Black College Sports News And Notes

By Tony McClean
Updated: June 7, 2007
Great Names NEW HAVEN, Ct. — A lot has happened since we had our last Black College news and notes column. This week’s installment includes news on the SWAC’s new commissioner, and an update on the 2007 MEAC-SWAC Challenge as well as news on baseball and bowling.

Following the conclusion of their speing meetings, the SWAC has tabbed current associate commissioner Duer Sharp as the conference’s interim commissioner. Sharp, who has served as associate commissioner for the last two years, was chosen unanimously by the SWAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors, following the three-day session in Birmingham.

Sharp began working with the SWAC in 2003, after spending six years at the Big Ten Conference, first as a C.D. Henry Intern (1997-98) and subsequently as the Sport Management Administrator for the conference. His duties included administration and conduct of Big Ten Conference Championships, conference office liaison to coaches for providing information regarding conference and NCAA policies, procedures and rules changes.

He was also the Coordinator for the Big Ten and Chicago Public Schools SCORE (Success Comes Out of Reading Everyday) partnership reading enrichment program. He has completed the NCAA Leadership Institute for Ethnic Minority Males and holds membership in the Black Coaches Association.

Sharp will assume his duties on June 15 and will be responsible for the daily operations of the Conference Office until a new commissioner is chosen. A nationwide search is currently underway; no timetable has been set as to the hiring of the new commissioner.

MEAC champion Bethune-Cookman edged out Prairie View A&M (34-25), champions of the SWAC, to finish No. 1 in Black College’s final Top 10 poll. The Wildcats (33-27) repeated as conference champs (11th overall) and reached the NCAA Tournament.

The rest of the top five included Southern University (26-18) third, North Carolina A&T (28-31)at number four, and Jackson State (33-23) rounding out the top five. The remaining teams in the poll are Savannah State (31-23), Alcorn State 25-20), Norfolk State (25-25), Delaware State (22-27), and Mississippi Valley State (19-36).

Also, BCB has announced that The Heritage Group (THG Agency, LLC) has agreed to a one-year deal as the poll’s new sponsor. Beginning in 2008, the BCB Poll will become a weekly poll released on Tuesdays.

ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN, Inc., along with the MEAC and the SWAC, will celebrate Labor Day weekend with the third annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge festivities, featuring a college football matchup between Florida A&M University and Southern University. The annual ERT owned-and-operated event will be held Saturday, Sept. 1 at 3 p.m. ET and be televised live on ESPN Classic from Birmingham’s (Ala.) historic Legion Field.

Each year, the game pits a MEAC team against a SWAC member at a neutral site located within the footprint of one of the conferences. This year’s event will pair the Rattlers against the Jaguars, the first time these two teams will meet since 2001. The teams first competed in 1941, with FAMU leading the all-time series 33-24-1.

Seven-time MEAC Champion Florida A&M University finished the 2006 season with a 7-4 overall record and 5-3 in the MEAC. Southern University completed the 2006 season with a 5-6 record, 4-5 in conference play.

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) made bowling history this season when they were the runner-up to the NCAA National Championship. One year before the Hawks had the school’s first All-American in over two decades with MaryEtta Lewis getting an Honorable Mention nod.

This season, one where the Hawks improved their national positioning tremendously, they tripled their All-Americans, getting three selections from the National TenPin Coaches Association (NTCA).

Freshman sensation, MEAC Most Outstanding Performer and a member of the NCAA All-Tournament Team, Marion Singleton headlined the Lady Hawks selections with a third team nod. Singleton earned two other All-Tournament Team honors this season, won the doubles title at the FDU Holiday Jamboree and averaged just under a 196 for the year, a team high. Her high game of the season was a 257.

Fellow freshman Michelle Wallace and sophomore standout Laura Zanrucha also earned Honorable Mention All American honors. Wallace was an All-Tournament Team member at the Capital Classic and, along with Singleton, won the doubles title at the FDU Holiday Jamboree and averaged just under 191 for the 2006-07 year and had a high game of 248.

Zanrucha also put together a nice year, averaging a //<![CDATA[ //]]> 191.30 for the year and claimed MVP honors at the Le Tiger Classic and rolled a game as high as 257 for the year.