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Blow causes another departure
Published Friday, March 8, 2019
by Bonitta Best

Lonnie Blow Jr. has done it again.

Another CIAA coach has lost his job because of Blow’s success.

Fayetteville State men’s basketball coach Ken Spencer was relieved of his duties this week after three seasons.

Spencer guided FSU to the championship game in his first year, but, as with most new coaching hires, he was using his predecessor’s recruits. The Broncos lost to Bowie State.

Last year, FSU finished 10-19; this season, 6-20, giving Spencer a 27-57 overall record.

Now, I’ve never been a fan of Spencer’s; he couldn’t win during his two seasons at St. Augustine’s, and folks were astounded when Broncos athletics director Anthony Bennett hired him after Alphonza Kee was let go.

But there was a Winston-Salem State connection going on: Spencer was an assistant under former Rams coach Bobby Collins; Bennett used to work at WSSU, and coach/AD Bill Hayes, who also worked there, is a relative of Bennett’s. And in this business, it’s all about who you know, not necessarily what you can do.

That being said, three years is kinda quick to pull the plug on a coach for two bad seasons. Especially with the injuries and academic problems the Broncos had this year. But that’s the mentality HBCUs have now taken. They want to drink champagne on a Colt 45 budget.

And then there’s Blow.

Now in his sixth season at Virginia State, Blow has three CIAA championships: two at VSU and one at St. Augustine’s – the only CIAA coach to win titles at two different schools.

“Don’t blame me,” Blow said laughingly by phone Wednesday. “But you’ve got to give coaches time to turn their program around. Three years is not a lot of time.”

Says who?

Blow won his first title as a Falcon in his second year, and his first at VSU in his third year.

And how is this for irony? Blow left St. Aug’s after winning it all in 2010, Spencer replaced him for two seasons before leaving in 2012; then Blow returned to SAU for one year before heading to the Trojans.

Of course, it’s not all about Blow’s accomplishments. Some programs have more resources and more understanding administrators than others, but the average fan doesn’t see that – or even care. All they know is they ain’t winning and the other team is.

Bye, bye Hinton

Shaw junior Amir Hinton played his last college basketball game at the CIAA Tournament.

Although he was interviewed on ESPN with the “official” announcement, he actually revealed his plans on Donal Ware’s BOXTOROW Sports Show last month. The Lock Haven transfer averaged almost 30 points per game.

Several scouts were at the tourney for his three games. One blatantly said he wasn’t impressed, but the club owners wanted him there. Another said he was impressed and thought Hinton had a good shot to play professionally.

It will be interesting. Hinton started slow scoring wise in the three contests but ended up with 26 against the Falcons, 11 versus Virginia Union and 34 against Virginia State. But even when he wasn’t scoring, he was still involved in the offensive and defensive flow of the team. That was also important, the scout said.


A major shout out to the decision makers that moved up the championship games. The women started at 1 p.m., followed by the men at 4:30 p.m.

Fans were still in their seats after the men’s game instead of leaving at halftime to get to the next party. And the media could actually have a night to ourselves instead of crashing at the hotel well past midnight too exhausted to even remember who won.

Everybody came out a winner.


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