By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
This Week’s HBCU News And Notes
Among this week’s news include a resignation in the CIAA, an internet broadcast featuring an SIAC school, and guest speakers for this year’s MEAC-SWAC Challenge.
WSSU HOOP COACH STITT RESIGNS
Winston-Salem State University Rams head men’s basketball coach Philip Stitt has resigned from his position after five years and two NCAA Division II tournament appearances, WSSU officials announced Friday.
Stitt, who compiled a 94-51 record during his tenure at WSSU, resigned to accept a head coaching position at Florida Community College at Jacksonville (Fla.). He is a native of Jacksonville.
Stitt, had just completed his fifth season as the head coach. He led the Rams to a 19-10 record this past season as the Rams fell in the second round of the CIAA men’s basketball tournament to the Bulldogs of Bowie State in WSSU’s final season at the NCAA Division II level.
In 2004-05, Stitt led the Rams to a 22-8 record, a CIAA Western Division regular-season title, a CIAA Tournament semi-finals appearance, and an NCAA Division II Championship Tournament berth, en route to earning CIAA Coach of the Year honors.
A member of the Ram coaching staff since 1998, Stitt has been a part of five 20-win seasons, two CIAA Championships, five NCAA Tournament berths and two NCAA Division II Sweet 16 appearances while at WSSU. During this period the Rams have posted an astounding 165-67 (.711) record.
FORT VALLEY STATE TO BE BROADCAST ON WEB
The NCAA has announced that Valdosta State’s home opener against Fort Valley State of the SIAC on September 9 in Bazemore-Hyder Stadium has been selected to be broadcast live via the internet as a part of CSTV’s coverage of Division II football.
The Wildcats contest against the Blazers will be one of 40 games nationally to be streamed over the internet during the upcoming season. Each week, four games will be selected for the broadband broadcast, which will be advertising supported and will require no subscription fees to be paid by fans viewing the contest.
The VSU-FVSU will be available at www.NCAAsports.com and at www.CSTV.com. CSTV, a part of the CBS Corporation, is the leading digital and cable programming company dedicated to college sports. This game will increase live coverage of SIAC football action to 6 televised games and 1 internet broadcast. For a complete composite schedule of SIAC action and complete television listings, please visit www.thesiac.com.
ESPN’S SMITH, COLLINS TO APPEAR AT MEAC-SWAC LUNCHEON
ESPN’s Quite Frankly host and NBA studio analyst Stephen A. Smith will be the keynote speaker at the 2006 Ford MEAC•SWAC Challenge Kick-off Luncheon Friday, September 1 at 12 p.m. CT at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel (Birmingham Ballroom). Serving as the emcee of the luncheon will be ESPN sports commentator Eric Collins.
The luncheon will be the first of several events leading up to the annual Ford MEAC/SWAC Challenge game, an ESPN Regional Television (ERT) owned-and-operated event, which will feature Hampton University, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) against Grambling State University, Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).
The game will be played on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 11 a.m. at Legion Field and televised nationally on ESPN2.
HAMPTON ATHLETICS DEPT. TO LAUNCH NEW WEBSITE
Hampton University interim Director of Athletics Joseph Taylor has announced that the Department of Athletics has partnered with Internet Consulting Services (ICS) to launch a new website for the Pirates’ athletic program on Monday, Aug. 21.
In addition to having a more attractive design, www.hamptonpirates.com will also feature Pirate Athletes of the Month, an interactive poll for fans and alumni, as well as an athletic newsletter which fans can subscribe to at no cost. By entering a current email address, Hampton fans can receive a weekly update on all of the events within the Department of Athletics.
Plans are also in the works for the Pirates to carry live in-game statistics on www.hamptonpirates.com and live radio broadcasts of the football, men’s and women’s basketball games.
ACADEMIC HONORS FOR JCSU WOMEN’S TENNIS SQUAD
The Johnson C. Smith Women’s tennis team was recently honored by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) as a 2006 ITA All-Academic Team. They were one of 37 teams in NCAA Division II named as a 2006 ITA All Academic team.
The 2005-2006 Golden Bull women’s team of Nisa Kibona, Brittany Laws, Jennifer Lee, April Lewis, Gabrielle Muhammad, and Amber Shoecraft has a cumulative team average of 3.41. They were one of 37 teams in NCAA Division II named as a 2006 ITA All Academic team.
The JCSU team was the only CIAA school and one of two historically black college and universities (Benedict College) to receive such an honor.
In addition, Lee of Palm Beach Gardens, FL and Laws of Rocky Mount, NC were named ITA Scholar-Athletes. To be eligible, recipients had to have a cumulative average of 3.5 or above, have been in school at least two semesters., and be a varsity letter winner. This is Lee’s second team being named an ITA Scholar-Athlete (2005).
ALA. A&M, GSU TABBED AS SWAC VOLLEYBALL FAVORITES
In the predicted order of finish, Alabama A&M and Grambling State were picked to win their respective divisions; Mississippi Valley State’s Ashley Robinson was named Preseason Player of the Year.
Six-time defending champion Alabama A&M Lady Bulldogs received 13 first-place votes en route to 89 points. Mississippi Valley State, who finished with a 26-4 record last season, was chosen second with five first-place votes as they tallied 80 points. Jackson State (52 pts), Alabama State (38 pts) and Alcorn State (26 pts) rounded out the Eastern Division.
The Grambling State Lady Tigers – runners-up for the last three seasons – were selected to win the Western Division. The Lady Tigers garnered 12 first-place votes as they tallied 86 points. Prairie View A&M received six first-place votes en route to 76 points. Southern (54 pts), Texas Southern (40 pts) and Arkansas-Pine Bluff (29 pts) completed the Western Division voting.
Mississippi Valley State’s Ashley Robinson was named 2006 SWAC Volleyball Preseason Player of the Year. A conference standout for the past two seasons, the senior outside hitter finished the 2005 season with 335 kills (4th in the conference), a .290 hitting percentage (3rd in SWAC), 50 service aces (5th in SWAC), 212 digs and 53 total blocks. After a stellar campaign, she was named 2005 SWAC Player of the Year.
SIAC NAMES ALL-CONFERENCE CROSS COUNTRY TEAMS
Headlining the list is Morehouse’s Alexander Brickler and Lionisha Lee of Albany State who will try and repeat as SIAC champions. The Cross Country Coaches Association of the SIAC has also chosen Morehouse (Men) and Albany State (Women) to repeat as champions once again.
Morehouse leads the Men’s division with four runners receiving 1st team honors. Not to be outdone, Kentucky State and Fort Valley State also had four runners named to the preseason list. The Women’s 1st team is a good mixture of Albany State and Clark Atlanta runners with each team receiving 4 first team honors (each earned 5 total all conference honors). Alexander Brickler and Lionisha Lee will try to lead their teams to victory and repeat as the MVP of the Conference.
Morehouse has been chosen as the favorite to win the SIAC once again. If successful the title will be the 12th consecutive SIAC title and 14th overall title for the men. Fort Valley State was chosen to finish second and Albany State to finish third. For the Women Albany State will attempt to win their fourth consecutive SIAC title behind the legs of their young team. Clark Atlanta is highly favored as well with a second place predicted finish followed by Benedict.
The All Conference teams were chosen based on the returning Athletes and their order of finish in the 2005 Championships. The prediction of the teams order of finish for 2006 is based on their finish in the 2005 Championships.