Aggie-Eagle Fight Over Blown

By Anthony Hill
Updated: September 27, 2007

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — It seems like every time a fight or unfortunate situation happens with a predominately black school, team or Pop Warner organization it somehow gets blown out of proportion.

I’m talking about the fight that occurred after the N.C. A&T and North Carolina Central football game. Apparently, some Aggies were a little angered after watching some Eagles stomp on an Aggie symbol on the field moments after defeating N.C. A&T (0-4) 27-22 last Saturday. After the fight, rumors of the Classic being stopped ran wild.

A statement from N.C. A&T/NCCU Chancellors’ read: “The behavior displayed at Saturday’s 79th competition did not demonstrate what either of our universities represent or promote. We have met with the teams and coaching staffs and have reiterated to them the importance of proper athletic conduct, good sportsmanship and team spirit.”

“Both squads have been fully briefed concerning appropriate actions university representatives must exhibit for the betterment of our institutions. Presently, we have not made a decision regarding the future athletic events between our teams but we are jointly collaborating as sister institutions to decide the best course.”

I immediately thought to myself, “Why would they stop playing the game all together, or have to debate whether the schools will compete against each other in any sport?” It’s not like this happens every year, or as if this has even occurred often. From what I can tell, some guys simply got heated after being disrespected in a sense.

I find it hard for a winless team to feel disrespected, but I understand where the Aggies were coming from last weekend. My friend, L,A. Batchelor, who’s a radio show producer and freelance writer for the Black Athlete Sports Network, shared his thoughts with me earlier this week. He broke it down for me, and I chose to share his assessment with you all.

“I think when you’re in a competitive situation — especially sports, emotions run high and it gets magnified when it’s an annual rivalry game between teams like Central and A&T,” Batchelor said. “I think the reaction by the Aggies towards the Eagles when the Eagles stomped on the Aggies logo wasn’t really needed but understandable.”

“We’ve seen it in college and the pros. A heated game with passion and emotions like an HBCU football game is no different, even if it happen after the game. Remember, the Aggies were seconds away from winning the game but they loss a tough game.”

“Something like stomping on their logo right after a game like that is tough for those players to take, especially after they played so hard,” Batchelor continued. “The Eagles did what any rival would do, especially since they won back to back games in the series for the first time in two decades.”

“They should continue the game because the fans want to see them play and the game is usually a great game. Besides, neither team really has shown this type of behavior in the past and I doubt it would happen if they play next season.”

That’s what I was thinking, L.A. But I still can’t figure out why anyone would even entertain stopping the rivalry because of this. If that were the case, then Florida State and Miami should’ve stopped playing years ago. I remember when it seemed like they fought before every game. Or what about Clemson and the University South Carolina?

They had a huge fight after the game two or three years ago. Players were suspended, but the game still went on the next year. And, it was a much bigger fight. But let an HBCU fight then administration and fans start thinking the worse. Come on now. Things happen. Last weekend’s incident was unfortunate, but definitely not a pattern.

I simply hope that talks of stopping the Aggie-Eagle rivalry were just talks, because it’s a wonderful rivalry and a great game each year.