NEW HAVEN, CT.—
This Saturday will mark the 70th meeting between the Golden Bears of Johnson C. Smith and the Blue Bears of Livingstone College. The CIAA (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) charter members are part of the oldest standing rivalry in the history of black college football.
In December of 1892, Livingstone College and Biddle College, which eventually changed its name to Johnson C. Smith University, played in the snows of Salisbury, North Carolina, just two days after Christmas.
According to historian T.M. Martin, the men of Biddle spent two years studying and practicing the sport of football. In 1892, they challenged the men of Livingstone, whose team was formally organized in the fall of that year.
As documented in both school’s newspapers, team members purchased a regulation football and uniforms. The players also equipped their street shoes with cleats, taking them off after practice.
The young women of the schools industrial department made their uniforms for the first game. The teams played two 45-minute halves played on Livingstone’s front lawn.
W.J. Trent scored Livingstone’s only touchdown on a fumble recovery. By then the snow had covered the field’s markings and Biddle argued that the fumble was recovered out of bounds.
The official ruled in Biddle’s favor, allowing them to keep the 5-0 lead that they had established early on and giving the visitors the victory.
Even though Livingstone has gone 7-3 against in their last 10 meetings vs J.C. Smith, the Golden Bulls lead the all-time series at 37-28-4. Smith enters the game at 0-5 (0-1 CIAA) while the Blue Bears are 1-4 (1-1).
OTHER NEWS AND NOTES
– ESPN Regional Television, a subsidiary of ESPN, Inc., and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and Southwestern Athletic Conference have reached a multi-year agreement to create the MEAC/SWAC Challenge. The ERT owned-and-operated annual college football game will be played on Labor Day weekend beginning in 2005 and was announced by Chuck Gerber, executive vice president, ESPN Regional Television, Dennis Thomas, MEAC commissioner and Robert Vowels, SWAC commissioner. The week of the game will also include ancillary events, highlighted by an annual diversity job fair.
– The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference announced its football television schedule for the remainder of the 2004 football season. There will be seven games televised by Integrated Sports Media (ISM TV) beginning this Saturday as Bethune-Cookman takes on Morgan State in Baltimore, Maryland. ISM TV is a media production and distribution company that will broadcast games on over 10 networks including Time Warner, Empire Sports Network, Fox College Sports, Fox Sports Net and Comcast Sports Net. Chrysler will sponsor a commercial-free halftime for each game allowing fans to view the bands of the participating schools.
– Officials at Alabama State University and the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff have agreed to reschedule their football game of September 18, 2004 to Saturday, December 4, 2004. The game will be played in Montgomery, Alabama at the Cramton Bowl, Alabama State’s home field, at 1:00p CT.The original game date had to be postponed due to the uncertain events of Hurricane Ivan that roared through the Montgomery area on Friday, September 17, 2004.