HBCU Exhibit Opens At College Football HOF

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: February 7, 2008

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The National Football Foundation (NFF) has announced the opening of a new exhibit at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., that showcases the struggle, hard work, and triumph of African-Americans who made pioneering contributions to the sport of football and our country. Visitors to the exhibit will have the opportunity to walk through a historic locker room filled with memorabilia representing all 50 Historic black colleges and universities.

The exhibit features the rich pageantry of the black marching bands, the hallowed black college All-America teams, and a tribute to the black college national champions.

“We are excited to share this new exhibit with the public,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “The historically black colleges have made many groundbreaking contributions to our sport, producing some of football’s most storied rivalries and legendary stars. From an interactive video to several one-of-kind items, we know that visitors to the Hall of Fame will enjoy this exhibit on many levels.”

The interactive video game, Black College Football: The Xperience, marks the centerpiece of the exhibit. Developed by Nerjyzed Game Studios (nerjyzed.com or bcfxgame.com), the video enables visitors to compete against each other in the unique world of black college football.

College Football Hall of Fame Museum Curator & Historian Kent Stephens conceived of the exhibit and timed its launch for the 2008 Black History Month, currently taking place throughout February.

“Black college football plays an integral role in the history of our sport,” said Stephens. “With its own unique history and traditions, it’s important for us to share the story of black college football with visitors to the Hall, engaging them in the power of our sport to positively transform student-athletes and the communities in which they live and work.”

Grambling head coach Eddie Robinson’s ubiquitous hat that he wore in almost every photo is part of the exhibit as well as an ancient ceremonial Samurai helmet from the first college game ever played outside of the United States in Japan, a game coached by the legendary Robinson, a 1997 inductee into the Hall of Fame.

Other Hall of Famers with memorabilia on display include: Tyrone McGriff from Florida A&M; Jerry Rice from Mississippi Valley State; and Coach Billy Joe from Cheyney State (Pa.), Central State (Ohio), and Florida A&M.

While featuring schools from The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC), the exhibit also highlights the groundbreaking contributions of African-Americans at other universities throughout the country and the obstacles that they faced as football helped integrate our society.

“Blood, Sweat, and Tears: A History of Black College Football” will be on exhibit at the College Football Hall of Fame from Feb. 1, 2008 through Aug. 31, 2008.

NOTE: For more information on this new exhibit and any upcoming events at The College Football Hall of Fame, please call 574-235-5711 or visit www.collegefootball.org.