HBCU Football Notebook

By Tony McClean
Updated: June 20, 2008

HBCU BandNEW HAVEN, Ct. — Just last week, we took an early look at some of the upcoming HBCU football “classics”. Today, we’ll examine a couple more as BASN prepares all black college football fans for the 2008 season.


One of the most intense college football rivalries in the South has found a “classic” home in Mobile.

Southern University and Alabama State University have agreed to move their annual match-up to Ladd-Peebles Stadium for the Gulf Coast Classic through at least 2011. This year’s 35th anniversary game will be held Saturday, Nov. 15.

“For the past several years, it has been our intent to bring the game full circle into a true classic- a contest between common opponents on a common date on an annual basis,” said Mobile Mayor Sam Jones.

“We’re finally there and the city of Mobile is extremely excited to have two teams both under 200 miles from here with strong alumni and fan bases. There’s no doubt this is absolutely the right path for this game.”

The Gulf Coast Classic has been held in Mobile for the last 34 years, and ASU has participated every year since its inception in 1974.

“There is something special about the ASU-Southern rivalry,” said ASU Interim Athletic Director Ron Dickerson. “ASU fans already love coming to Mobile for the Gulf Coast Classic. Now, with Southern’s participation solidified for the next several years, fans from both sides will be thrilled.”

Southern has played in 11 Gulf Coast Classics, and their followers, known as “the Jaguar Nation,” have developed a reputation for the large crowds they carry to away games.

“This agreement benefits everyone greatly,” said Southern Athletic Director Greg LeFleur. “We’re excited to be involved in the Classic and Mobile is an excellent meeting place and host for the universities.”

The annual match-up between the Southwestern Athletic Conference foes has grown into a fierce rivalry. Over the last decade, the ASU Hornets and the SU Jaguars have played some of the most exciting and memorable games in the conference — including match-ups in back to back SWAC championships games, with each team winning once.

Last year’s Gulf Coast Classic — which was televised nationally by ESPNU — set a new record for the most RVs and motor homes on the inside of Ladd-Peebles Stadium.


Shaw University, the reigning 2007 CIAA Champions, will face Texas Southern University on the gridiron in the Capital City Football Classic in Sacramento, California on Saturday, September 13th at Hughes Stadium. Game time is set for 4:05 p.m. and will be broadcast live via Comcast Sports Net.

The Capital City Football Classic features two premier historically black institutions and a Battle of the Bands Showcase during a special halftime show.

The mission of the Capital City Football Classic is to leverage the appeal of sports and entertainment to promote literacy, education, cultural diversity and raise capital resources for programs and non-profit organizations that service under served communities and at risk youth.

Dr. Clarence G. Newsome, President of Shaw University stated, “We are extremely excited about this incredible opportunity to be a part of the Capital City Football Classic and face Texas Southern; one of the premier athletic programs in the nation.

The Football Classic week begins September 11 and will feature a variety of special events including a Spelling Bee; High School Essay contest; Multicultural Festival; Celebrity Golf Tournament; United College Action Network, Incorporated 20th Year Anniversary Scholarship Gala; Greek Step Show; Gospel Concert with Shirley Caesar (Shaw University Alum) and Yolanda Adams (Texas Southern Alum); and three HBCU College Recruitment Fairs with over 35 college representatives including Shaw University.

Darrell Asberry, Head Football Coach stated, “The game will provide national exposure for the University against Texas Southern, an NCAA Division I-AA team.”

“This will give us a great platform to showcase the level of talent that resides on our team and allow the world at-large to see the big competitive hearts and outstanding skills from the young men on our football team. Hopefully we will play well enough to be invited back next year. “

For more information, visit www.capitalcityfootballclassic.com.