Black College Sports News And Notes

By Tony McClean
Updated: January 10, 2007

NEW HAVEN, Ct. — This week, several honorees in football and volleyball along with a college basketball happening in Virginia highlight this edition of headlines in the Black College sports scene.


This Sunday at the Richmond Coliseum, CIAA opponents Virginia Union and Virginia State will meet in the 12th Annual Freedom Classic Festival. Teaming with two Historically Black Universities, the Freedom Classic Festival has grown into one of the premier collegiate basketball events in the region.

The Freedom Classic Festival is designed to acknowledge and commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Taking place each year on the birthday weekend of Dr. King, the Freedom Classic Festival has become one of the areas most anticipated and unifying events.

Thrilling basketball competition, quality entertainment, an array of vendors and cultural exhibits, delicious Richmond area cuisine and more makes the Freedom Classic Festival wholesome fun for the entire family.

The inaugural Freedom Festival took place January 14, 1996. This one day festival has, during some years, expanded to include activities throughout Martin Luther King’s birthday weekend. More than 15,000 guests annually have enjoyed the numerous and diverse festival events.

In 2004, the Freedom Classic Festival debuted nationally by partnering with music giant Roc-A-Fella Records. Priding itself in introducing new artists to the community, the Freedom Classic Festival debuted recording artist Kanye West in 2004 and John Legend the following year. Freedom Classic documentary footage has appeared on many national music channels including BET.

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Delaware State University Head Football Coach, Al Lavan announced that Rayford Petty has been appointed to his staff as defensive coordinator. During his tenure at Howard University (2002-2006), Petty had a five year 25-30 record. When Petty became head coach at Howard, he was no stranger to the program having served as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator from 1992-99.

He had a major impact on the program’s success as they won the Black College National Championships in 1993 and 1996. Prior to Howard, Petty served as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Norfolk State University for two years. Petty has also made stops at Southern University (1988-90) and North Carolina A&T (1982-88) where he coached defensive backs and was also served as defensive coordinator. Petty was head coach at Forrestville High (MD) from 1990-92.


Four members of Fayetteville State University’s Volleyball team have been invited by the United States of America Athletes International (USAAI) to play in the Barbados Invitational Volleyball Tournament this summer.

Invitations have been extended to seniors Tammy McFadden and Crystal Huffman, junior Sha’Quana Veney and sophomore Heather Chance. Players selected by the USAAI must be nominated by their coach, have excelled on the playing court, made an outstanding contribution to their community and are model student-athletes.


After leading Hampton University to its third straight MEAC title, Justin Durant, Alonzo Coleman and Travarous Bain have been selected to play in the 2007 East-West Shrine on January 20 at Reliant Stadium in Houston. All three players will appear on the East squad which will be coached by Hall of Famer Don Shula.

Durant led the MEAC with 98 total tackles, including 65 solo stops. The senior linebacker from Florence, S.C., also had 13 tackles for loss, a sack, five pass breakups and a fumble recovery for a Pirate defense that allowed just 14.5 points per game (seventh in NCAA).

A former Miami Hurricane, Bain joined the Pirates for the 2005 season and established himself as one of the top ranked cornerbacks in the country. He was a two-time selection to the All-MEAC First Team, picking off a team-high five passes and breaking up six others this past season.

Despite carrying the ball a career-low 158 yards due to injury, Coleman ran for 1,052 yards and 12 touchdowns to become just the sixth player in Division I Football Championship history to post four 1,000-yard seasons. He departs as the MEAC’s all-time leading rusher with 4,648 yards and 64 touchdowns.


Winston-Salem State University Department of Athletics officials have announced that Trevin Goodwin has joined the staff as the Assistant Director of Sports Information. Goodwin joins WSSU as the Assistant Sports Information Director. He joins the department following a four-and-a-half year stint at South Carolina State University where he served in the same capacity.

During his tenure at South Carolina State University , Goodwin was the primary athletic media relations contact for soccer, volleyball, women’s basketball, women’s golf, softball, and bowling. He also assisted with football, cross country, track & field, men’s basketball, and men’s golf.

Goodwin also served as the primary designer for all SCSU media guides and publications. Prior to joining the South Carolina State University staff, Goodwin spent one year as the assistant sports information director for Charleston Southern University where he carried out similar duties. He also spent one year as a desk editor at The Times and Democrat.


The SIAC Offensive Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player for the 2006 Football season, Jacoby Jones of Lane College has been chosen to participate in the Inaugural Inta Juice North South All Star Classic. The game is scheduled to air on ESPN2, as a prelude to the NFL Playoffs, on January 13, 2007 from GPISD Stadium in Houston. Jones will be one of the over 100 players invited to this game heralded to be one of the best showcases of NFL prospects before the NFL combines and NFL Draft.

Jones is one of only four players that are not from a Division I school and is the only player from the SIAC participating. Scouts from NFL teams, NFL Europe, Canadian Football League and the Arena League will be in attendance at this event.

A senior wideout from Lane College, Jones electrified the SIAC this season leading his team to an 8-3 record and a third place finish in the SIAC. Jones led the SIAC in Receptions, Receiving Yards, All Purpose Yards, and Kick and Punt Return Average. He was second in the conference in scoring having scored 10 touchdowns this season. Jones is from New Orleans, LA and will play his last collegiate game close to home in Houston.