Tarik Cohen and Darius Leonard Named 2018 Black College Football Pro Players of the Year

Atlanta, GA (February 13, 2019) – The Black College Football Hall of Fame announced today that Chicago Bears running back and return specialist Tarik Cohen and Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard have been named recipients of the Black College Football Pro Player of the Year Award, Presented by the NFLPA. The Award recognizes the most outstanding professional football player from a Historically Black College and University. Arizona Cardinals safety Antoine Bethea was selected as the inaugural recipient in 2017.

Cohen attended North Carolina A&T State University, from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), and was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 2017. During the 2018 season, Cohen rushed for 444 rushing yards and three touchdowns. He also had 71 catches for 725 yards and five touchdowns, along with a league-leading 411 punt return yards. He was named to the 2019 Pro Bowl roster and First Team All-Pro as a return specialist.

The 6-foot-2, 234-pound Leonard played for Coach Buddy Pough at South Carolina State University, and was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He finished his rookie season with 163 combined tackles (111 solo), eight pass deflections, seven sacks and one interception. His 163 tackles led the NFL and broke the Colts’ franchise record. Leonard was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, First Team All-Pro and selected to the Pro Bowl.

The formal presentation of the Black College Football Pro Player of the Year Award will be made at the Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on February 16, 2019.

“This award was established to shine a light on the immense talent of current Black College Football players at the highest level,” said James “Shack” Harris, BCFHOF Co-Founder and 2012 inductee.

The Black College Football Pro Player of the Year Award was voted on by a Selection Committee, composed of media members D. Orlando Ledbetter (Atlanta Journal Constitution), Jay Walker (ESPN), John Williams (The Undefeated) and Steve Wyche (NFL Network); NFL front office members Doug Williams (Washington Redskins Senior Vice President of Player Personnel) and former NFL scout Charles Bailey.

“Today, there are about 30 players from Historically Black Colleges and Universities on active NFL rosters,” said DeMaurice Smith, NFLPA Executive Director. “Some of the best players in NFL history are from HBCUs, and it’s exciting to honor today’s stars.”

The 2019 Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by the Atlanta Falcons, takes place at the College Football Hall of Fame on February 16. The 2018 Black College Football Player of the Year will also be announced during the Ceremony. Tickets and sponsorships are still available at www.BlackCollegeFootballHOF.org.

“On behalf of the Black College Football Hall of Fame Trustees and Selection Committee, we congratulate Tarik and Darius on this historic accomplishment,” said Doug Williams, BCFHOF Co-Founder and 2011 Inductee. “These men are great role models and an inspiration for youth across the country.”

About the NFLPA

“We, The National Football League Players Association … Pay homage to our predecessors for their courage, sacrifice, and vision; … Pledge to preserve and enhance the democratic involvement of our members; … Confirm our willingness to do whatever is necessary for the betterment of our membership — To preserve our gains and achieve those goals not yet attained.”

About Black College Football Hall of Fame

The Black College Football Hall of Fame was established in October of 2009 by African-American pioneers and quarterbacks, Pro Bowl MVP James “Shack” Harris and Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams, to preserve the history and honor the greatest football players, coaches and contributors from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). There have been 70 Inductees since inception, including Mel BlountJames HarrisWillie LanierArt Shell and Doug Williams, who serve as Trustees.

Air Force Reserve Returns as Title Sponsor of the 2018 Celebration Bowl

By Master Sgt. James Branch, 94th Airlift Wing Public Affairs / Published December 19, 2018

ATLANTA — After a year break, the Air Force Reserve returned as the title sponsor of the fourth annual Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, the championship game for Historically Black College and University football.

The North Carolina A&T State University Aggies, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champions, took on the Alcon State Braves, Southwestern Athletic Conference champions Dec. 15 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

The game marked the first time the two teams met since they battled each other in 2015, at the inaugural Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl.

John Grant, Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl executive director, expressed his gratitude on behalf of ESPN Events to the Air Force Reserve for joining the Bowl Committee as this year’s sponsor, and stated its commitment is vital to the success of the event.

“The theme of this year’s Celebration Bowl is all about the celebration of service,” he said. “Partnering with the Air Force Reserve allows us to truly honor and commemorate those who volunteer and serve to protect our communities and country”

In addition to increasing its brand recognition to a broad national audience, the Air Force Reserve seized the opportunity to highlight its many education and career benefits, and showcase the nearly 74,000 Citizen Airmen who are part of the communities they serve. They study in colleges and universities, support local community programs, maintain civilian careers, and make an impact each and every day.

Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, Chief of Air Force Reserve, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., and commander of Air Force Reserve Command, believes it’s incredibly significant the Air Force Reserve uses the Celebration Bowl platform to honor and promote its legacy of culture and diversity.

“Diversity takes on all forms, whether it’s ethnicity, gender, or thought,” he said. “The fusion of varied cultures creates a strong military that can respond whenever America needs us. Serving our country is important, and exciting. The more we can get that word out, the better the Air Force Reserve will be.”

Chief Master Sgt. Ericka Kelly, AFRC command chief, said coming back as the title sponsor after a year off re-affirms Air Force Reserve’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“For me, the chance to showcase the Reserve to college students who are looking for advancement opportunities is beyond words,” she said. “Being a woman from the Hispanic community, I can testify to the opportunities the Air Force Reserve offers.”

Scobee flipped the coin, and the Aggies received the first kick-off, and put the first touchdown score of the game on the board in just three downs. The Braves trailed them for the entire game, with a half time score of 17-6. Although they scored 18 points in the second half of the game, they would never catch up, and the Aggies won 24-22, becoming the 2018 National HBCU football champions.

Scobee presented the Championship Trophy to Sam Washington, N.C. A&T head coach, Richie Kittle, Defensive MVP with nine tackles, and Lamar Richard, Offensive MVP with 292 passing yards and two touchdowns.

During the postgame press conference, Richard, a senior, said it felt good win the championship, and go out on top. He thanked the Air Force Reserve, bowl committee, and the city of Atlanta.

Commercials and announcements throughout the game highlighted the many opportunities the Air Force Reserve offers to individuals who want to serve their country part-time while pursuing an education or advancing their civilian career.

“The Air Force Reserve is more than proud to once again sponsor the premier college bowl game of the season,” said Col. Timothy H. Martz, Air Force Reserve Command Recruiting Service commander. “Although the game is a vehicle for us to reach a number of demographics, the event is beyond recruiting for us. It gives AFRC the ability to leave a positive impression on not only HBCUs but the entire country.”

According to Meltwater Media Monitoring Service, the sponsorship garnered nearly $127 million in advertising value equivalent and recorded nearly 13.7 billion positive impressions through television broadcasting and print and online media reporting in addition to nearly 32,500 fans reached in the Mercedes Benz stadium during the game.

North Carolina A&T Defeats Alcorn State 24-22 to Win Second Straight Celebration Bowl

ATLANTA, GA – North Carolina A&T quarterback Lamar Raynard passed for 292 yards and two scores to lift the Aggies to a 24-22 win over Alcorn State in the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, Saturday before a crowd of 31,672 at Mercedes Benz Stadium and a national ABC television audience.

The Aggie win gave the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) a 3-1 advantage in the bowl, which annually pits the MEAC champion against the winner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). The victory also gave NC A&T back-to-back wins in the event and its third triumph in three appearances in the four-year old bowl.
The 11th ranked Aggies and first-year head coach Sam Washington, finished the campaign at 10-2 and will claim their second straight National Black College Championship and their third title in four seasons.

Saturday’s contest was a rematch of the 2015 inaugural Celebration Bowl in which the Aggies defeated the Braves 41-34 behind a 295-yard rushing, three touchdown performance by running back Tarik Cohen, in his second season with the Chicago Bears.

Raynard, a 6-4, 195 redshirt senior out of High Point, NC, connected on 18-30 attempts, with one interception, in the game and had scoring tosses of 17 yards to Zachary Leslie on the game’s opening drive, staking his team to a 7-0 lead and 27 yards to Elijah Bell with less than a minute left in the half for a 17-3 Aggie edge.

It was Raynard’s best passing performance of the season, and NC A&T needed it as the Aggies were limited to just 38 net yards rushing in 31 attempts for 324 total yards in the contest.
Noel Ruiz added a 36-yard field goal and Malik Wilson returned a kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown to round out the Aggie scoring.

The Braves, despite the loss, rolled up 451 yards total offense, including 328 yards on the ground. Alcorn quarterback Noah Johnson completed 12-21 passes for 123 yards, while suffering one interception. De’Shawn Waller led the Alcorn running attack with 167 yards. Johnson was also a factor in the Braves’ running game, gaining 120 yards on 14 attempts with two touchdowns.
Coach Fred McNair’s team also got three field goals from Corey McCullough, two from 29 yards away and one 25-yarder in the loss.

North Carolina A&T limited the Braves to two McCullough field goals in taking a 17-6 lead at the half but Washington’s team had trouble stopping Alcorn’s potent rushing attack in the second half.
“In the first half, I thought we played well on both sides of the football,” Washington stated in the postgame news conference. “We kept them out of the end zone, but they started running that zone seal on us in the second half and our eyes were in the wrong place and we gave up to big ones (scoring runs).

“We could have done things better, made some earlier adjustments but we made the critical stop when we needed to near the end when we forced a three-and-out and got the ball back to run out the clock. We also stopped the two-point conversion and got the kickoff return for a score.

“It was a great win for us,” he continued. “It’s very important to get an opportunity to play in the postseason and getting to play in a bowl game is really great.”
The Aggies opened the scoring on Raynard’s scoring toss to Leslie, who had six catches for 119 yards, with 12:38 left in the first quarter, staking the MEAC kingpin to a 7-0 lead, following the first of Noel Ruiz’s three extra points.

McCullough’s first field goal, the first 29-yard, pulled the Braves to within 7-3 with 2:52 left in the period. Ruiz, following an interception by the Aggies’ Timadre Abram, nailed 36-yard field goal to increase the NC A&T lead to 10-7 with 8:33 on the second period clock,

Raynard, named the Offensive Player of the game, found Bell from 27 yards away to stake his team to a 17-3 advantage with 53 seconds left in the half, but the Braves drove 67 yards in eight plays and got a 25-yard field goal from McCullough, his second of the game, to reach the half down 17-6. Bell, who had six catches for 68 yards and a scored tied a school record with for career touchdowns with 25.

With 4:29 left in the third, Alcorn pulled to within 17-13 when Johnson broke a 30-yard scoring run, culminating a four-play, 86-yard drive. The Braves pulled to with 17-16 when McCullough was good on a 29-yard field goal with 51 seconds left in the third.

But just as the Braves appeared to have momentum after scoring 10 unanswered points, The Aggies’ Malik Wilson took the kickoff at his 12, got to the outside and raced untouched for 88 yards and a touchdown that put his team ahead 24-16 following the extra point by Ruiz with 38 seconds in the period. It was Wilson’s fourth kickoff return for a touchdown this season, setting a school single-season record.

Johnson got his second, long scoring run, from 59 yards out, with 11:55 left in the final period to culminate a nine-play, 92 yard march to pull his team to with 24-22 and put the Braves in a position to tie with a successful two-point conversion.

On a run-pass option, Johnson rolled out and found Alcorn’s Chris Blair for what appeared to be the tying conversion, however, it was called no good as he juggled the ball while going out of bounds. After the ensuing kickoff, the Braves forced a punt by the Aggies but were unable to move the ball and had to punt themselves. The never got the ball back as NC A&T picked up three first downs to run out the clock.

Despite the loss, The Braves’ Fred McNair praised his team, which concluded a 9-4 campaign.

“I’m proud of these young men and the effort they gave in the game and how they competed throughout the season,” he said. “I told them that the game of football like life has it obstacles, but life goes on. It was a tough loss for our seniors. The kickoff return for a touchdown and the missed two-point conversion were the difference in the ball game.”

Black College Football Hall of Fame Announces 2018 Black College Football Player of the Year Award Finalists

At a glance:

  • Four Finalists have been selected from a Watch List comprised of over 50 players.
  • The Finalists will be honored during the Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Atlanta, Georgia on February 16, 2019.
  • The winner will be announced during the Induction Ceremony and presented with the Deacon Jones Trophy.

Atlanta, GA (November 29, 2018) – The Black College Football Hall of Fame (BCFHOF) announced today four Finalists for the Black College Football Player of the Year Award. The Award is presented annually to the most outstanding football player from a Historically Black College & University (HBCU) that embodies the rich tradition of athletic excellence and integrity associated with HBCUs. Former North Carolina A&T State University, and current Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen was the inaugural recipient of the Award in 2016, and Bowie State quarterback Amir Hall was selected as the recipient in 2017.

The 2018 Finalists include QB Amir Hall (Bowie State University), DL Darryl Johnson (North Carolina A&T State University), QB Noah Johnson (Alcorn State University) and QB Caylin Newton (Howard University).

The Finalists were chosen by a five-member Selection Committee, which is composed of Black College Football Hall of Fame founders James “Shack” Harris and Doug Williams, longtime SBN Broadcaster and Director of News and Sports for the Power News Radio Network Ty Miller, former USA Today sports writer Roscoe Nance, and ESPN College Football Analyst Jay Walker.

“The Black College Football Player of the Year Award showcases the immense talent of our HBCU student-athletes today,” said Doug Williams, BCFHOF Co-Founder and 2011 Inductee. “Each finalist has had an incredible season and we are excited to celebrate their success.”

The winner of the 2018 Black College Football Player of the Year Award will be announced on February 16, 2019 at the 10th Annual Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Presented by the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta, Georgia. He will be presented with the Deacon Jones Trophy, named in honor of the football legend and inaugural BCFHOF inductee.

“On behalf of the Black College Football Hall of Fame Trustees, we congratulate the Black College Football Player of the Year Finalists,” said James “Shack” Harris, Co-Founder and 2012 Inductee. “These student-athletes represent the very best of HBCU football.”

The Finalists will also be recognized at the Celebration Bowl in Atlanta on December 15th, along with the BCFHOF Class of 2019, which will be televised on ABC.

 

2018 Finalists

Amir Hall

Quarterback … Bowie State University … Senior … 2018 CIAA Offensive Player of the Year … Three-time 1st Team All-CIAA … Led conference in passing yards (4,152), passing touchdowns (31) and total offense (4,597) … Also had 445 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns … The CIAA’s all-time career passing touchdown leader (102) and all-time career passing yards leader (11,358) … Candidate for The Harlon Hill Award (Division II College Football Player of the Year) … 2017 Black College Football Player of the Year (Deacon Jones Trophy).

Darryl Johnson, Jr.

Defensive End … North Carolina A&T State University … Junior … Two-time 1st Team All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) … Led MEAC in sacks (10.5) and tackles-for-loss (18.5) … Had 47 total tackles and three pass breakups in 2018 … His 18.5 TFL ranked #10 nationally in FCS Football … In season-opening upset victory over nationally ranked Jacksonville State, Johnson’s strip sack sealed the game for the Aggies … Finalist the Buck Buchanan Award for FCS Defensive Player of the Year … Named to 2017 AFCA and BoxToRow All-American Teams.

 

 

 

Noah Johnson

Quarterback … Alcorn State University … Sophomore … Led the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) in passing efficiency (137.7) and completion percentage (63.4), and #2 in total offense (2,757) … Ranked #5 in SWAC in rushing yards (813) and touchdowns (7) … Led Alcorn State to East Division title and the SWAC Championship game … Led Alcorn’s offense to #1 in the SWAC in yards per game (471.3) … Finalist the Walter Payton Award for FCS Offensive Player of the Year … Finalist for the Cspire Conerly Award as the top collegiate player in Mississippi.

Caylin Newton

Quarterback … Howard University … Sophomore … 1st Team All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) … Led MEAC in passing yards (2,629), passing touchdowns (22) and total offense (3,133 yards), and ranked #2 in efficiency (136.7) … Ranked #7 nationally in FCS Football in total offense … Added 504 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns … Led Howard’s offense to #1 in the MEAC in points per game (33.6) and yards per game (470.8) … Finalist the Walter Payton Award for FCS Offensive Player of the Year.

Alcorn State University Heads to the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl for the Second Time

ATLANTA – The second invitation to the fourth annual Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl – to be played on Saturday, Dec. 15, at noon ET from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and aired live on ABC – has been extended to the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) college football champion, Alcorn State University. The Alcorn Braves defeated the Southern Jaguars 38-27 in Saturday’s SWAC Championship Game.  Executive Director of the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, John Grant, was on-site in Lorman and presented Alcorn State University Coach Fred McNair with the official invitation.

“Congratulations to SWAC champion Alcorn State for punching their ticket to the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl,” said Grant. “We are excited for the Braves to join us in this championship matchup against the North Carolina A&T Aggies.”

The Braves, after winning their fifth consecutive SWAC West division title, were able to secure their spot in Atlanta by defeating Southern University in the SWAC Championship game.  North Carolina A&T comes into the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl with a record of 9-2 after winning last year’s coveted Celebration Bowl trophy for the second time in three years.

Entering its fourth year, the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl has established itself as a premier bowl game and celebrates the heritage, legacy, pageantry, and tradition of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). It is a championship-style game between the MEAC and SWAC champions and will be televised on ABC. ESPN Events collaborates with 100 Black Men of Atlanta to organize the game’s ancillary events which include a youth symposium, robotics showcase, gospel night, fan experience and more. The MEAC leads the overall Celebration Bowl series 2-1 after three years. North Carolina A&T defeated Alcorn State 41-34 in the inaugural game in 2015. In 2016, Grambling State defeated North Carolina Central 10-9.  As in previous years, last year’s Celebration Bowl was a tight battle with North Carolina A&T beating Grambling State 21-14.

Fans can purchase tickets to the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl online at thecelebrationbowl.com or ticketmaster.com, or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. Prices range from $15 to $155 including taxes and fees.  A full list of events surrounding the game are available on the event’s website.

For MEAC fans, a special rate of $110/night is being offered at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, and is available for December 15-16.  Please visit the Celebration Bowl website for more details.

For SWAC fans, a special rate of $97/night is being offered at the Hilton Atlanta, and is available for December 15-16.  Please visit the Celebration Bowl website for more details.

Additional hotel rooms are available at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Atlanta Downtown for $105/night.  Please visit the Celebration Bowl website for more details.

Air Force Reserve

There are many exciting part-time Air Force Reserve jobs which allow Reserve Citizen Airmen to advance their civilian careers or continue their educations while serving close to home. College Tuition Assistance and signing bonuses up to $20,000 are available for specific jobs. Go to AFReserve.com or call 800-257-1212 for more information on how you can Start Your Adventure with the Air Force Reserve.

ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 32 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 10 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 300-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

Collegiate Football
Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (Tampa, Fla.); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); DXL Frisco Bowl (Texas); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl (Nassau);  MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Atlanta); Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Myrtle Beach BowlNew Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); SERVPRO First Responder Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth);  SoFi Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta)

Collegiate Basketball

AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Fort Bliss, Texas); Charleston Classic (South Carolina); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic Presented by Corona (South Bend, Ind.); Myrtle Beach Invitational (Conway, S.C.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); State Farm Champions Classic (Indianapolis) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.)

Collegiate Softball

St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational (Clearwater, Fla.)

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

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ESPN Media Contact: Anna Negron at 860-766-2233 or anna.m.negron@espn.com.

Hope-Beckham Inc. Media Contacts: Wendy Hsiao at 404-604-2192 or Whsiao@hopebeckham.com or Victoria Croft at 404-604-2491 or VCroft@hopebeckham.com

Historic Bethel House in Smithfield Receives New Mural

Solomon Crenshaw Jr.
For The Birmingham Times

Black Greek letter organizations, ESPN cable network and Behr Paint recently collaborated to bring a new mural to Bethel House, a landmark of the Smithfield Community.

“The Bethel House is an historical site inside the Smithfield area,” said Cory Pettway, who works for District 5 Birmingham Councilor Darrell O’Quinn. “It is used as the community center now, not only for the Smithfield Court housing community but also the (entire) Smithfield area.”

Pettway said the councilman received an email from Behr Paint asking for a project that could be done in Smithfield. Bethel House was the obvious choice, he said.

“It’s also very important because it sits on the main thoroughfare – Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Boulevard.  We know a lot of traffic goes through here daily.”

Michael Lundy,  president and CEO of the Housing Authority Birmingham District (HABD), said Smithfield Court was built in 1935 and is the oldest public housing community in Alabama.

“We’re going to preserve all the architectural features and we’re going to go back to a terracotta roof on here,” Lundy said of Bethel House, which serves as a community center for the entire area. “We’re going to put terracotta roofs back here to bring back the original design of the property.

“This is our oldest property and has historical significance because this is the center of the community,” he said. “To do an updated mural for this building I think is really going to be appreciated.”

John Grant, executive director of Celebration Bowl with ESPN, said the project is a reflection of presenting art in community. “Art has transformative effects,” he said. “We unfortunately in our school system are working hard to take art out of community.

“But art is what preserves culture and it interprets culture,” Grant said. “This project, in this community – street-facing – is going to have a transformative impact on the kids . . . and the people in this community.

Members of Alpha Phi Alpha and Omega Psi Phi fraternities and Sigma Gamma Rho sorority applied the primer on the front of the building. Devonte Holt, an artist from the Ensley, Green Acres and Central Park areas, used their bricks and doors that they painted white to create a mural to replace one that had adorned the building for many years.

The new mural, which Holt completed around Magic City Classic weekend, expresses the same things as the last mural – community, education and arts.

“We’re just making this mural bigger and brighter, and basically making it bolder,” the artist said. “When people see it, they’re ecstatic about it. They’re happy to see it and they’re motivated by the colors and everything that’s in the mural.”

Christopher Brooks, Alabama state representative for Omega Psi Phi fraternity, said this is one of many projects black fraternities and sororities partner.

“Every community that we go in as an organization, we’re here to make it better,” he said. “We go into the communities and just do the work.”

Cynthia Eubanks, executive director of Sigma Gamma Rho sorority, said it feels good to work with other Greek letter organizations.

“As a collaborative effort as black Greek letter organizations, we always believe in servicing our community,” she said. “We’re glad to have the opportunity to participate.”

Taj Warren, a senior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and president of the schools’s Iota Nu chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, said their efforts shed light on a positive side of Birmingham.

“This is all that we want to do,” he said. “Greek unity is the main goal for all black Greek organizations.”

BLACK COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2019 ANNOUNCED

 

November 1, 2018 (Atlanta, GA) – The Black College Football Hall of Fame (BCFHOF) announced its 10th Class today – the Class of 2019. Seven inductees were selected from a list of 25 Finalists who had been determined earlier by the BCFHOF Selection Committee.

The Class of 2019 includes Emerson Boozer (Maryland Eastern Shore), Hugh Douglas (Central State), Rich “Tombstone” Jackson (Southern), Frank Lewis (Grambling State), Timmy Newsome (Winston-Salem State), John Taylor (Delaware State) as player inductees, and Coach Arnett “Ace” Mumford (Jarvis Christian College, Bishop College, Texas College and Southern University).

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we congratulate the Class of 2019,” said BCFHOF Co-Founder and 2011 Inductee Doug Williams. “To be inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame in its first 10 years is quite an honor. Just take a look at those historical names.”

Votes were tallied from the 12-member Selection Committee, comprised of prominent journalists, commentators and historians, as well as former NFL General Managers and executives, and from previous BCFHOF inductees to determine the Inductees.

The Class of 2019 will be honored at the 10th Annual Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Presented by the Atlanta Falcons on February 16, 2019. The Induction Ceremony takes place at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Inductees will also be recognized at the Celebration Bowl in Atlanta on December 15th. For more information please visit www.BlackCollegeFootballHOF.org.

 

 

CLASS OF 2019

EMERSON BOOZER (Player)
Running Back … University of Maryland Eastern Shore (1962-1965) … Two-time First Team All-American … SWAC Hall of Fame … Selected by the New York Jets in 6th round of the 1966 AFL Draft … Also selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 7th round of the 1966 NFL Draft … Jets (1966-1975) … 10 seasons … Two-time AFL All-Star … All-AFL (1967) … Led league in rushing touchdowns (1967) … Won an AFL Championship (1968) and Super Bowl III … Member of the New York Jets Ring of Honor and the College Football Hall of Fame … Born July 4, 1943 in Augusta, Georgia.

 

 

HUGH DOUGLAS (Player)
Defensive End … Central State University (1992-1994) … A two-time NAIA Division I All-American … Made 42 sacks in 32 games in a three-year collegiate career … Led his team to an NAIA national championship in 1993 … Selected by the New York Jets with the 16th overall pick in the 1995 NFL Draft … NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (1995) … Jets (1995-1997) … Philadelphia Eagles (1998-2002; 2004) … Jacksonville Jaguars (2003) … Three-time Pro Bowl Selection … Two-time First Team All-Pro … Born on August 23, 1971 in Mansfield, Ohio.

 

 

RICH “TOMBSTONE” JACKSON (Player)
Defensive End … Southern University (1962-1965) … Was a standout on both sides of the football and on the track team, where he won the NAIA Shot-Put competition in 1962 … Still holds the Louisiana collegiate record for Shot-Put (58’ 1”) … Undrafted free agent … Oakland Raiders (1966) … Denver Broncos (1967-1972) … Cleveland Browns (1972) … Seven seasons … Three-time Pro Bowl Selection … Three-time First Team All-Pro … Finished career as the Broncos all-time leader in sacks … Inaugural member of the Broncos Ring of Fame … Born July 22, 1941 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

 

 

FRANK LEWIS (Player)
Wide Receiver … Grambling State University (1967-1970) … Helped Grambling to the 1968 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) title … In 1969, led Grambling in rushing and receiving yards … Scored 42 total touchdowns in college … Three-time All-SWAC at receiver … Selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1st Round of the 1971 NFL Draft (8th overall pick) … Steelers (1971-1977) … Buffalo Bills (1978-1983) … 13 seasons … Pro Bowl selection (1981) … Two-time Super Bowl Champion … Born July 4, 1947 in Houma, Louisiana.

 

 

TIMMY NEWSOME (Player)
Running Back … Winston-Salem State University (1976-1979) … Led the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) in rushing and scoring three seasons … Three-time CIAA Offensive Player of the Year … Two-time Division II All-American … Under head coach Bill Hayes, Newsome led the Rams to undefeated seasons in 1978 and 1979 … Selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the 6th Round of the 1980 NFL Draft … Cowboys (1980-1988) … CIAA Hall of Fame … Winston-Salem State University Athletic Hall of Fame … Born May 17, 1958 in Ahoskie, North Carolina.

 

 

JOHN TAYLOR (Player)
Wide Receiver … Delaware State University (1983-1985) … Scored 42 touchdowns at Delaware State, including 15 his senior season, both Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) records … Holds MEAC record for most career points (254) … MEAC Offensive Player of the Year in 1985 … Selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the 3rd Round of the 1986 NFL Draft … 49ers (1987-1995) … Two-time Pro Bowl Selection … Three-time Super Bowl Champion … NFL 1980s All-Decade Team … Delaware Sports Hall of Fame … Born March 31, 1962 in Pennsauken Township, New Jersey.

 

 

ARNETT “ACE” MUMFORD (Coach)
Jarvis Christian College (1924-1926), Bishop College (1927-1929), Texas College (1931-1935), Southern University (1936-1961) … Led the Southern Jaguars football team to five black national championships … All-time winningest football coach at Southern … Won or shared 11 SWAC Championships at Southern … Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001 … Also coached Southern to the 1941 black national championship in basketball … Retired with a record of 195-104-2 … Born November 26, 1898 in Buckhannon, West Virginia … Died April 28, 1962.

 

 

 

About the Black College Football Hall of Fame
The Black College Football Hall of Fame was established in October 2009 to honor the greatest football players and coaches from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Its trustees are football legends Mel Blount, James Harris, Willie Lanier, Art Shell and Doug Williams. The Black College Football Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Shack Harris & Doug Williams Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization.

www.BlackCollegeFootballHOF.org

www.Twitter.com/BCFHOF

www.Facebook.com/BlackCollegeFootballHOF

www.Instagram.com/BlackCollegeFootballHOF

PRIMESPORT, ESPN Events Renew Sponsorship

ATLANTA – October 17, 2018 – PRIMESPORT, a leader in providing direct access to some of the biggest events in sports and entertainment, today announced a renewed and expanded partnership with ESPN Events as the Official Gameday Experience Provider.  PRIMESPORT will offer fans the chance to buy and sell tickets through an Official Ticket Exchange service for numerous ESPN Events such as college basketball pre-season tournaments and college football games. PRIMESPORT is a division of On Location Experiences, a premium experiential hospitality business.

As part of the renewed partnership, PRIMESPORT will continue to offer premium ticket packages for all of ESPN Events’ collegiate games, which includes game tickets and VIP Experiences such as pregame field passes or exclusive pregame party access.  Select Fan Travel Packages will also include hotel accommodations, game tickets, official souvenirs and other exclusive amenities.  PRIMESPORT will further offer college football fans an officially designated and approved Ticket Exchange marketplace to buy and sell tickets in a convenient, secure and protected environment.

PRIMESPORT will provide the Official Ticket Exchange and VIP Ticket Packages for the AdvoCare Invitational, Charleston Classic, Champions Classic, Diamond Head Classic, Jimmy V Classic, Myrtle Beach Invitational, NIT Season Tip-Off and the Wooden Legacy.  In addition, PRIMESPORT will provide VIP Ticket Packages for many of the college football bowl games including the Birmingham Bowl, Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl, Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl, Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, New Mexico Bowl, Hawaii Bowl, Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, Raycom Media Camellia Bowl, Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl, SERVPRO First Responders Bowl, Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl and the DXL Frisco Bowl.

For full details on official tickets, gameday experience packages or the fan-to-fan ticket exchange visit PRIMESPORT.com.

About On Location Experiences

On Location Experiences is a leader in premium experiential hospitality business, establishing a new industry standard to serve iconic rights holders with extensive experience in ticketing, curated hospitality, live event production and travel management in the worlds of sports and entertainment. On Location is a partner to over 150 rights holders including the NFL, NCAA, the PGA of America and the United States Tennis Association, and provides unrivaled official access for both corporate clients and fans looking for immersive experiences at marquee events including the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, NFL Draft, NCAA Final Four, PGA of America events, numerous College Football Bowl Games and the Tennis Majors.  On Location through CID Entertainment also partners with numerous artists and music festivals across genres, including Imagine Dragons, Metallica, Luke Bryan’s Crash My Playa and Electric Daisy Carnival.

On Location’s operations include: Anthony Travel, the nation’s largest provider of collegiate sports travel management services; CID Entertainment and Future Beat, hospitality leaders in the live music and festival industry; Kreate Inc, a full service live creative concept and production firm with a focus on the customer experience; PrimeSport, a leader in providing direct access to some of the biggest events in sports and entertainment; Steve Furgal’s International Tennis Tours, a leader in developing world-class tennis experiences for more than 40 years.

On Location Experiences is a privately held company, owned by RedBird Capital Partners, Bruin Sports Capital, 32 Equity and the Carlyle Group. For more information about On Location Experiences, please visit www.onlocationexp.com.

Air Force Reserve Renews Its Title Sponsorship of the Celebration Bowl

ATLANTA – The Celebration Bowl announced today that the Air Force Reserve has renewed its title sponsorship of the game. Operated by ESPN Events, the fourth annual Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl is a championship-style game between the division champions of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).  The game will once again be televised on ABC at noon ET on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

“We are thrilled to have the Air Force Reserve join us again as the title sponsor of the Celebration Bowl,” said John Grant, Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl executive director. “The theme of this year’s Celebration Bowl is all about the celebration of service. Partnering with the Air Force Reserve allows us to truly honor and commemorate those who volunteer and serve to protect both for the community and the country.”

The Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl features tradition, legacy and values of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and has established itself as the very first bowl game of the season.  Entering its fourth year, the game will once again open the college football bowl season.

“We are excited to be the title sponsor of the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl,” said CMSgt Michael Johnson, AFRCRS.  “This year’s bowl game celebrating service lines up perfectly with what the Air Force Reserve does every day serving our nation at home and abroad as part of this nation’s national defense. We are looking forward to telling the great story of the Air Force Reserve, its mission and the benefits of serving to a national audience.”

Fans can purchase tickets to the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl online at thecelebrationbowl.com or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. Prices range from $15 to $155 excluding taxes and fees.  A full list of events surrounding the game are available on the event’s website.

The Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN. For more information, visit www.TheCelebrationBowl.com, and follow the event on Twitter and Facebook.

Air Force Reserve

There are many exciting part-time Air Force Reserve jobs which allow Reserve Citizen Airmen to advance their civilian careers or continue their educations while serving close to home. College Tuition Assistance and signing bonuses up to $20,000 are available for specific jobs. Go to AFReserve.com or call 800-257-1212 for more information on how you can Start Your Adventure with the Air Force Reserve.

ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 31 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 10 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 375-plus hours of live programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

Collegiate Football
Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (Tampa, Fla.); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); DXL Frisco Bowl (Texas); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl (Nassau);  MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Atlanta); Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada);   New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); SERVPRO First Responder Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth);  The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta)

Collegiate Basketball

AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Fort Bliss, Texas); Charleston Classic (South Carolina); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic Presented by Corona (South Bend, Ind.); Myrtle Beach Invitational (Conway, S.C.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); State Farm Champions Classic (Indianapolis) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.)

Collegiate Softball

St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational (Clearwater, Fla.)

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

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Hope-Beckham Inc. Media Contacts: Wendy Hsiao at 404-604-2192 or Whsiao@hopebeckham.com or Victoria Croft at 404-604-2491 or VCroft@hopebeckham.com

ESPN Media Contact: Anna Negron at 860-766-2233 or anna.m.negron@espn.com.