I cringed as the scores came in over the weekend: Ohio State 76, Florida A&M 0; Florida State 54, Bethune-Cookman 6; Miami 77, Savannah State 7. Our Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have traded their proud, rich football heritage for money. And I don't think it's worth it.
There's only one reason our HBCUs schedule games against schools whose head coaches make more than their entire athletic budgets: they earn a big payday, even if that means being publicly humiliated along the way.
The irony is that the SEC wouldn't continue to have a lock on national football championships were it not for their black players. And it wasn't all that long ago that blacks were as unwelcomed in the SEC as they were at KKK rallies. But when Sam Cunningham ran for 135 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries in 1970 as the University of Southern California routed Alabama 42-21 in Birmingham, the conference got the message that they couldn't win without black talent.
The fifth annual Mike Conley Bowl 'n Bash benefitting the Methodist Healthcare Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center is scheduled for Saturday (Sept. 28) from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Billy Hardwick's All Star Lanes at 1576 S. White Station Rd.
"We hope the community will join the fight against sickle cell by participating in this fundraising event," said Conley, the Grizzlies starting point guard. "This is a fun way to bring awareness to a very serious disease."
In Mitchell High School's loss on Saturday to Southaven High School, the Tigers – and their head coach – at times looked worse than the score indicated.
The Tigers, who wound up on the short end of a 31-13 thumping, were once penalized in the second quarter for calling their "fourth" timeout when three is the limit per half. It was a bad display of football all around, with an enormous amount of unsportsmanlike, delay of game and holding penalties.
At one point in the second quarter, after yet ANOTHER infraction, Mitchell coach Nathan Cole yelled at the refs, "We didn't come here for this!"
As an elderly woman was making her way out of Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on Saturday, she asked, "What do you do when you win?" It was a joke of sorts.
The University of Memphis Tigers started the season 0-2. And after letting a close game against Middle Tennessee State University slip away (Sept. 14), the Tigers were left searching for their first victory of the year.
So it's no surprise that many were shocked when Memphis recorded a lopsided victory against the Arkansas State Red Wolves this past weekend (Sept. 21). Memphis wasn't favored to win the game, but it wasn't unimaginable to believe the Tigers could pull out a W. But a 31-7 rout of an Arkansas State team with a high-powered offense wasn't a scenario that any serious prognosticator would have predicted.
Forty years after rising to the top of the boxing world and outdueling Muhammad Ali, Ken Norton lost his final fight – a battle following a stroke – at a Nevada medical facility, a friend said.
He was 70 years old when he died Wednesday at a Veterans Affairs' medical facility in Henderson, Nev., according to Gene Kilroy, who had managed Ali and more recently visited Norton as he recovered from a stroke.
While some younger people may know him best as the father of former Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ken Norton Jr., the elder Norton was one of the most prominent figures in all of sports during the 1970s – in large part because of his consistently great bouts with Ali.
The Tennessee State defense forced six turnovers as TSU knocked off Jackson State, 26-16, in the 24th Annual Southern Heritage Classic.
Redshirt sophomore running back Telvin Hooks was named the game's Most Valuable Player, rushing for 92 yards on 16 carries for an average of 5.8 yards per carry. Senior Tim Broughton added 95 yards rushing on 19 touches.
JSU outgained Big Blue 367 yards to 285, but TSU's defense accounted for 198 yards via interception returns and added a score.
Keith Ellis Lee was a prominent member of the dominant Jackson State University men's track and field team. From 1973 to 1978, Lee and his teammates all but ruled the track and field landscape in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Next month, Lee, who later became a celebrated Air Force veteran, will be among 13 people inducted in the JSU Hall of Fame.
From the moment he stepped onto the JSU campus, Lee a fierce competitor and a winner. As a freshman, he advanced to the NAIA finals in the 880-yard dash, where he lowered his personal best time to 1:50.8. As a sophomore, he started running cross country, which helped him in track and field as he again lowered his 880 time (1:50.2).