Saturday’s HBCU Sports Notebook

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: February 12, 2009

NEW YORK — A look at the recent happenings within the black college sports scene.


Winston Salem State University Chancellor Donald J. Reaves announced that the University’s Athletic Director Percy “Chico” Caldwell is leaving his position. Caldwell has been the athletic director at WSSU since 2000.

“A stated goal in my short tenure as chancellor is to implement a talent strategy that has the right people in the right position at the right time. The University, including its athletic program is at a critical transition point where fresh ideas and approaches are needed, and in keeping with my commitment to the talent strategy, I believe that the athletic program and our student-athletes will benefit from new leadership,” said Reaves, who added that he wished Chico Caldwell all the best in his next career endeavor.

Effective February 9, Tonia Walker, the associate director of athletics will become interim athletic director and will assume responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the athletic department and its programs. Tonia Walker has been at WSSU since 2000, serving initially as both the head volleyball coach and the assistant athletic director. Currently, she is responsible for the internal operations of the athletic department

Chancellor Reaves noted that “Tonia Walker is not a newcomer to intercollegiate athletics”. In 2003-04 and 2005-06 she was named the CIAA Senior Women Administrator of the Year, and was one of eight participants around the country selected for the NCAA Fellows Leadership Development Program.

Mrs. Walker is currently a member of the Region 3 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Committee, the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA) and Minority Opportunities Athletic Association and the Black College Coaches and Administrators Association. She is a 2004 graduate of the NACWAA/HERS Institute and 2005 NACWAA Executive Institute – both serving to enhance opportunities for women to move into positions as Athletics Directors or Conference Commissioners. She has served on numerous committees both nationally and for the university and is rapidly becoming one of the most sought-after athletics administrators in the nation.

Mrs. Walker attended Hampton University as a two-sport athlete, playing basketball and softball. In December of 1993, she graduated with honors, receiving a B.A. degree in speech and language disorders and went on to obtain an M.S. in sports management from Old Dominion University in 1998.

A national search to replace Caldwell will begin immediately. A search committee consisting of members of the University’s faculty, staff, and student body, its various boards, and members of the Winston Salem Community will be convened to identify and recommend qualified candidates for the position of athletic director.


What do Tiger Woods, LeBron James and the Southwestern Athletic Conference all have in common? NIKE!

The Southwestern Athletic Conference and NIKE have signed a five-year agreement to be the exclusive footwear provider for all SWAC athletic teams.

“We are delighted about our agreement with our newest corporate partner,” SWAC Commissioner Duer Sharp said. “NIKE has long been synonymous with the greatest athletes in the history of sports, including among others SWAC legend Jerry Rice. Most importantly, this partnership tremendously benefits over 4,000 of our student athletes and coaches, as well as our conference as a whole and we are excited to be a part of the NIKE family.”

Under the agreement, all Southwestern Athletic Conference student-athletes will compete in official NIKE footwear. In addition, game officials for select sports will also wear NIKE footwear. The framework of the agreement was agreed upon during the fall of 2008, which allowed for SWAC student-athletes in season during that time to train and compete in NIKE footwear as the final details were completed.

“Nike is pleased to establish this partnership with the Southwestern Athletic Conference, and honored that the student-athletes of the SWAC will compete in our footwear products,” Kit Morris, Director of College Sports Marketing for NIKE. “The SWAC is an important conference with a rich tradition, both in academics and athletics. This record of achievement and excellence mirrors the standards of our brand.”

“I’d like to thank Kit Morris, Rashanna Moss-Lowry, Joan Scott and Larry Harper of NIKE for their commitment to the Southwestern Athletic Conference,” Commissioner Sharp said. “As a conference office, we are dedicated to doing everything we can to enhance the student-athlete experience at our member institutions and with the assistance of our new partnership with NIKE, we have furthered that effort.”


The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championships will be held on Saturday at 10:00am at the Freeman Sports and Convocation Center, on the campus of Christopher Newport University.

The St. Augustines Falcons will be returning 2008 Men’s Track MVP Chayce Smith and 2008 Field Men’s MVP Joe Kindred. In last year’s meet, Smith won the one-mile run and 800-meter run while Kindred, the 2007 CIAA Indoor Field MVP, won the high jump and long jump.

The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) named Joe Kindred the 2008 Division II National Men’s Field Athlete of the Year. Kindred was also named 2008 Southeast Regional Men’s Field Athlete of the Year.

The Bowie State Lady Bulldogs, who finished second with 113 points behind the Lady Falcons (151 points) a year ago, will also be returning an MVP of their own. Elaine Rhoades, who was the 2008 Women’s Field MVP, will be back to battle in this year’s championships.

The Falcons are the defending 2008 NCAA Division II National Men’s Champions in Indoor Track and Field claiming their 23rd CIAA Men’s crown and 14th CIAA Women’s Championship at last year’s meet.