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The Voice of the Black Community


CIAA stumbles on pair of events
Published Thursday, July 3, 2014
by Bonitta Best

Well, well, well, look who’s coming back to Durham – twice.

First, the CIAA announces that its football media day will return to the Bull City on July 24 after leaving Durham for Virginia State and then leaving VSU for Winston-Salem State last year.

Next up is the football championship game, which comes back to Durham County Stadium Nov. 15 after leaving for WSSU.

Thing is, none of us would have known about its return if we hadn’t read John Dell’s story in The Winston-Salem Journal. Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams admits the game will be back in the Bull City for two years, but the conference office has yet to issue an official press release.

This spring and summer has been a comedy of errors from the marketing agency in Atlanta promoting the CIAA: press releases sent out days after an event, wrong headlines, misspelled names, you name it. Yes, we ALL make mistakes, but at least acknowledge it! Don’t just act like it didn’t happen or that the media is too stupid to notice.

It’s bad enough the football luncheon is the same day and time as the Triangle Pigskin Preview. I know, it’s old news but their cavalier attitude about the conference just ticks me off.

My spies tell me they don’t see a problem. In their opinion, the CIAA is Division II and the Pigskin is DI so the two don’t conflict. Hello?! N.C. Central is a former CIAA member and still an HBCU that some of us cover. The conflict is the number of media that are going to make it to both events.

Shaw women won the NCAA Division II national championship in 2012, and still some people grumbled that the title was second rate because it wasn’t the ACC.

So guess which luncheon is going to get the shaft on July 24? Clueless, clueless bunch of folks.

The football championship’s return is somewhat of a surprise considering the main reason it left was due to size. Although the stadium holds 8,500 spectators, that doesn’t count the 500 people trying to squeeze into the media suites. And let’s not forget those president/chancellors who take up a third of that space with their guests and lackeys.

Last season’s game in Durham had half the media sitting outside, which was OK until the sun went down. Coaches on the both teams complained of having to sit in the stands and listen to fans, uh, “instruct” them on how to call the game. It was that chaos that blew up between former commissioner Leon Kerry and a certain former president that sent Kerry packing.

It’s a great stadium and perfect – field wise – for football, but the challenges are still there. Nothing has changed.

Where’s a Motel 6?

So much for working with the hotels during CIAA tournament week.

I hope you’ve reserved your hotel room by now for next year’s tourney because the pickings are slim unless you have a boatload of cash handy. The rooms for Thursday-Saturday are ridiculous. Normally, I could find a bargain because I reserve the entire week. Not this time. Folks are complaining like crazy.

My boss has a motto: “If you ain’t payin’, you must be stayin’.” I seriously considered stayin’ for the first time in 16 years, but then realized how many folks I’d make happy and, well, I can’t have that.



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