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Thursday, October 2, 2014

End of An Era: No Live Music For Howard's 2014 Yardfest

Howard University students, alumni and supporters looking to turn up for during Howard's annual Yardfest will have to do so without live music. The Washington Post says the school's homecoming reunion/concert, slated for Oct. 17, will not feature live music this year.
"There will be a major change to Howard University’s homecoming this year. Yardfest, an annual staple highlighted by a concert that has featured many of hip-hop’s biggest names, will not include live musical performances. In their place will be sets by celebrity DJs Biz Markie, DJ Quicksilva and DJ Drama. A separate hip-hop concert featuring rappers Dom Kennedy, Fabolous and others will be held at the D.C. Armory the next day, Oct. 18."

This announcement comes after last year's crowd-control fiasco, which resulted in multiple injuries when folks tried to bumrush the entrance.

Another change from last year's concert will be the removal of the $5 entrance fee.

Howard's Yardfest is a staple of the school's ever-popular homecoming festivities, which are as much a regional hip-hop event as it is a reunion for alumni. It'll be interesting to see how the Howard faithful respond to the change, despite the aforementioned crowd control issues.

One of the recent highlights occurred in 2012 when Drake arrived and the crowd went crazy.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

HBCU Drum Major Snapshots

North Carolina A&T's Blue and Gold Marching Machine

Johnson C. Smith's International Institution of Sound

Winston-Salem State's Red Sea of Sound

Tuskegee's Marching Pipers

Howard's Showtime

Grading The MEAC: A Is For Aggie

Bethune-Cookman: B

To be fair, BCU 4-1 and nationally ranked. And one of those wins came over an FCS opponent. Still, the Wildcats have struggled in the last two games against teams that it should have had easy wins. BCU found itself down to both Grambling and D2 Florida tech before coming away with wins.

Delaware State: C

DSU started the season with a tough schedule, and came out with a predictable 0-4 record. It opened up conference play last week with a 35-10 win over Savannah State, but the jury is still out on this team. Saturday's game against Bethune-Cookman could be a good test for DSU.


FAMU is off to its worst start in 30 years, and one loss away from its worst start in recorded school history. Not only is the team 0-4, it hasn't really been in any game other than the second half of its season-opening loss to Jackson State. FAMU has scored just 34 points in its first four games, leading head coach Earl Homes to strip Quinn Gray of his offensive playcalling duties. The good news is, Savannah State will be coming to town in two weeks.

Hampton: C+

On the surface, this grade may appear a bit generous. Outside of a four point win against D2 Miles, Hampton has come away with a loss in every game. A deeper look reveals a young team that put up a respectable fight against Old Dominion in its opener and pushed South Carolina State on Saturday. The Pirates' turnaround may be closer than many people think.

Howard: C

The story for Howard so far has been "close, but not enough." From a respectable effort against Rutgers to a tough loss to Morgan State, Howard has been frustratingly close to having a breakthrough win but not been able to capitalize on that. Quarterback Greg McGhee is doing everything he can to keep his team moving the ball, but his receivers butterfingers have to get better if the Bison want to get back into the conference picture.

Morgan State: A 

Not much was expected of Morgan State in Lee Hull's first season, but the Bears have surprised everyone. MSU has had a legit chance to win every game it has played in so far this season. So far, NC A&T is the only one on this list who can say that.

Norfolk State: C-

NSU has a championship defense and an offense that has barely registered a pulse five games into the season. NSU is averaging just under nine points per game. Even in the MEAC, that won't cut it.

North Carolina A&T: A 

The Aggies are one missed extra point and a couple of questionable calls away from being 5-0. The running game has been a problem for defenses all season long and the passing game is coming a long. No HBCU is playing better football right now than North Carolina A&T.

North Carolina Central: C 

Like Hampton and Howard, NCCU's only win came against a Division II school. Coach Jerry Mack's squad will look to turn the corner as it hosts HU in its first conference game on Saturday.

Savannah State: F+

Not much was expected of Savannah State, but thus far they've managed to still underachieve. Savannah State is 0-4, including an 83-9 loss to Georgia Southern and an embarrassing 42-28 loss to D2 Fort Valley State.

South Carolina State: C+

SC State was predicted to be a contender for the MEAC championship, and depending on which week you catch them, that prediction either looks very good or very bad. The highlight of the season has been a 17-7 win over Furman. The lowlight was a 73-7 loss to Clemson, followed by a 30-3 beating by FCS rival Coastal Carolina. This weekend's game against NC A&T at the Atlanta Classic will be a good measuring stick for SCSU.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Last Time FAMU Started A Season This Bad...

Florida A&M is, without a doubt, one of the most storied football programs in black college sports. It has 12 Black College Football National Championships, and is the only HBCU to win an NCAA Championshion (the 1978 D-1AA Championship.)

With all that storied history, FAMU is used to winning. However, Saturday's 27-7 loss to Tennessee State gave FAMU a record of 0-4 to start the season. It's been a long time since the Rattlers started off this bad. How long? Well here are a couple of clues.

The last time FAMU started 0-4.

The Cosby Show was in its first season.

Michael Jordan was a rookie

Michael Jackson and Carlton were doing commercials.

And Jesse Jackson was running for President.

If you guessed the year 1984, you guessed correctly. FAMU lost to Georgia Southern, Fort Valley State, Troy State and Tennessee State before finally beating Kentucky State 43-14. The Rattlers finished 3-7 that season.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Watch: Official Botches Jackson State/UAPB Coin Toss

Officiating is a tough gig. We get that. But some things, you just have to get right. In football, one of those is the cointoss. Sounds easy enough, but that wasn't the case Saturday when officials asked Jackson State's captains if it wanted "heads or tails." Just watch.

No words. Jackson State would win the game 33-30 in overtime.

Photo Gallery: A&T at Howard

Coming into Saturday's matchup against North Carolina A&T, we said Howard's chances of winning depended on stopping running back Tarik Cohen. Well, it turns out, we were wrong. Cohen didn't play Saturday, and A&T still romped to a 38-22 win in Washington DC on Saturday.

Freshman running back Marquell Cartwright rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns against the Bison. Quarterback Kwashaun Quick completed 14 of 23 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught a touchdown.

Check out this photo gallery from Saturday's game.

Created with flickr slideshow.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

HBCU Football Scores: 9/27

A&T 38, Howard 23
Tuskegee 44, Lane 3
West Georgia 42, Clark 2
Alabama State 38, Texas Southern 3
Alcorn State 56, Southern 16
Winston-Salem State 35, Elizabeth City 7
Tennessee State 27, FAMU 7
Norfolk State 16, Morgan State 15
South Carolina State 17, Hampton 10

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About Me

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Steven J. Gaither is a multimedia journalist and founder of HBCU Gameday. Steven began covering HBCU Sports nearly a decade ago as a student at Winston-Salem State University. His work can also be found at The Shadow League, Diverse Issues In Higher Education and Slam Online.