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Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC

Hal LamarBy Hal Lamar
Photos b
y Patsy Collier-Lamar

I know this is not an SIAC situation  and I will get to conference athletic biz in a moment. But all of us who have  devoted our journalistic abilities to write and/or broadcast about our cherished  historically black colleges (if they are not cherished, they damn well should  be) have to wade in some on the situation at Grambling State University.

With the 40th  Bayou Classic just seven weeks away, movers and shakers within the Southwestern Athletic Conference, Southern and Grambling have to wonder what kind of impact  this might have on the game. This contest has been a big revenue producer in the past for all three aforementioned as well as the city of New Orleans which  usually rakes in a pretty penny from hard-core football fans and visitors who congregate in the “who dat” city. I shutter to think what cancellation of this  game would do to the rapidly depleting coffers of these colleges and the ripple  effect it will have on all of the schools within the conference.

I read the letter that was sent to the  Grambling administrators by the disgruntled football players and applauded the  authors for risking their scholarships and education trying to right the wrongs they see on campus  which they contend  stops them from being the Grambling College they could and should be. I hope  when they wrote that letter, they copied it to the Louisiana Legislature, the  state’s board of regents and every state senator and representative who control the dollars the state spends on these institutions (see separate and unequal perhaps?).  Also, I hope the alumni of these schools read the words from these young men  and vowed to pledge more financial support for their alma mater. Too many of us walk away from these institutions with no thought of sending something back (it could start if more of you bought tickets to the games in lieu of running  around campus soliciting freebies). It’s bad when the longest lines at the stadiums are at will-call.

I  believe Grambling is a microcosm of events going on in other HBCUs but kept quiet.. Grambling’s situation was just the one that got “exposed.” Finally, we  cannot allow the future of our colleges to be decided by outside forces and oppressors who never gave a tinker’s damn about us and now encircle the campuses like sharks  smelling blood. If these schools survive, it will be by us. Remember, today it’s  Grambling.

Is your school next?

BACK TO THE SIAC: First some scolding  to the CAU and Morehouse grid schedulers. How is it that two schools within one  college center scheduled their homecomings on the same day and at the same  time? I can’t believe Morehouse and CAU officialdom who take on Benedict and Albany State respectively  could have  worked SOMETHING out .The simultaneous grid matches are quite bothersome for some Atlanta football buffs (and sportswriters like me who want to see BOTH  games)  who will be forced to toss a coin to see which of the games will be covered and/or watched. Both of the grid  mixings will be good ones  because they  are pivotal for the hosts as well as the guest teams. The lack of cooperation  between the two campuses forces them to miss out on a homecoming bonanza.

Albany  State is second in the SIAC’s eastern  division with at 1-0 and an 2-4 overall. They need the win to keep their chances of overtaking division leader Fort Valley alive. Clark-AU, despite its 1-2 division and 2-4 overall has a shot at finishing no worse than second in the division and  certainly could prove a spoiler for the Rams’  chances. Morehouse with its 0-2 division and 2-5 overall, can avoid finishing  in the division cellar and seriously wound Benedict’s chances of battling to  the top of the division rankings.

Last  weekend, both CAU and Morehouse managed to contribute to the win columns for both ASU and Benedict via their losses to both and,ironically, as their  homecoming guests.

Clark-AU,  hoping to stretch their two game win streak over Morehouse and the visiting  College of Faith in Tennessee to three instead got themselves shut out by  Benedict 24-0. The Panthers, who run continuously but pass sparingly, kept the  game tight, trailing the host Tigers 3-0 at halftime. But in the third  quarter, Benedict exploded with 21 unanswered points thanks to three touchdowns. One came courtesy of a CAU fumble , while another developed via a  52 yard punt return by senior Harlon Samuels.bc  wr harlon samuelsSamuels CAU was outrushed 197-89 and  out-passed 103-26.

Morehouse,  meanwhile, gave Albany State a reason to celebrate homecoming by surrendering  a  42-20 victory to their hosts in front  of 10,500 mostly partisan fans last Saturday afternoon. The victory by Albany  State was a huge one for several factions including players, their head coach  James White and hard-core Ram fans who were growing impatient with their  elevens who had dropped four of their first five games of the season.

The  key to the ASU victory was their strong first half. The Rams scored five times,  four of them off the hot hand of junior quarterback Frank Rivers, who last  season was playing for the Grambling Tigers and even saw limited action in the  Bayou Classic.albn frank riversRivers

Morehouse  actually outscored Albany State 14-7 in the half but ASU’s defense stopped most of Morehouse’s offensive threats including a fourth quarter push by the  Marooners that was drowned at the Albany State 24. The win by ASU which stopped  their two game losing skid came perilously close to parroting  last year when the Rams turned things around  in the fifth game of the season and reeled off five straight victories before  falling to Fort Valley 38-29.

ELSEWHERE IN THE SIAC: Fort Valley  State travelled  14 hours by bus to  Topeka Kansas just to get whitewashed 41-0 by Washburn University. The only  sunlight that peeked through the Wildcat  losing cloud was the 115 yard passing  performance of Eugene Smith who was also intercepted twice and sacked four  times….Tuskegee quarterbacks collectively passed for 253 yards and threw three  touchdowns to lead  the SIAC western  division leading Golden Tigers to a 35-7 win over Stillman……Lane had its  homecoming spoiled as well as its two game win streak when they were upset by  2-4 Central State 37-34..Miles decided to get revenge against someone after  losing to Central State a fortnight ago and took it out on Kentucky State,  defeating the Thororbreds 40-17 and winning their homecoming, The game was  paine fb greg ruffinRuffinbroadcast by Bounce Cable TV. Miles redshirt senior David Thomas passed for  three touchdowns and 195 yards

XTRA POINTS: A sad note from South  Carolina, Former CAU Head football coach Daryl McNeill Sr, passed away October  19 in his hometown ofcau daryl mcneill2011McNeill Seneca, South Carolina. He served as head coach for the  Panthers from 2010-2012. I had the great blessing of meeting him and getting to  know him. He always kept an open door for media no matter what he was doing and  didn’t back away from the hard questions. Any of you who want to sign his  memorial guest book can go to  Homegoing services are scheduled for October 25, 1pm at St Mark’s United  Methodist Church of Seneca. …Former Tennessee State basketball star and retired  gerald durley-former tenn state hoopsterDurleyAtlanta pastor Gerald Durley has turned motivational speaker. Durley also  informed INSIDE that a national Islamic group has named him their lifetime  achievement winner for 2013, the first time that the honor has been bestowed on  a non-Muslim...And is case you haven't heard, after a 57 year absence, football has returned to Augusta Georgia's Paine College. The Lions under head coach Greg Ruffin ( said to be a cousin of Miles head coach Reggie Ruffin)  have already played one game and lost narrowly to Georgia Prep Academy 20-13. Their next club football outing will be November 2 vs. Orangeburg Tech.  In 2014, they will play a full SIAC schedule.......

Miles over Lane
Stillman over Central State
Tuskegee over Kentucky State
Albany State over CAU
Fort Valley over Concordia-Selma
Benedict over Morehouse


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