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BLACK COLLEGE SPORTS & EDUCATION FOUNDATION

Those We Touch

Those We Touch

By Edd J. Hayes

As a designated “hoops dad,” I found myself chauffeuring my teenage daughter and a few of her friends to games and practices. They became like my own and I would constantly be in their heads…talking basketball and the importance of making good grades, and the value of looking forward to going to college.
(It was amazing to watch my daughter who went from a dainty little girl to someone who idolized Charles Oakley and tried to imitate his rugged domination around the rim.  She played on a Truman High School team that went 16-2 in her senior year and even made the City playoffs, but was no match for the bigger and more talented teams around the city).
Only one of them- the “big” center (she was only 5-10) had any real potential to garner a scholarship at the next level, so I felt it was important to encourage them to be academically prepared to get into a school. It may have seemed my rants went right over their heads.

In the end, a number of them did make the transition to the next level with the help of their parents and guidance counselors.
There was one girl who I would drop off after practice, who was a really decent player I thought, but seemed quite distant and not focused. But, I kept encouraging her, trying to draw her out but it didn’t seem to register. Little did I know (until my daughter shared her dilemma with me) how unstable things were for her at home. It seems she had been abandoned by her mother and was being cared for by her elderly grandmother, who had meager resources and little knowledge about helping her to carve out a career path for herself. 

“I firmly believe that investing in someone else’s child and expecting nothing in return is just as rewarding as taking care of
your own”

After graduation, my daughter went on to Hampton University and we lost contact with the young lady.  A few years later, after graduation, my daughter came home for the Christmas holidays and told me her old classmate had contacted her on FaceBook. She asked how I was doing and told her to “thank me.”
Curiously, I asked why she was thanking me. She revealed that I had inspired her to attend college and now she was in dental school!
I couldn’t have felt more proud at that moment if she was one of my own.
In fact, she was one of my own! I know now what it means to be a part of a village. My only regret was I reach out to more of them to make the transition.
And… maybe I did.
This is the passion we all can share if we realize the value of trying to make a difference to those who may not have the support and resources to help them achieve their potential.
I firmly believe that investing in someone else’s child and expecting nothing in return is just as rewarding taking care of your own. They deserve the chance and can use our help to prepare for live itself. There are hundreds of men and women who spend their time in gyms and centers who can testify to that.
Black colleges need our help too! In these times of limited resources and other challenges, we need to stand firm in our support of HBCUs!
In the spirit of giving, we can bind together to help solidify the future for others and perhaps put them in the best position to succeed.

What’s your opinion?

“I firmly believe that investing in someone else’s child and expecting nothing in return is just as rewarding as taking care of
your own”

The Homecoming

The Homecoming

By Edd J. Hayes

During the 1970s-80s, a growing enthusiasm surrounding Black College sports – particularly football, men and women basketball, track and field (men and women) – was riding a renewed popularity, thanks to publications like the Pittsburgh Courier, Sheridan Sports, and newcomers Black College Sports Reports and Black Sports World magazine.
Black college football was producing superstars like Walter Payton (Jackson State), Harry Carson (SC State), Jerry Rice (Mississippi Valley) and John Taylor (Delaware State)…NFL Super Bowl champions and Hall of Fame candidates (just a short list).
A group of mentors from my church formed a football excursion to several games to expose our youths to the college sports atmosphere. Most of them were kids who possibly had never traveled outside of the city limits of New York City.
Since I was engaged in Black College Sports, I coordinated a Saturday trip to a Delaware State Homecoming game. I had covered a few games on campus and was impressed by the tailgate turnout and the genuine support of fans and alumni. The homecoming weekend was even more exceptional and I was elated that we could share this experience with the kids.
I recall that chilly Saturday morning as the travelers begin to assemble and the anticipation of the wide eyed children who were escaping their neighborhood, if just for a day. But there was one teenager, about 15 years old, who got on the bus in a haughty mood. He brushed his way past everyone and sprawled on the backseat, not willing to share the space with anyone. I kept an eye on him out of curiosity because I hadn’t recalled ever seeing him attend a church service. 

“Our greatest reward is contributing to the good of all and it rings of success for all.”

On the two hour trip to Dover, he remained isolated and uncommunicative. However, when then bus pulled into the parking lot, everyone was drawn to the large crowd milling about the lot. There were numerous tailgate parties going on…barbecues, music and just plain joviality.
As they piled out of the bus, I lost sight of the young man. Preoccupied with the game, I was in the press box most of the time and didn’t get to mingle much until halftime.
Even after the game resumed, there was still plenty of activity in the tailgate section and a lot of the kids were involved in pickup basketball games on the courts.
I found myself at the edge of the courts when I spotted the teenager. As I observed him, I was totally amused at what I saw. His demeanor had totally changed…he was immersed in a heated contest with other players and hardly noticed me when I approached him.
What happened next was one of those moments. When he made eye contact with me, he came over and said, “ Mr. Hayes! I’m glad I came! This is so much fun!
In fact, when the game was over and we were trying to collect our crew, we had to go looking for him. He was so pumped. He wasn’t ready to leave!
I didn’t see him for a couple of weeks. Then, one Sunday he came to church, with his younger brother in tow. He made his way to me and we engaged in a conversation that gave me so much humility. He thanked me so heartily and said he wanted to finish school and go back to that college. In fact, he said he was strongly admonishing his little brother to “straighten up” and get his grades up.
It may seem like a small thing to those who have never experienced the lifestyle these young people had and don’t feel compelled to get involved with mentoring.
If we recognize our real purpose in life is to help those who are in need…whatever the necessities are, our greatest reward is contributing to the good of all and it rings of success for all. We may be shaping the next president of the United States of America.

A Time Line

A Time Line

By Edd J. Hayes

In 1947, Dr. Mordecai W. Johnson, president of Howard University, stood before a House Labor Department Federal Appropriations subcommittee and extolled the fact that 17 Land-Grant Colleges were being underfunded with small allotments which were crippling the predominately black colleges and universities in their efforts to grow and prepare graduates for professional roles in the Southern states.
He further stated that “the inadequacy of educational opportunity afforded by State-supported schools in 17 Southern States which maintained separate land grant colleges for white and colored students, was a national scandal and this inadequacy is due directly to the inequitable distribution of both Federal and State funds.”
Dr. Johnson told the group (headed by Frank B. Keefe of Wisconsin), that “Howard University is the only colored institution with a first class law school and the only one that offers opportunity comparable to first class State universities like Wisconsin’s or North Carolina’s.”
He revealed that although colored institutions served 10,000 students at the time, they received less than $5,000,000.00 – less than the budget of the University of Louisiana (now Louisiana State University) alone.
In addition, practically all of the colored institutions had to concentrate on undergraduate education, teacher training and agriculture because they could not seriously offer or give education on the graduate level.
(Baltimore Afro-American, 1947)

In 2011, Dr. Charlie Nelms (past president, North Carolina Central University) published “A Call to Action”, a policy directive intended to spur a national dialogue concerning the revitalization of the historically black colleges and universities as an important sector of American higher education.

Ironically, the same issues that were addressed 67 years ago are still prevalent today.

What is different these days are the apathetic views taken by some African Americans questioning the value of supporting these Black colleges and universities. From noted authors to administrators to avid supporters, there is a real concern that unless we can fire up enough dialogue and support in the Black communities, some of our HBCUs are headed for extinction.

Again, the valid question is…why are some of us so dogmatic about devaluing the educational foundations (Black colleges) that our ancestors established to bridge the gap in a society that would not wholeheartedly embrace the very principles that the constitution was based on – “freedom and equality” for everyone?

 

It is critical that all persons in leadership must have a fundamental appreciation and respect for our history

In a speech by Dr. Frederick Humphries, Florida A&M’s past president, on FAMU’s present dilemma (and it speaks to ALL of HBCUs):
    “It is critical that all persons in leadership must have a fundamental appreciation and respect for our history… the special role that FAMU plays and the unique dynamics that it must navigate to be successful in a landscape that does not want FAMU to succeed and is actively seeking to starve the University to death. 
One cannot adopt a model that is successful at a PWI (Predominately White Institution) and just drop that model into FAMU and expect it to work without SIGNIFICANT amounts of nuance and finesse.
Any notion of – “I’m from a PWI, I get it”- , the current and former University community doesn’t is arrogant, inherently naïve and will fail; the stakes are too high to not be thoughtful in every action that FAMU administrators/employees take. As a community we must make our views about decisions at FAMU visible but respectfully – the world is watching and we must consistently demonstrate that we are serious, thoughtful and deliberate in everything that we do. The Alumni must support these Universities that provided them with tools to be successful in life.”

This past summer, Dr. William Harvey, Hampton University’s president who serves as chairperson on President Obama’s Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, called out the Feds for drastically reducing financial support for HBCUs during the event.

He later stated that we must nevertheless pick up the mantle in this crusade to awaken the people to engage in reinforcing the guidelines for bringing back support of our HBCUs:

 “I believe in the relevancy of HBCUs, but believing in them doesn’t mean that we are all alike. Out of 105 HBCUs, they are not all monolithic. There are some that are doing very well, some that are doing poorly, and most of them are somewhere in the middle. It’s the same for predominantly white colleges.
I don’t want to opine on what other HBCUs could or should do, because I only know what’s best for Hampton and what works for Hampton.
A lot of presidents, black and white, when they are newly elected, will ask to come and spend a day with me. I talk with them very frankly about leadership, and the things that have worked for Hampton over my years as president. 
I think it’s up to every HBCU president to best determine what will work or what their vision is for that institution, and then (work) to make it happen.
If you look at institutions that are in trouble or have failed, it’s because they haven’t been able to bring in the resources. It takes money to build a university, and not just money, but an understanding that there are two sides to a ledger. You can’t  just spend aimlessly. No matter what his or her background is, the president must have an understanding of finances and budgeting.”
A president must have an understanding of securing resources, to retain quality faculty support and for infrastructure and scholarships to students. In order to do that, you’ve got to bring in resources, no matter if you’re a private or public institution.”

This is not a declaration about leadership alone. Alumni supporters are very much instrumental in this mix and without them, it amounts to more futility for the future growth, student enrollment and all other extracurricular activities.
It raises a question about the consciousness of those who have made a significant impact on society as a whole…the successful businessman, entertainers, athletes and recipients of good fortune due to their affiliation with and from HBCUs. Outside philanthropies are prevalent also, as they show their generosity toward these schools.
Hopefully, we can rally around this cause and divert the attention away from the naysayers who have no investment in the future of thousands of students, teachers and athletes who want to attend a Historically Black College or University.

We know you have an opinion…weigh in…be a part of the groundswell of supporters!

In a speech by Dr. Frederick Humphries, Florida A&M’s past president, on FAMU’s present dilemma (and it speaks to ALL of HBCUs):
    “It is critical that all persons in leadership must have a fundamental appreciation and respect for our history… the special role that FAMU plays and the unique dynamics that it must navigate to be successful in a landscape that does not want FAMU to succeed and is actively seeking to starve the University to death. 
One cannot adopt a model that is successful at a PWI (Predominately White Institution) and just drop that model into FAMU and expect it to work without SIGNIFICANT amounts of nuance and finesse.
Any notion of – “I’m from a PWI, I get it”- , the current and former University community doesn’t is arrogant, inherently naïve and will fail; the stakes are too high to not be thoughtful in every action that FAMU administrators/employees take. As a community we must make our views about decisions at FAMU visible but respectfully – the world is watching and we must consistently demonstrate that we are serious, thoughtful and deliberate in everything that we do. The Alumni must support these Universities that provided them with tools to be successful in life.”

This past summer, Dr. William Harvey, Hampton University’s president who serves as chairperson on President Obama’s Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, called out the Feds for drastically reducing financial support for HBCUs during the event.

He later stated that we must nevertheless pick up the mantle in this crusade to awaken the people to engage in reinforcing the guidelines for bringing back support of our HBCUs:

 “I believe in the relevancy of HBCUs, but believing in them doesn’t mean that we are all alike. Out of 105 HBCUs, they are not all monolithic. There are some that are doing very well, some that are doing poorly, and most of them are somewhere in the middle. It’s the same for predominantly white colleges.
I don’t want to opine on what other HBCUs could or should do, because I only know what’s best for Hampton and what works for Hampton.
A lot of presidents, black and white, when they are newly elected, will ask to come and spend a day with me. I talk with them very frankly about leadership, and the things that have worked for Hampton over my years as president. 
I think it’s up to every HBCU president to best determine what will work or what their vision is for that institution, and then (work) to make it happen.
If you look at institutions that are in trouble or have failed, it’s because they haven’t been able to bring in the resources. It takes money to build a university, and not just money, but an understanding that there are two sides to a ledger. You can’t  just spend aimlessly. No matter what his or her background is, the president must have an understanding of finances and budgeting.”
A president must have an understanding of securing resources, to retain quality faculty support and for infrastructure and scholarships to students. In order to do that, you’ve got to bring in resources, no matter if you’re a private or public institution.”

This is not a declaration about leadership alone. Alumni supporters are very much instrumental in this mix and without them, it amounts to more futility for the future growth, student enrollment and all other extracurricular activities.
It raises a question about the consciousness of those who have made a significant impact on society as a whole…the successful businessman, entertainers, athletes and recipients of good fortune due to their affiliation with and from HBCUs. Outside philanthropies are prevalent also, as they show their generosity toward these schools.
Hopefully, we can rally around this cause and divert the attention away from the naysayers who have no investment in the future of thousands of students, teachers and athletes who want to attend a Historically Black College or University.

We know you have an opinion…weigh in…be a part of the groundswell of supporters!

In a speech by Dr. Frederick Humphries, Florida A&M’s past president, on FAMU’s present dilemma (and it speaks to ALL of HBCUs):
    “It is critical that all persons in leadership must have a fundamental appreciation and respect for our history… the special role that FAMU plays and the unique dynamics that it must navigate to be successful in a landscape that does not want FAMU to succeed and is actively seeking to starve the University to death. 
One cannot adopt a model that is successful at a PWI (Predominately White Institution) and just drop that model into FAMU and expect it to work without SIGNIFICANT amounts of nuance and finesse.
Any notion of – “I’m from a PWI, I get it”- , the current and former University community doesn’t is arrogant, inherently naïve and will fail; the stakes are too high to not be thoughtful in every action that FAMU administrators/employees take. As a community we must make our views about decisions at FAMU visible but respectfully – the world is watching and we must consistently demonstrate that we are serious, thoughtful and deliberate in everything that we do. The Alumni must support these Universities that provided them with tools to be successful in life.”

This past summer, Dr. William Harvey, Hampton University’s president who serves as chairperson on President Obama’s Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, called out the Feds for drastically reducing financial support for HBCUs during the event.

He later stated that we must nevertheless pick up the mantle in this crusade to awaken the people to engage in reinforcing the guidelines for bringing back support of our HBCUs:

 “I believe in the relevancy of HBCUs, but believing in them doesn’t mean that we are all alike. Out of 105 HBCUs, they are not all monolithic. There are some that are doing very well, some that are doing poorly, and most of them are somewhere in the middle. It’s the same for predominantly white colleges.
I don’t want to opine on what other HBCUs could or should do, because I only know what’s best for Hampton and what works for Hampton.
A lot of presidents, black and white, when they are newly elected, will ask to come and spend a day with me. I talk with them very frankly about leadership, and the things that have worked for Hampton over my years as president. 
I think it’s up to every HBCU president to best determine what will work or what their vision is for that institution, and then (work) to make it happen.
If you look at institutions that are in trouble or have failed, it’s because they haven’t been able to bring in the resources. It takes money to build a university, and not just money, but an understanding that there are two sides to a ledger. You can’t  just spend aimlessly. No matter what his or her background is, the president must have an understanding of finances and budgeting.”
A president must have an understanding of securing resources, to retain quality faculty support and for infrastructure and scholarships to students. In order to do that, you’ve got to bring in resources, no matter if you’re a private or public institution.”

This is not a declaration about leadership alone. Alumni supporters are very much instrumental in this mix and without them, it amounts to more futility for the future growth, student enrollment and all other extracurricular activities.
It raises a question about the consciousness of those who have made a significant impact on society as a whole…the successful businessman, entertainers, athletes and recipients of good fortune due to their affiliation with and from HBCUs. Outside philanthropies are prevalent also, as they show their generosity toward these schools.
Hopefully, we can rally around this cause and divert the attention away from the naysayers who have no investment in the future of thousands of students, teachers and athletes who want to attend a Historically Black College or University.

We know you have an opinion…weigh in…be a part of the groundswell of supporters!

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A Time Line

In 1947, Dr. Mordecai W. Johnson, president of Howard University, stood before a House Labor Department Federal Appropriations subcommittee and extolled the fact that 17 Land-Grant Colleges were being underfunded with small allotments which were crippling the predominately black colleges and universities in their efforts to grow and prepare graduates for professional roles in the Southern states.
He further stated that “the inadequacy of educational opportunity afforded by State-supported schools in 17 Southern States which maintained separate land grant colleges for white and colored students, was a national scandal and this inadequacy is due directly to the inequitable distribution of both Federal and State funds.”
Dr. Johnson told the group (headed by Frank B. Keefe of Wisconsin), that “Howard University is the only colored institution with a first class law school and the only one that offers opportunity comparable to first class State universities like Wisconsin’s or North Carolina’s.”
He revealed that although colored institutions served 10,000 students at the time, they received less than $5,000,000.00 – less than the budget of the University of Louisiana (now Louisiana State University) alone.
In addition, practically all of the colored institutions had to concentrate on undergraduate education, teacher training and agriculture because they could not seriously offer or give education on the graduate level.
(Baltimore Afro-American, 1947)

In 2011, Dr. Charlie Nelms (past president, North Carolina Central University) published “A Call to Action”, a policy directive intended to spur a national dialogue concerning the revitalization of the historically black colleges and universities as an important sector of American higher education.

Ironically, the same issues that were addressed 67 years ago are still prevalent today.

What is different these days are the apathetic views taken by some African Americans questioning the value of supporting these Black colleges and universities. From noted authors to administrators to avid supporters, there is a real concern that unless we can fire up enough dialogue and support in the Black communities, some of our HBCUs are headed for extinction.

Again, the valid question is…why are some of us so dogmatic about devaluing the educational foundations (Black colleges) that our ancestors established to bridge the gap in a society that would not wholeheartedly embrace the very principles that the constitution was based on – “freedom and equality” for everyone?

In a speech by Dr. Frederick Humphries, Florida A&M’s past president, on FAMU’s present dilemma (and it speaks to ALL of HBCUs):
    “It is critical that all persons in leadership must have a fundamental appreciation and respect for our history… the special role that FAMU plays and the unique dynamics that it must navigate to be successful in a landscape that does not want FAMU to succeed and is actively seeking to starve the University to death.
One cannot adopt a model that is successful at a PWI (Predominately White Institution) and just drop that model into FAMU and expect it to work without SIGNIFICANT amounts of nuance and finesse.
Any notion of – “I’m from a PWI, I get it”- , the current and former University community doesn’t is arrogant, inherently naïve and will fail; the stakes are too high to not be thoughtful in every action that FAMU administrators/employees take. As a community we must make our views about decisions at FAMU visible but respectfully – the world is watching and we must consistently demonstrate that we are serious, thoughtful and deliberate in everything that we do. The Alumni must support these Universities that provided them with tools to be successful in life.”

This past summer, Dr. William Harvey, Hampton University’s president who serves as chairperson on President Obama’s Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, called out the Feds for drastically reducing financial support for HBCUs during the event.

He later stated that we must nevertheless pick up the mantle in this crusade to awaken the people to engage in reinforcing the guidelines for bringing back support of our HBCUs:

 “I believe in the relevancy of HBCUs, but believing in them doesn’t mean that we are all alike. Out of 105 HBCUs, they are not all monolithic. There are some that are doing very well, some that are doing poorly, and most of them are somewhere in the middle. It’s the same for predominantly white colleges.
I don’t want to opine on what other HBCUs could or should do, because I only know what’s best for Hampton and what works for Hampton.
A lot of presidents, black and white, when they are newly elected, will ask to come and spend a day with me. I talk with them very frankly about leadership, and the things that have worked for Hampton over my years as president.
I think it’s up to every HBCU president to best determine what will work or what their vision is for that institution, and then (work) to make it happen.
If you look at institutions that are in trouble or have failed, it’s because they haven’t been able to bring in the resources. It takes money to build a university, and not just money, but an understanding that there are two sides to a ledger. You can’t  just spend aimlessly. No matter what his or her background is, the president must have an understanding of finances and budgeting.”
A president must have an understanding of securing resources, to retain quality faculty support and for infrastructure and scholarships to students. In order to do that, you’ve got to bring in resources, no matter if you’re a private or public institution.”

This is not a declaration about leadership alone. Alumni supporters are very much instrumental in this mix and without them, it amounts to more futility for the future growth, student enrollment and all other extracurricular activities.
It raises a question about the consciousness of those who have made a significant impact on society as a whole…the successful businessman, entertainers, athletes and recipients of good fortune due to their affiliation with and from HBCUs. Outside philanthropies are prevalent also, as they show their generosity toward these schools.
Hopefully, we can rally around this cause and divert the attention away from the naysayers who have no investment in the future of thousands of students, teachers and athletes who want to attend a Historically Black College or University.

We know you have an opinion…weigh in…be a part of the groundswell of supporters!

Changing the Landscape

Changing the Landscape​

By Edd J. Hayes

Brief History of Former Black College Stars who were snubbed by PWIs

I attended my first National Basketball Association Media Day in the 1984 and as a “rookie” sports writer, I was awed by the big time press pundits in attendance. I took a seat near the rear of the room and soaked in the atmosphere.
It was one of the first highlights of my young fledgling career.
While everyone was commenting on the upcoming season, the top newcomers and other business, I was anxious to ask the question, “Why weren’t Black college players being talked about in the same breath as everyone else?”

There was Larry Smith, Alcorn State, (taken in the 2nd round, no. 224, Golden State Warriors) and the CIAA Player of the Year Rick Mahorn (Hampton, 2nd round, no. 35, Washington Bullets) who went on to have better careers than 19 of the first and second round picks taken before them. Both player won championship rings in their careers.
I didn’t ask, but I did my homework. There was a lack of interest in scouting these programs because the rhetoric was – there was not a dearth of talent warranting the expense of covering them. This might not be the right vernacular but the point is, the talent drain after integration nearly crippled many Historically Black Colleges and Universities programs.
Even though the 1950-60s produced Hall of Famers like Earl Lloyd, West Virginia State; Dick Barnett, Tennessee State; Willis Reed, Grambling State and Earl Monroe, Winston-Salem State, there was evidence that many other players who broke the glass ceiling were major contributors and championship caliber performers but were not “draft worthy.”  But, there  were many more free agents who had to climb the ladder of professional respectability.

…Which brings us to football.

Four of the greatest players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame are among the Black college elite who raised the performance bar alongside Jim Brown (Syracuse), Bo Jackson (Auburn) and Ernie Davis (Syracuse) and others.

Whether running back, wide receiver or defensive stalwart, at one time in their pro career, they led in the most important categories at their position. One thing they all shared in common: they were certainly top college prospects worthy of a big time scholarship at a predominately white institution.

Let’s take a look at this select group:

Walter Payton, Jackson State University (1971-75) (SWAC)  
One of Mississippi’s best high school running backs, he received no invitations from Southeastern Conference (SEC) schools like Ole Miss, Alabama or Auburn. So, Payton attended Jackson State and played alongside future pro players: Jerome BarkumRobert Brazile, and Jackie Slater (another Hall of Fame member). Payton set college football records in rushing – more than 3,500 yards and averaged 6.1 yards per carry and broke the NCAA rushing scoring record with 65 touchdowns.
He made the All-American Team First Team in 1973 and was Black College Player of the Year in 1974. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Communications in 1975.
He was the first round pick (no. 4) by the Chicago Bears and became one of the most prolific running backs in the history of the National Football League. Payton was a nine-time Pro Bowler and once held the league’s record for most career rushing yards, most touchdowns, most carries, most yards from scrimmage, and all-purpose yards.
He threw eight career touchdown passes (an NFL record for non-quarterbacks) No. 2 (Frank Gifford, NY Giants); was a 2-time NFL Most Valuable Player (1977, 1985) and Bert Bell Award (1985); NFC Player of the Year (1985), NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1977), Super Bowl champion (XX), Pro Football Hall of Fame, 1993, NFL 1970s All-Decade Team, NFL 1980s All-Decade TeamNFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team. The Walter Payton Award named in his honor.

Bob Hayes, Florida A&M University (1961-65) (SIAC)
A record setting dual threat in two sports, Hayes was a two-sport stand-out in college in both track and football at Florida A&M University. Though a highly recruited athlete in the state of Florida, he accepted a football scholarship from Florida A&M University to play for legendary head coach Alonza “Jake” Gaither. He ended up excelling in track & field and never lost a race in the 100 yard or 100 meter competitions, but mainstream schools of the area still did not invite him to their sanctioned meets.
Considered the world’s fastest man after setting multiple world records in the 60-yard, 100-yard, 220-yard, and Olympic 100-meter dashes, he  is the only athlete to win both an Olympic gold medal and a Super Bowl ring

In 1963, he broke the 100-yard dash record with a time of 9.1, a mark that would stand for eleven years and set the world best for 200 meters (20.5 seconds). He was selected to the US Olympic Team in the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and set the world record in the 100M and the 4X100M Relay team to a world record 39.0 secs.
College honors: 3-time AAU 100 yard dash champion, 1962–1964
NCAA champion, 200 meter dash, 1964; Florida A&M University Sports Hall of Fame, inaugural class, 1976; Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Hall of Fame, 1996, Black College Football Hall of Fame, 2011

NFL Career

Although Hayes was an outstanding wide receiver on FAMU’s vaunted offenses on the ‘60s, he was not a high draft choice – taken in the seventh round (88th pick) of the NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys and the 105 Pick (14th Round) in the AFL Draft. Hayes went on to have a spectacular career and is credited with altering the way defensive secondaries played the game with his speed and athletic ability.
NFL Career Highlights: 3-time Pro Bowl (19651967); 2-time First-team All-Pro (19661968); Second-team All-Pro (1967); 2-time NFL receiving touchdowns leader (1965, 1966); Super Bowl champion (VI).
Receptions: 371, 7417 Yards, 71 Tds. Inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor and Pro Football Hall of Fame

Jerry Rice, Mississippi Valley State University (1981-84) (SWAC) 
Rice shattered just about every NCAA receiving records including a record-setting 1983 season with 102 receptions and 1,450receiving yards. 

College honors:
First Team Division I-AA All-America; single-game NCAA record with 24 passes (vs. Southern University); broke his own Division I-AA records for receptions (112) and receiving yards (1,845),27 touchdown receptions in 1984; Named to every All-American team; finished ninth in Heisman Trophy balloting in 1984. Was MVP in the Blue Gray Classic All-Star Game; inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, 2006. 

NFL Career statistics
Considered the greatest wide receiver in NFL history
Played 20 seasons in the National Football League
All-time leader in most major statistical categories for wide receivers:
Holds over 100 NFL records, the most of any player; 1,549 receptions, career, 22,895 receiving yards, career, 197 receiving touchdowns, career, 23,546 all-purpose yards, careerNFL Most Valuable Player; 2-time NFL Offensive Player of the YearNFC Player of the YearBert Bell Award, 2-time NFC Offensive Player of the YearNFC Rookie of the Year (1985); 6-time NFL receiving yards leader, 6-time NFL receiving touchdowns leaderNFL 75th Anniversary All-Time TeamNFL 1980s-90s All-Decade Team, 13 Pro Bowls, 12-time All-Pro (20 NFL seasons); Three-time Super Bowl championThe Top 100 NFL’s Greatest Players; College Football Hall of Fame, Pro Football Hall of Fame

Michael Strahan Texas Southern University (1990-93) (SWAC) 
Michael Strahan played one season of football and was relatively unknown in scouting circles. He accepted a scholarship offer to play at Texas Southern University where he became one of the most dominant defensive ends in college football. It earned him All-America First Team by: The Poor Man’s Guide to the NFL Draft, The Sheridan Network, Edd Hayes Black College Sports Report and
Associated Press. He was a 2nd Round/ 40th pick in the 1993 NFL Draft by the New York Giants and had a spectacular career as one of the leading sackers of all-time.

Career NFL statistics: 
854 Tackles, 4 Interceptions, 24 Forced fumbles…NFL record 22.5 sacks in a season. Set a career record for the most sacks with 141.5.

NFL honors: 
7-time Pro Bowl ; 4-time First-team All-Pro, 2-time Second-team All-Pro, 2-time NFL sacks leader, 2-time NFC Defensive Player of the YearNFL Defensive Player of the YearNFL 2000s All-Decade TeamNew York Giants Ring of HonorSuper Bowl champion (XLII) 2007

Then, there’s not enough room here to tell you about the super men and women who tore up the tracks in the AAU, NCAA and Olympics…that’s another story.
To be continued.

A PAL Story

A PAL Story

“ I don’t know nuthin’ ‘bout no black college.”

By Edd J. Hayes

Back in the ‘80s, I was a “gym rat” and spent a lot of time with my friends at the Police Athletic League gym on Webster Avenue in the Bronx, one of the many havens for inner city youths like so many others in cities and towns around the country.
Centers like these were the one of the first places that a youngster could go to began working on a game and a dream. It was the first stage of development for many of them who had visions of escaping the reality surrounding them. And, it was the first taste of organized sports and learning some of the life skills they that would help them overcome the proverbial “streets”.
The Webster Avenue Police Athletic League Center was ran by an ex- All-CIAA legendary power forward, Oscar Smith (Elizabeth City State). The first rule they came to respect was- once you crossed the threshold of the wide doors- you took off your cap! No exception, no excuses.
That was one of the little things that resonated in their maturation. Most of the volunteers were young black men, who had come up through the system, went off to college and returned to “give something back.” And, for both parties, it was a love affair that sometimes lasted a lifetime.
On a typical hot summer day, I was hanging at the PAL and I glimpsed a young man seated behind me and eventually engaged him in small talk. He seemed a little out of sorts and after a while, he revealed he had returned home after a failed stint in college. I recalled he was a former high school All-American who had been highly recruited and accepted a basketball scholarship to play a Big Ten program in the Midwest. 
He confessed that it was a cultural shock to him…an inner city kid who found it hard to adjust to life in the middle of the Corn Belt. He felt he had few options and decided to come back home to “regroup.” 

“Centers like these were one of the first places that a youngster could go to began working on their game and a dream”

Here was a depressed young man, which happened to a lot of youngsters who didn’t have strong mentoring support and a moral compass.
I felt empathy and tried in a feeble way to offer some encouragement. I must have burbled something like, “Have you considered playing for a Black college?”
He looked at me with a querying look and mumbled, “ I don’t know nuthin’ ‘bout no black college.”
I had no answer then and that moment still haunts me. 
Yet, I knew about the Black college experience because I recall how it felt to walk on a campus where there were no barriers to overcome and you felt nurtured and supported by teachers, fellow students and teammates. 
There was an air of belonging I experienced nowhere else (and I attended a couple of predominately white institutions).
I recall that moment quite often when I’m face to face with a teenager who is full of confidence and swagger and faith in his ability to make all the right moves – on and off the fields, yet fails to fulfill his potential.
If I could see that young man now, I would look him in the eye and say, “You can’t ball all (of) your life. You need to learn all you can…about everything you can. Be the best you can…you can still reach your dream.”
While we believe in diversity and support the right of a student and/or athlete to choose to study and perform at a school of their choice, we also recognize the relevance of tradition and pride in supporting Historically Black College and Universities.
While we believe in diversity and support the right of a student and/or athlete to choose to study and perform at a school of their choice, we also recognize the relevance of tradition and pride in supporting black colleges.
A lot of HBCUs are feeling the pinch in enrollment even though they may offer scholarships and opportunities. At one time, these hallowed halls of learning offered the greatest  and only opportunity for African Americans to get a quality education and play sports at an optimum level. Many of the past and present leaders in nearly every aspect of society were products of an Black college.

Finally, if another student player ever replies, “I don’t know ANY.”
Boy, do I have an answer now…

A Saga That Has No Ending

A Saga That Has No Ending

In this age of instant social media fame, nothing or no one escapes the spotlight.
A while back, there was a YouTube clip of the nine-year old girl that has already caught the eye of the major college basketball powers.
How easy it is to be caught up in the hype about the next great sports phenom! Since I raised a couple of promising athletes, I can tell you that little girl will make two or three career changes by the time she gets to puberty. That’s if she’s allowed.
This is not a unique since this seems to occur just about every year since sports popularity exploded across the universe. Every generation has their version of the proverbial “greatest of all-time” tag being pinned on some youth who probably hadn’t been on their first date yet.
Still, this anomaly has morphed into the very fabric that grooms this nation’s attitude and moral values.

They had their own legends
When this country righted itself after a grueling war that emancipated former slaves, they went on to create their own existence and eventually demanded their rightful place in society. It was the hunger for an education that propelled their desire to gain respect and the equanimity they sought.
That pursuit defined the character and determination that helped shape and mold the society we share today. Those values also fueled the competitive spirit in all of us.
Young black student “athletes” emerged on the American landscape and became supreme in their quest to prove they could compete.  Many became dominant figures in education, sports, entertainment, medicine…well, you get the picture.
There was a jubilant pride in accomplishing something which gave all of us something to hope for…honor, achievement and of course, wealth.
Playing sports became a new stream of revenue, even though very few African Americans made a decent living at it.

Until Their Eyes Were Open
I received an email from a friend about a new book entitled, “Basketball Slave: The Andy Johnson Harlem Globetrotter/NBA Story” written by his son Mark Johnson. It depicts a sobering tale of what happened during the glory days of the Globetrotters, and the saga of a spiraling super talented but misguided youth who forsook an education to pursue his dream of fame and fortune.
Sound familiar? Sixty years ago, when this episode occurred, you could roll out a ball onto any playground and name any number of young men who suffered the same fate.
I came across another article I had saved from the 1980’s about Curtis Jones, a Detroit playground legend who sued his former high school basketball coach and several college figures for 15 million dollars, claiming he was ‘pushed’ through the system and allowed to ‘forfeit’ an education because he was such a great basketball talent.
I recalled Lloyd Daniels, one of the most heralded New York City high school basketball legends, and how he was ‘trafficked’ from one high school to another because of his coveted dominant skills on the court. Somehow, he landed at University of Nevada – Las Vegas even though he hardly had the grades to get out of high school. He eventually slipped into oblivion after several controversial incidents and played for five years in the NBA with six different teams.

And then there was the “Goat”…The classic story.
Earl Manigault’s legacy still hangs over the now defunct Rucker Playground where he held court every summer. Despite the efforts of Holcombe Rucker to mentor him and help him escape the dark cloak of the mean streets of Harlem, he couldn’t embrace the slow Southern culture and rigid commitment to play college ball at Johnson C. Smith. Eventually, he fell to the lure of the drug culture and never reached the first rung of success that was within reach.
And for the lack of space, I cannot name the long litany of other failed careers that has pretty much gone unnoticed and not shared with youths of the following generations.
On the other hand, it has become fashionable for the media and fans to prophesy on which “can’t miss” prospect will be the next lottery pick or are just waiting to jump to the pros (if they’re lucky enough).,
Periodically, social consciousness kicks in and statistical reports pop up revealing the debilitating graduation rates of college athletes, but that sound is muffled long enough for us to enjoy the exploits of these super talented athletes who are deprived (and or deprived themselves) – of getting a decent education. It is a greater disservice when they are not encouraged to make the most of their educational opportunities.
Now I know there is always going to be a strong argument by those who buy into “get the money while you can” theory and certainly, it is the American way but many who choose to go that route eventually fall to have completeness in the final analysis of their lives. The old folks used to say, “A fool and his money…” you know the rest.
And you and I know…to whom much is given…much more is expected.

That’s just my two cents…what do you think?

Resurrecting HBCUs

Resurrecting HBCUs

“Understanding history makes the present more explicable in terms of where we started from and how we got to this point”

The general population is so media-driven that they jump on the bandwagon without getting behind the facts. There’s growing debate about the “State of HBCUs”…and none of our highly respected media icons have made this a cause celebre.
Secondly, the alternative argument is that HBCU alumni do not support their schools as a whole and the schools ARE NOT USING SOCIAL MEDIA as a powerful tool to rally their constituents.
Also, it is unfathomable how in the bat of an eye, even our own ethnic group has found grounds to denigrate HBCUs and the contributions they have made and continue to make in the world of academics, sports, and just about every other aspect of society.
It is a fact that Black colleges offer an unique educational and cultural experience, and a large contingent of African Americans still attend these institutions and receive a quality education.  After all, the bottom line is… “you only get out of it as much as you put in…no matter where you attend.”
In the matter of “TRADITION,” our forefathers were PROUD of being a part of one of the last existing Black entities that is now being castigated, ignored, or non-supported by those who don’t see their immeasurable contributions.
Isn’t it odd that regardless of their conditions, very few predominately white colleges or universities ever face such scrutiny?
“If the conversation is about “Black Lives Matter” – community development and current wars against poverty and racial inequality, historically Black colleges rank deserve the highest priority. In any historic or present context, HBCUs are among the institutions best equipped to take students from any economic, racial (diversity) or cultural circumstance and create within them industry-ready professionals driven to success.” (from the Huffington Post blog, “No Greater Waste of Money than an HBCU)

Who can argue the merits of a long line of achievers who have risen to world acclaim and are game changers? This includes a Who’s Who list: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Oprah Winfrey, Ret. Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James, US Army Ret., former NYC Mayor David Dinkins…and thousands more.
They are meshed between the mass of African American game changers who attended predominately white institutions (ie. Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson, Jim Brown, etc.)
I have had many heated arguments with ‘brothers’ who are victims of ‘mainstream fever’…you know…they matriculated from schools other than HBCUs whose rankings are celebrated (and some who aren’t), but they swear by them…donate to them and have no compunction about making demoralizing statements about HBCUs.
The present state of Black colleges did not start with their present conditions. It has been a potpourri of incidents- from racial isolation to insufficient resources to POOR management and VISION…too much exculpatory behavior and lack of skilled leadership…too much dependency on ‘Systems’ whether governmental and philanthropic.
While the furor is about the schools that have fallen through the net, not enough is being said about those that have utilized their available resources to breed success…i.e. going outside the boundaries to bolster their success rates.
Models of stability and progressive growth are schools like Hampton University, where Dr. William Harvey, who stepped onto campus amid a firestorm of insolvency debt and indecision, authored a vigorous campaign that has seen the Virginia campus transformed into a template of consistent growth: new buildings and programs, including one of the first proton cancer treatment centers on the East coast.
Michael Sorrell, a product of some of the elite PWIs, brought solvency to a small HBCU- Paul Quinn COllege- that had been on the brink of extinction. Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack, one of the youngest serving presidents of a four-year institution in the nation  has brought a fresh leadership that has reinvigorated the school.
There are numerous other schools that have ramped up the self-help addendum, like Claflin University, North Carolina A&T University and Prairie View A&M University, who are among those at the top of the list with their aggressive alumni support.
Still, there are so many sore points that need to be addressed…i.e. the drain of top students and declining academic and athletic enrollment. Undeniably, the barn door opened with the advent of integration that saw the more ‘profitable’ programs vacuum the top talent that most HBCUs use to take for granted. (Granted, everyone reserves the right to make their own choices and take advantage of the opportunities, wherever they are).
Even though this evolution has emerged, the alarm has not been heeded enough by some other black colleges who have taken a woeful blow to their rosters. Mysteriously, the only reply has been excuses and resignation.
It is a fact that Hall of Famers continue to emerge from these programs (HBCUs) as well as in other areas like education, medicine, space exploration, etc. They should be asking to make a difference, too.
I believe that everything happens for a reason….this is a wake -up call for America…Why would anyone want ANY educational institution fail? Why the sense of apathy?
So, ponder this… IF they are allowed to fail…we only have ourselves to blame.
Send us your opinions…

Pointers
-Little known facts: From the onset, many of the pioneer educators (teachers, coaches, etc.) matriculated from a predominately white institution and opted to enter the Black college family to teach and nurture the underprivileged.
-Even if you did not attend a HBCU…you still are a part of their legacy. A good example, many major contributors were alumni from PWIs as well as philanthropists of every ethnic group.
-Other ethnic groups vigorously support and proclaim allegiance to their Alma maters and somewhere…a member of your family or a friend probably attended a Black college.