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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

FAMU Upsets Sixth Ranked Florida 4-3

FAMU scored a big win on the diamond Wednesday night, beating nationally-ranked Florida 4-3. The win was FAMU's first-ever over its cross-town rival.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Banks and Southern Agree To New Deal

Roman Banks has agreed to a new contract with Southern. (NOLA photo)

It looks like flirting helped the marriage between Roman Banks and Southern stronger. Less than two weeks after being allowed to interview for a job at Texas A&M, Southern has offered its basketball coach a new deal according to a release on its website. 

"We're excited about the prospect of continuing our relationship with Coach Banks and I remain excited about his leadership of the men's basketball team at Southern U.," Athletics Director Dr. William Broussard said.

Approval for the new deal is pending and is not expected until the Southern University Board of Supervisors meet in May. Term of the contract were not disclosed at the present time.

"Today, Southern University has expressed its commitment to the future of the men's basketball program by investing in me to remain as head coach," Banks said. "With a new agreement in place, I am eager to move the men's basketball program forward while elevating the standard of excellence that we set as a coaching staff when I first arrived in 2011. But none of this would be possible without the relentless efforts of our university administration, athletics director, coaches and, most importantly, our student-athletes."

Banks has gone 59-37 in three seasons as Southern's coach. He led the team to the 2013 SWAC Tournament title and the 2014 SWAC regular season title. 

Southern HBCUs Among College Football Attendance Leaders

A few months ago, Tennessee State's Kadeem Edwards made headlines when he said HBCU football was slowly dying. While many people agreed with that notion, the stats say otherwise. A look at the NCAA's 2013 attendance report shows that HBCUs are among the leaders in attendance at the FCS and Division II levels.

Southern HBCUs in particular are thriving based off attendance numbers. Take the SIAC for example: seven out of the top 25 programs in terms of per game attendance hail from the conference. That includes Tuskegee, the top D2 school in the nation 14, 954 per game. That number is nearly five thousand higher than its closest competitor, Grand Valley State.

3. Morehouse 9,731
9. Fort Valley State 8,244
10. Miles 7,374
11. Albany State 7,343
13. Kentucky State 7,131
18. Benedict 6,081

At the FCS level, no conference outshines the SWAC. Two of its institutions, Southern (3) and Jackson State (9) placed in the Top 10 of the division. Alabama State (14) and Alabama A&M (29) were also in the top 20. The 20,107 per game that packed Mumford Stadium in Baton Rogue to see Southern was the highest among HBCUs. Jackson State finished second with an average of over 17k fans.

The two east coast based HBCU conferences didn't rate as high attendance wise, but both the CIAA (6) and MEAC (7) finished in the top half of their respective divisions. The following MEAC members ranked in the top 30:

15. North Carolina A&T 13,574
22. South Carolina State 11,880
24. Florida A&M  11,170

In the CIAA: 

21. Winston-Salem State 5,888
26. Fayetteville State 4,964
27. Shaw 4,918
30. Elizabeth City State  4,799

Ohio Valley Conference member Tennessee State ranked 23rd in the FCS.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

St. Aug Men, JCSU Women Claim CIAA Outdoor Track Titles

Both St. Augustine's men and Johnson C. Smith's women came into the the CIAA Championships ranked number one in the nation. Both teams validated those rankings by winning their respective championships on Saturday.

St. Aug's men won their 17th straight men's outdoor track and field championship on Saturday by a comfortable margin, outscoring second place Virginia State 193-104. The Falcons took home both the 4x100 and 4x400.

The JCSU women took home their second consecutive conference crown, but it wasn't nearly as easy as their male counterparts. The St. Aug women, ranked second in the nation, entered the final event up by one point. The Golden Bulls edged the Falcons by two seconds in the 4x400 to come away with a 132-131 win and the CIAA Championship.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Johnson Out As FAMU Hoops Coach

Clemon Johnson is out at FAMU. (Tallahassee.com photo)

Florida A&M basketball is without a head coach now after firing Clemon Johnson. The university announced on Friday that it is parting ways with the coach after he went 32-64 in three seasons.

"We thank Coach Johnson and his staff for their efforts over the past three years to improve our men's basketball program. However, we have decided to seek new leadership of this program in order to achieve our academic and athletic goals," Winslow said. 

Johnson starred for the Rattlers on the court in the 70s before embarquing on a ten-year NBA career.

St. Aug Men, Johnson C. Smith Women Top D2 Track Rankings

(Courtesy of the CIAA)

NEW ORLEANS – As more and more Division II teams hop into action in this 2014 outdoor track & field season for the first time, the picture becomes clearer and clearer in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II National Team Computer Rankings.

Perennial powers moved to the top in the week three edition of the rankings as the defending outdoor national champion Saint Augustine’s men and the Johnson C. Smith women claimed the top spots in Tuesday’s release.

Also making significant moves toward the top as more of their rosters see their first outdoor action of the season were the Adams State men to No. 3, the Saint Augustine’s women to No. 2, the defending national champion Academy of Art women to No. 5 and the Grand Valley State women debuting at No. 6.

The National Team Computer Rankings for Division II are a reflection of performances that have been recorded only during the 2014 outdoor track & field season. While some teams have been competing outdoors since February and many more opened up their spring campaigns this past weekend, still others have yet to compete outside in 2014.

National indoor champion Adams State jumped up 55 positions to No. 13, followed closely by Lincoln (Mo.) at No. 6.

Unlike Division I and Division III, the Division II USTFCCCA National Team Computer Rankings are not influenced by preseason data. Week one rankings should not be referred to as preseason rankings, but rather the first in a series of regular season rankings issued each week.

The purpose and methodology of the rankings is to create an index that showcases the teams that have the best potential of achieving the top spots in the national team race. Rankings points do not equate with NCAA Championships team points.

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.

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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.