible legal action, we'd best keep quiet.
• The John B. McLendon Hall of Fame induction ceremony was almost half empty. Normally, the room at the Charlotte Convention Center is packed to the rafters. But this year, EVERYBODY had to pay the $50 per ticket. One attendee said many of the older honorees couldn't make it because they were on fixed income and couldn't afford the price.
• In the "You never know what's going on behind the scenes" department, Virginia Union guard Parress Davis scored 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Panthers past Virginia State in the early rounds. Davis' father died a year ago on that day. She honored him by putting on one of her best performances all season.
• Johnson C. Smith's women's coaching staff is comprised of all former N.C. Central folks. Head coach Steve Joyner Jr. is a former assistant; Shenika Worthy and Amba Kongola are former standout players, and assistant Joli Robinson is the former women's head coach. Talk about keeping it all in the family. It was good to see them. Those Eagles women's teams were more interesting to watch than any of the men during the time. It's a shame Kongola never got a championship ring. But she can get one as a coach. Just as long as Smith doesn't have to play Shaw.
• According to scuttlebutt, the CIAA board discussed several changes to the tourney. One would be to lengthen the tourney to start Monday night after the women's and men's luncheon. Duh! The second is having four play-in games on campus sites of the highest seeds. The winners then go on the play at the big arena. I can't see that one going anywhere. EVERY squad wants to play on the big stage. That may be the only chance they get.
|Saturday, February 23, 2013|
|NCCU vs. N.C. A&T - WOMEN & MEN|
Despite the rainy, cool weather, McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium will be sold out today as the best rivalry in HBCU Division I gets ready to kick off with the women's matchup. The student section is already just about packed.
Tenika Neely gives Eagles first lead with 2 FTs, but JaQuayla Berry comes right back with a layup. Spirited crowd for the women despite their record. At least coach Vanessa Taylor won't go winless in her first season. No coach wants to do that.
Ariel Bursey and Amber Calvin hit consecutive buckets to give Aggies a quick 6-2 lead. Tisha Dixon muscles in a layup but Eboni Ross makes it look too easy in a wide open layup. 8-4 Aggies.
Aja Hoyle pulls Eagles to within 1 with 13:05 left in the first half. Dixon is really hustling for the Eagles. Hoyle hits a short jumper to give Eagles a 9-8 lead. Ross comes back and Aggies retake the lead. Lead now at 4 after Adriana Nazario's 3-pointer, and she hits another one. A&T leads 16-9. As the clock winds down, Amber Neely nails a trey. Aggies on a run. Berry's putback gives Aggies 20-11 lead with 6:41 left.
Aggies maintaining 9-pt lead. Ross' 2 FTs makes it an 11-pt lead. She makes it 13. Aggies starting to flex their muscle. Ross is having her way. Scores again. That's 6 straight pts.
A foul is called just before the buzzer for halftime. Dixon misses 1st. Misses 2nd. Aggies lead 28-13.
It is rocking up in here. There was a tug of war contest, a bicycle race; folks are jamming. Ross led all scorers with 12 points – almost half of her team's points. Hoyled led NCCU with 4 pts.
Ariel Bursey scores 1st bucket to put A&T up 30-13. Aggies have extended lead 34-15 with 15:47 left. Not a good offensive game by either team. A&T now leads 41-16. Unless the Eagles make a major rally, I'm signing off till the men.
CIAA score: Shaw women 88, J.C. Smith 58. Guess the Bears wanted to make an impression on TV.
Thankfully, game over. Aggies win 60-34. Ross finishes with a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds. Dixon led the Eagles her own double-double of 14 pts and 12 rebounds.
Sure hope the game is as good as advertised. Now this should be a TV game.
The game may be sold out but not everybody is here. Guess the weather kept some folks away. They'll regret it.
Bruce Beckford gets the Aggies on the scoreboard first with a short jumper. Adrian Powell makes it 4-0. Aggies playing good defense early on. Eagles can barely get a shot off. But Emmanuel Chapman soon takes care of that with a 3 from the left corner.
Aggies are hot. Have hit all of shot attempts. Done it from long range and in the paint. Lead 11-3 with 15:10 left. Time out called by NCCU. Aggies in the house happy so far.
DavRon Williams breaks the streak with 2 FTs. Stanton Kidd hits 2 FTs to pull Eagles to within 4. Beckford slams home the first dunk of the game to make it 13-7. Powell gets a putback and is fouled. Misses his 4th straight FT. Aggies going to need those. But not right now. Jeremy Underwood nails a trey. Aggiels lead 18-9 with 12:13 left.
Aggies came to play toda. Another dunk by Beckford gives them a 9-pt lead. Make that 11-pt after Underwood's layup. 8:57 left. Kidd is fouled and is at the line. Makes 1, 2. Chapman gets a bucket to make it 24-17 Aggies with 8:13 left.
Ingram's 2 FTs closes it to 5. Austin Witter's dunk makes it 7 again but Ingram hits a 3 for a 4-pt lead. Eagles were starting to gain momentum but Ingram was called for a charge on a fast break.
Louisme extends the league to 7 with a 3. Antonin Galaya has come in and jump-started the team. Score NCCU's last 5 pts. Trail by 3 with 1:34 left.
End of 1st half: NCCU 30, A&T 27.
Aggies holding on to 4-pt lead early. Powell can shoot but he can't hit a FT. Finally made one after going 0-5.
A&T back to the pressure defense it had at beginning of the game.
Kidd has back to back baskets. Misses FT at chance at 3-pt play. Ingram gives Eagles their first ead of the game with a try. 38-37 with 13:05 left. But Underwood is fouled and at the line. Misses entire basket. Dang, that was ugly. Makes second. 38-all with 12:50 left.
Ray Willis is fouled on a made basket. Hits FT. Eagles by 3. Their biggest lead. Chapman bounces a pass to Kidd who makes good on it. NCCU leads 43-38 with 11:46 left. Time out Aggies.
Kidd makes it 7-0 with another layup. Eagles defense has picked up also. Aggies can't get a shot off in the zone. Lamont Middleton breaks the streak with a FT. Aggies trail by 6.
Beckford's putback pulls Aggies to 3 with 3:47 left. TO Eagles.
Middletown left-handed layup closes gap to 1. Now he has chance to give A&T the lead at the FT line. Misses 1. Misses 2. Aggies going to cry if they lose this game.
Eagles turn ball over again. Interestingly, Cy Alexander calls TO right before one of the players nails a 3. Oh well. A&T has the ball after a TO.
Powell misses a 3 at the top of the key. NCCU makes them pay after Chapman strolls for a layup to make it 47-44 with 1:15 left.
Middleton is back at the line. Makes 1. Misses 2 but ball is stolen. A&T can tie or go ahead. Middleton fouled again. Misses front end of 1 and 1. He then steals the ball again but can't connect. NCCU has turned into a comedy of errors. Ray Willis at the line with 19.8 seconds left. Makes 1. Makes 2.
Powell puts in a missed shot with 2.1 seconds left. Aggies trail by 2. Ingram is fouled. Makes 1. Makes 2 with 1.5 seconds left. Game over. Fans storm the court. 51-47. Eagles have owned Aggies since returning to MEAC
|Friday, February 22, 2013|
|News & notes – 2/22|
The Shaw women will end their regular season on a national note. The Bears game against Johnson C. Smith will be televised Saturday at noon by CBS Sports Network. To accommodate the network, the doubleheader was moved to Southeast Raleigh High but only the women's game is being televised. CBS originally disqualified SE, saying there wasn't enough lighting. Obviously some was found from somewhere. As the defending NCAA Division II champs, Shaw should have had more games on TV, but that's another story at another time. CBS Sports can be found on Time Warner Cable channels 537 and 1537. The men's game will start at 3 p.m.
Virginia Union women's coach Barvenia Wooten-Cherry and former Winston-Salem State football standout Timmy Newsome were named to the DII 40th anniversary team. Cherry was a star basketball player at VUU and led the Panthers to back-to-back CIAA titles in 1981-82. She finished her career with 1,534 points and 724 rebounds.
CIAA track coaches Lennox Graham of Johnson C. Smith and St. Augustine's George Williams were named the conference's women's and men's indoor T&F coaches of the year, respectively. This is Graham's fourth straight honor, while the Falcons men are ranked No. 1 in DII standings.
The opening of the CIAA tourney always begins with the tipoff awards luncheon. With the tourney starting on Tuesday, the women and men will be combined on Monday at noon at the Charlotte Convention Center. Felicia Hall Allen, president and CEO of her own executive coaching company, is the keynote speaker. Also announced this week were the annual all-conference and all-rookie teams. Coaches of the year awards will be given out at the luncheon. St. Aug's women owned the rookie this season.
2013 All-CIAA Men’s Basketball Team
Quinton McDuffie, Chowan
Wykevin Bazemore, Winston-Salem
Kenny Mitchell, Virginia State
Angelo Sharpless, Elizabeth City
Emilio Parks. J.C. Smith
Tyreel Tate , Fayetteville State
Byron Westmorland, Bowie State
Kenny Sharpe, Lincoln
Justin Glover, WSSU
Trevin Parks, JCSU
Mark Thomas, Livingstone
Percy Woods, SAU
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Angelo Sharpless, Elizabeth City State
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Marcus Wells, Winston-Salem State
2013 All-CIAA Women’s Basketball Team
Stephanie Harper, ECSU
Bria Robinson, BSU
Lamesha Deal, Virginia State
Shuanda Ashford, FSU
Tierra Coleman, FSU
Tahlar McIntosh, LUP
Jasmine Murray, LC
Shatara Jackson, ECSU
Brittany Dorsett, JCSU
Talaya Lynch, Chowan
Kristen Hanzer, FSU
Ashle Freeman, Virginia Union
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Kristen Hanzer, Fayetteville State
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Lamesha Deal, Virginia State
2013 CIAA Women’s All-Rookie Team
Regime McCombs, SAU
Porscha Walton, SAU
Zephrah Pam, LUP
Jeanne-Marie Wilson, SAU
Terri Jacobs, SAU
Women’s Rookie of the Year
Regime McCombs, Saint Augustine’s
2013 CIAA MEN’S ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
Kortez Smith, CU
Miche-Ofik Nzege, WSSU
Joshua Linson, JCSU
Miykael Faulcon, ECSU
Dominique Byrd, ECSU
MEN’S CIAA ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Kortez Smith, Chowan
|Thursday, February 21, 2013|
|What people are talking about – 2/21|
In another crushing blow for poor and low-income families, the General Assembly is considering allowing the Earned Income Tax Credit to expire after the 2013 tax year. The EITC offers low wage earners a credit to offset their local tax contributions. An elimination or cut in the credit would result in a higher tax rate. But so what with this new administration.
New State DOT Secretary Tony Tata has added to his staff again. Cris Mulder is the new deputy secretary of internal and external affairs. Mulder will be responsible for strategic communications, marketing, branding and transforming all aspects of DOT communications. She starts on March 11.
Most of you probably know by now that the NCDOT has increased the speed limit on a section of I-540 from 65 to 70 miles per hour. And most of you probably don’t care since you were already going 70 anyway.
Raleigh this week approved Oberlin Cemetery at 1014 Oberlin Road as an historic landmark. The cemetery is one of the surviving landmarks in Oberlin Village, the largest freedmen’s village in Wake County. Yep, the Oberlin area used to be all black.
|Tuesday, February 12, 2013|
|Durham School briefs|
DPS Superintendent Eric J. Becoats met with the media and members of the community to discuss upcoming events in the district.
BOARD OF EDUCATION
The board’s 2013 legislative season is now in session. On this year’s agenda, it plans to restore state funding, support teaching and learning, improve charter school legislation, support teachers, keep schools safe and impact federal issues. Becoats encouraged parents to be involved; call the school board and join the PTA or other civic organizations.
2013-2014 BUDGET UPDATE
A new budget season has begun. An early projection is a $12 million deficit. In March, the BOE plans to engage the community through website and surveys. On April 25, Becoats will present his budget to board members. In May, the BOE will work towards creating the budget by the May 15 deadline.
SCHOOLS TO WATCH
Carrington Middle was re-certified as a “School to Watch.” This initiative, launched by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, identifies schools across the United States that fosters academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity, and organizational support and process.
This is the first year of the online-only application for the Magnet and Career-Technical Education Pathway lottery. To date, 5,473 students have applied. For questions about the lottery, call the Office of Student Assignment at (919) 560-2059. The application is open from Feb. 1 to Feb. 20. Visit http://dpsncapplication.com/site.php to view participating schools and to apply.
MAGIC JOHNSON BRIDGESCAPE ACADEMY
A little magic is happening at the Durham Performance Learning Center; the Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy, that is. The DPLC is a small non-traditional high school where students learn in a business-like setting. The curriculum is comprised of computer-based learning. Students also utilize project-based learning, service learning, job shadowing, internships, mentoring and dual enrollment with technical and four-year colleges.
The Bridgescape program is modeled to recapture high school dropouts. Offering flexible hours and small class sizes, the first four graduates of the program walked across the stage in January. Seventy will graduate this summer. For more information, visit http://dplc.dpsnc.net or call (919) 560-9190.