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Thursday, April 17, 2014

TBT: FAMU Beats "The U"

Today's Throwback Thursday is a pretty cool one. The University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame has posted a video of Florida A&M's 16-13 win over Miami from 1979.

Watching this game footage, it's clear that the talent gap between the two schools was non-existent at the time. FAMU was coming off the first-ever Division I-AA (FCS) title, while Miami was still just Miami and not "The U." FAMU QB Sammy Knight was a top-notch athlete, the kind that Miami would get in droves just half a decade later. Same story with guard Tyrone McGriff, who would go on to play in the NFL and USFL in the 80s.

When you look at this game and think of how lopsided most of the recent matchups between the two teams have been, it's pretty telling. TV money and better scouting have made the talent gap at most PWIs and HBCUs pretty wide, even at the FCS level.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Alabama State Dance Off W/ GIFs

Last week a couple of HBCU football stars showed off their dance moves in the barrage of "Happy" videos. Well the good folks at Alabama State did them one better and matched up its football players against each other in a dance-off before Saturday's spring game.

Who won? Well DT Roderick Henderson gets our vote.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

VSU Running Back Pleads Guilty To Assualting WSSU QB

Lamont Britt plead guilty to assaulting Winston-Salem State QB Rudy Johnson.

Virginia State running back Lamont Britt guilty to assaulting Winston-Salem State Rudy Johnson on Tuesday. The infamous fight led to the cancellation of the CIAA Football Championship.

Britt pleaded guilty to a charge of simple assault.

He was charged with misdemeanor assault inflicting serious injury, but the prosecutor, Jennifer Martin, said “the statutory elements for assault inflicting serious injury have not been met.”

District Court Judge Denise Hartsfield sentenced Britt to 45 days in jail, suspended for one year; probation for a year, and imposed the condition that he complete or be in the process of completing his education. Hartsfield also ordered Britt to cooperate with any continued investigations.

Britt's sentencing comes six months to the day that the fight took place at an athletic banquet in Winston-Salem, the day before VSU and Winston-Salem State were to meet in the CIAA Championship Game.
The story made headlines around the country and Britt's name became infamous over night, as he was named Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person In Sports" that night. VSU was later ruled ineligible for postseason play by the conference.

Britt was suspended from the team following the fight. He rushed for 276 yards and one touchdown in 2013.

Three HBCU Stars To Show Off For Scouts At Portsmouth Invitational

With the college basketball season over and the NBA  Draft less than three months away, all pro prospects are looking to get a leg up any way they can. Texas Southern's Aaric Murray, Tennessee State's Patrick Miller and Morgan State's Ian Chiles will get their chance to shine at the Portsmouth Invitational this week.

Chiles averaged 15.6 points and 3 blocks per game, helping Morgan State march to the MEAC Championship Game. Murray led Texas Southern to the NCAA Tournament while leading the SWAC in scoring. Miller was a first-team Ohio Valley Conference selection. (Coincidentally, all three were honored in The Earlys.)

The Portsmouth Invitational has traditionally been a great way for small school prospects to shine for pro scouts. Orlando Magic forward Kyle O'Quinn used the PIT to build off the buzz he had coming off a MEAC Player of The Year season and Norfolk State's upset over Missouri to help him get drafted in the second round of the 2012 draft.

We'll keep you posted on how this affects the players draft stock.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Report: NCCU Assistant To Take Lincoln (MO.) Job

A North Carolina Central basketball coach is taking a new job, but it isn't Levelle Moton. Moton's assistant John Moseley will be taking the head coaching job at Division II Lincoln (MO.), according to John McCann of the Durham-Herald Sun.

There has been no announcement from NCCU’s athletics department about Moseley's departure, but Dan Carr, Lincoln’s assistant athletics director for media relations, confirmed the move.

At NCCU, Moseley was highly regarded for his ability break down video of opposing teams and give the Eagles a good look at what they’d be up against.

Moseley has served as an assistant at NCCU since 2010. He also coached at Winston-Salem State prior to coming to NCCU.

He takes over a Lincoln team that went just 3-24 in 2014.

Aggie Invitational Photos

(HBCU Gameday photo)

North Carolina A&T hosted the Aggie Invitational on Saturday at Irwin Belk Track. The meet was the first of three to take place at the school during the outdoor season. Here are a few choice shots from Saturday's action.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Five Takeaways From WSSU's Spring Game

Winston-Salem State quarterback Rudy Johnson eludes defenders during Saturday's scrimmage. (Steven J. Gaither photo)
Winston-Salem State held its final spring scrimmage on Saturday at Glenn High School. The last time most fans saw the team, it was an opening round playoff win against Slippery Rock.

The two hour scrimmage revealed a couple of things.

1. The line is the weak link on the offense. Alfy Hill, Casey Davenport and pretty much every other able-bodied pass rusher was able to get penetration pretty much at will. WSSU does have a talented defensive front, with several Division I transfers, however if you are an offensive coach, that doesn't make you feel better.

2. WSSU's receiving corp is big, fast and good. Seven of 12 receivers listed on the spring game roster are at least six-feet tall. They routinely beat defensive backs deep, especially on seven-on-seven drills without a pass rush. Chase Powell, the reigning CIAA Rookie of The Year seemed to have picked up right where he left off, catching the ball with ease.

3. Rashaun Williams will be a tough player to cover this season. He caught just ten passes in seven games in his first season at WSSU, but he looked like All-Conference material on Saturday, routinely beating defensive backs with his muscular 6'3, 202 lb frame. He will definitely be a player to watch this season.

4. The Rams have two pretty good quarterbacks. More on this in another post.

5. Hill might be ready for a leadership role. Besides being an absolute headache for any Division II line to block, the former Alabama recruit seems to have his head on straight. After a missed assignment, one of the defensive backs went back and forth with a coach about what his responsibilty was on the route. Hill didn't appreciate what he appeared to see as a lack of respect for the coach's authority and he nearly got into an altercation with the player.

It wasn't a textbook "leadership moment," but it did give the impression that he has bought into what the coaches are telling him. When a player as talented as Hill buys into the system, it's hard for less talented guys to try to buck against what's best for the team.

Other notes: There was plenty to take in Saturday afternoon in addition to the scrimmage. Former WSSU defensive end and current St. Louis Ram William Hayes stopped by to check in on the team. Hayes is currently the only WSSU alum in the NFL. But that could soon be changing...

Also in attendance was Carlos Fields, Jr. the two-time CIAA Defensive Player of the Year and NFL prospect. Fields' name has been thrown around a lot by NFL scouts as of late, especially since he ran that 4.47 40 Yard Dash at Wake Forest's Pro Day. He's already worked out for scouts from teams like Tampa Bay and New England, and has been invited to work out for the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks later this week.

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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.