Tag: College Football

All-Female Officials Team to Referee Title Game in CIAA, the Nation’s 1st African-American Football Conference

CIAA-2018-Football-Season-All-Female-Officials-Team-10.27.18-Game-l-r-Elbert-Lassiter-Sharlanda-Demingo-Ruth-Onyekwelu-Christina-Thurman-Joysha-Gay-Bobbie-Torain-e1541857363762
The all-female officials team, plus referee Elbert Lassiter (far right) and umpire Leonard VanHoose (far left), for the Oct. 27 game between Winston-Salem State and Shaw University. (From left to right) Sharlanda Demingo, Ruth Onyekwelu, Christina Thurman, Joysha Gay, Bobbie Torain. (photo via the undefeated.com)

by Mark W. Wright via theundefeated.com

Sharlanda Demingo had to make a call — and a tough one at that.

Her son, Amadious, demanded that she quit one of her jobs so he could see more of her at home.

“He was in middle school and playing basketball,” Demingo recalled of the conversation with her then-12-year-old. “He was in the band, and I would miss his games sometimes because I was always out, either at a basketball game or at a football game, so I couldn’t go to his marching band events.”

When Amadious’ grades started to suffer, things got real. “It seemed like he started struggling in school, too, so I had to pay attention to that.”

At the time, Demingo had been pursuing her passion as a referee, in basketball and football. As much as she knew she had to put her time in, success there couldn’t come at the expense of family. “So I decided to pursue football primarily and if I wanted to do basketball, I’d do some rec games on the side but not continue to pursue basketball.”

It was the best call she could have made — there’s been zero second-guessing.

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Demingo developed a love for basketball after joining the Air Force in 2002. After completing basic training in Lackland, Texas, her first duty station stop took her to Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany, where she started officiating basketball, following in her father’s footsteps.

“Growing up as a little girl, my dad used to officiate basketball, so I used to go to the games with him,” said Demingo, who continued refereeing after her tour ended in Germany and her second stop — in Hurlburt Field, Florida — began.

By 2006, when she got out of the military and moved to Atlanta, Demingo had added football to her repertoire — and now she will be part of an all-female, five-person officiating crew poised to manage the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) football championship game, between Fayetteville State and Bowie State, Saturday in Salem, Virginia.

Bowie State enters the game 8-2 overall, 8-1 against Division II competition and 6-1 against CIAA opponents. It is led by quarterback Amir Hall, the leading passer in Division II who was the 2017 Black College Player of the Year. It’s Bowie State’s third appearance in the championship game in five seasons.

Fayetteville State enters the title game with a 6-2 record, 6-1 against Division II competition and 5-1 against CIAA foes. The Broncos had two games canceled because of Hurricane Florence. But that didn’t stop them in the conference’s Southern Division, and they claimed its championship spot in Week 9 with a win over Livingstone and Shaw University’s win over Winston-Salem State.

For the CIAA, having female officials covering football as well as other sports in the conference is vitally important — something its commissioner, Jacqie McWilliams, has championed from the beginning.

“Our teams, sports fans, students and the overall community benefit from having balanced, diverse and inclusive teams officiating all of our sports,” McWilliams explained. “It’s important to me the CIAA lead by example.”

Read More: Two female officials part of crew set to referee CIAA football title game

University of Georgia Defensive Back and Scholar Aaron Davis Named to 2017 SEC Football Community Service Team

Starting defensive back Aaron Davis has started 40 games at Georgia after coming to UGA as a walk-on.
(A.J. REYNOLDS/SPECIAL)

via sicemdawgs.com

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – University of Georgia graduate student and defensive back Aaron Davis has been named to the 2017 SEC Football Community Service Team.

Each year the Southeastern Conference highlights one player from each school in all 21-league sponsored sports who shows exemplary community service.

The Locust Grove, Ga. native has been recognized for his effort in the community already this year. Davis was among 11 FBS players named to the 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team in September. The finance graduate was also on the preseason watch list for the Wuerffel Tropy, an award given a college football player, “who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.”

Davis has had his hand in numerous activities while in Athens. Specifically he has been involved in: UGA Athletic Association’s Leadership Academy (LEAD), Spokesperson for “No More,” which is a public service announcement against domestic violence and sexual assault… Visitation at Camp Sunshine, which is a camp that provides support programs for children with cancer and their families…Worked with individuals involved who are part of Extra Special People (ESP), which is an organization that assists with individuals with developmental disabilities … Speaker at the UGA Athletic Association’s “Learn, Play, Excel” program, which has UGA coaches and student-athletes visit and talk with elementary and middle school students on topics such as education, leadership, anti-bullying, respect for authority and the value of participation in athletics.

In the classroom, Davis picked up his second CoSIDA Academic All-District award in November. He has been named to the Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll each of the last three years.

The six-foot-one defensive back has started every game this season to bring his total to 42 starts in 50 games played at Georgia. The former walk-on has 40 total tackles, 2.5 for a loss, one sack, and two quarterback pressures this season. In coverage, he has four pass break ups and one interception.

To read more, go to: https://www.sicemdawgs.com/2017/11/aaron-davis-2017-sec-football-community-service-team/

Louisville QB Lamar Jackson Wins Heisman Trophy; Youngest Player Ever to Earn Award

Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson is the first Heisman Trophy winner from his university.
Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson is the first Heisman Trophy winner from his university. (photo via cnn.com)

article by Jill Martin and Steve Almasy via cnn.com

Lamar Jackson, a sophomore quarterback at the University of Louisville, has won the Heisman Trophy, given to the most outstanding player in college football.  Jackson, who amassed 4,928 yards of total offense and 51 total touchdowns, is youngest player ever and the first player from Louisville to win the Heisman.

Wearing a school-color red coat with a black lapel, Jackson seemed a bit overwhelmed by winning.

“Oh my God,” he said several times.  Among those he thanked were his teammates, saying the award was for all of them.  “I can’t wait to treasure this moment with all of you,” he said. “I love you guys.”

Jackson told reporters he had a speech written but thanked his fellow players, coaches and mom from his heart.  “For some reason when they called my name my chest started pumping and heart started racing real hard,” he said.

Jackson is the first player in major college football history with at least 3,300 passing yards and 1,500 rushing yards in a season.  He was second in the nation in points responsible per game (25.7).  “The improvement Lamar has made since coming to Louisville has been amazing,” Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said. “It’s all because of his dedication and hard work.”

To read more, go to: http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/10/sport/heisman-trophy/

University of Mississippi Department of Athletics Bans “Dixie” from Being Played at Football and Campus Events

miss96016barticle via jbhe.com

The department of athletics at the University of Mississippi has banned the playing of the song “Dixie” at all events on campus. The song, sometimes referred to as the Confederate National Anthem, has been played at football games and other campus events for at least the past 70 years. In 2015, the song was played by university bands during pregame tailgating parties and on the field before the game a total of 14 times.

In a statement, the athletics department said that they “asked the band to create a new and modern pregame show that does not include Dixie and is more inclusive for all fans.”

Florida State University Receiver Travis Rudolph Made Incredible Gesture to Boy with Autism

(photo via facebook.com)
(photo via facebook.com)

article by Extra Mustard via si.com

Florida State receiver Travis Rudolph brightened up the day of a boy with autism, so much so he made the boy’s mother cry.

Rudolph and some other Seminoles were visiting a middle school Tuesday afternoon when Rudolph noticed a boy eating his lunch alone. Rudolph decided he would give the boy company and join him for lunch with a couple slices of pizza. The boy’s mother, Leah Paske, found out about the gesture, and was incredibly moved.

Paske wrote a lengthy Facebook post describing the encounter, which she said brought her to tears:

Here is the full text of Paske’s post:

Several times lately I have tried to remember my time in middle school, did I like all my teachers, do I even remember them? Did I have many friends? Did I sit with anyone at lunch? Just how mean were kids really? I remember one kid on the bus called me “Tammy Fay Baker” bc I started awkwardly wearing eye liner in the sixth grade, I remember being tough and calling him a silly name back, but when he couldn’t see me anymore I cried. I do remember middle school being scary, and hard. 

Now that I have a child starting middle school, I have feelings of anxiety for him, and they can be overwhelming if I let them. Sometimes I’m grateful for his autism. That may sound like a terrible thing to say, but in some ways I think, I hope, it shields him. He doesn’t seem to notice when people stare at him when he flaps his hands. He doesn’t seem to notice that he doesn’t get invited to birthday parties anymore. 

And he doesn’t seem to mind if he eats lunch alone. It’s one of my daily questions for him. Was there a time today you felt sad? Who did you eat lunch with today? Sometimes the answer is a classmate, but most days it’s nobody. Those are the days I feel sad for him, but he doesn’t seem to mind. He is a super sweet child, who always has a smile and hug for everyone he meets. 

A friend of mine sent this beautiful picture to me today and when I saw it with the caption “Travis Rudolph is eating lunch with your son” I replied “who is that?” He said “FSU football player”, then I had tears streaming down my face. Travis Rudolph, a wide receiver at Florida State, and several other FSU players visited my sons school today. I’m not sure what exactly made this incredibly kind man share a lunch table with my son, but I’m happy to say that it will not soon be forgotten. This is one day I didn’t have to worry if my sweet boy ate lunch alone, because he sat across from someone who is a hero in many eyes. Travis Rudolph thank you so much, you made this momma exceedingly happy, and have made us fans for life! #travisrudolph #gonoles #FSU#autismmom #fansforlife

Rudolph said he himself teared up when reading Paske’s post.

To read more and see video of this story, go to: http://www.si.com/extra-mustard/2016/08/30/florida-state-travis-rudolph-lunch-boy-autism

NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swann Lynn Swann is Hired by USC as Athletics Program Director

USC's New Athletic Director and Pro Football Hall of Famer Lynn Swann (photo via
USC’s New Athletic Director and Pro Football Hall of Famer Lynn Swann (photo via cbsnews.com)

article by Zach Helfand via latimes.com

When former Trojans quarterback Pat Haden was hired as USC’s athletic director in 2010, the university’s marquee sports programs were in deep trouble, having been hammered by NCAA sanctions for rules violations.

On Wednesday, USC chose another of its former football stars, Lynn Swann, to succeed Haden. Swann’s main task — to restore luster to football, USC’s signature sport — will be challenging but not nearly as daunting as that faced by Haden upon his arrival.

Swann, a member of the college and pro football halls of fame, is the third consecutive Trojans football player to lead USC’s athletics program; Haden’s predecessor, Mike Garrett, was a Heisman Trophy-winning running back.

The storied football program, which claims 11 national championships and produces millions in annual revenue, has been in a state of upheaval since former coach Pete Carroll left just before the NCAA imposed its penalties. The Trojans have had four head coaches since Carroll’s departure in 2009 to lead the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.

Now, the team has a new coach, Clay Helton, who is under a long-term contract and again has all its scholarships, plus a relatively new state-of-the-art football facility and a home field that will be undergoing a $270-million face-lift.

Swann’s appointment was announced in a letter from university President C.L. Max Nikias to the campus community on Wednesday. In it, Nikias predicted Swann would “bring the heart and soul of a Trojan to his position.”

Swann, 64, will be formally introduced during a news conference on campus Thursday morning. In a statement released after Nikias’ announcement, Swann said his goals for USC athletes would be to “graduate, to win and to experience.”

Swann was a star receiver for the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers, but his experience in major college administration, or lack thereof, drew substantial criticism in the wake of USC’s announcement. Yahoo sports columnist Pat Forde referred to USC as “The University of Self Congratulation.” Another noted that he couldn’t find that the former Pittsburgh Steelers star had “been doing anything the past decade.”

Alabama Crimson Tide’s Derrick Henry Wins Heisman Trophy for 2015

2015 Heisman Trophy Winner Derrick Henry (photo via bet.com)

Alabama Crimson Tide’s Derrick Henry is the first running back to win the Heisman Trophy since 2009. He came in first with 1,832 points, beating out Standford’s Christian McCaffrey (1,539) and Clemson’s Deshaun Watson (1,165). The 2015 Heisman Trophy Ceremony was held last night in New York City.

While Henry was the favorite coming in, he knew he had tough competition, especially coming from a state with no NFL team. “I didn’t know at all. Them two guys were great contenders for the trophy. Deshaun, with how consistent and efficient he is at the quarterback position, all the success he had, I was kind of worried. Christian, breaking Barry Sanders‘ record, doing all the things he does, he’s just unbelievable.” However, the RB was more than happy to receive the highly coveted trophy, “I’m just so thankful to have this trophy. It’s just a blessing and an honor.”

Henry can add the Heisman trophy to his already impressive collection of the Maxwell, Walter Camp, and Doak Walker awards. He has also set Alabama records with 1,986 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns.

article by Evelyn Diaz via bet.com

Snoop Dogg’s Youth Football League Produces 20 More Division-I Players

Don’t even attempt to front on Snoop Dogg’s Youth Football League.

After last week’s National Signing Day, Snoop’s gridiron program has churned out 20 more Division-I college football players, TMZ Sports is reporting. The group is led by nationally-recruited players such as defensive back Iman Marshall(USC) and Snoop’s own son, Cordell Broadus, a UCLA-bound wide receiver.

“I’m extremely proud to have coached and mentored these young men,” Snoop Youth Football League commissioner Haamid Wadood told TMZ Sports. “I speak on behalf of Snoop and my entire SYFL staff and all the coaches and volunteers. We just want to thank the parents for trusting in us and believing in us in building a foundation for these kids in giving them the opportunity for helping them achieve their goals on becoming a great player and teammates.”

Of course, these committed players will all be trying to work towards an NFL contract, the way that Snoop Youth Football League alum such as running backs Ronnie Hillman and De’Anthony Thomas along with cornerbacks Kam Jackson and Greg Ducre were able to accomplish.

With increasing success, nearly 1,700 players signed up to participate in the rapper’s football program last season alone. A complete list of the 20 Division-I players to come out of Snoop’s league this season could be found below.

  • Cordell Broadus—UCLA
  • Iman Marshall—USC
  • Donzell Roddie—Boise State
  • Kyahva Tezino—San Diego State
  • Jeremy Kelly—San Jose State
  • Damon Wright—Boise State
  • Kameron Powell—Washington State
  • Shawn Wilson—Oregon State
  • Malik Psalms—Cal Berkeley
  • Stanley Norman—Arizona State 
  • Cameron Hayes—Hawaii
  • Kenya Bell—San Jose State
  • Justin Calhoun—Montana State
  • Jeremy Calhoun—Montana State
  • Taj Jones—Idaho State
  • Mike Bell—Fresno State
  • Jericho Flowers—UNLV
  • Kevin Scott—USC
  • Dominique Davis—USC
  • Jaelon Barnwell—Alabama State University

article via bet.com

Charlie Strong and James Franklin are “Historic” Black Coach Hires at Texas, Penn State

Charlie Strong holds up the "Hook'em Horns" hand signal during an NCAA college football news conference where he was introduced as the new Texas football coach, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Strong acknowledged the historical significance of being the school's first African-American head coach of a men's sport. He takes over for Mack Brown, who stepped down last month after 16 seasons. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Charlie Strong holds up the “Hook’em Horns” hand signal during an NCAA college football news conference where he was introduced as the new Texas football coach, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Strong acknowledged the historical significance of being the school’s first African-American head coach of a men’s sport. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

At the University of Texas, football is religion. At Penn State University, they need football for redemption. So when these storied programs hired black head coaches within days of each other to return them to past glory, it was a major moment for a sport that has been among the slowest to promote African-American leaders at the highest level.

There have been other black head coaches at top football schools — Notre Dame, Stanford, Miami, UCLA. But the recent hiring of Charlie Strong at Texas and James Franklin at Penn State sent a powerful message, because of the combined prestige, mystique and influence of those teams.  “It’s a historical moment,” said Doug Williams, the first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl and a former head coach at Grambling.  “We’ve come a long way in a couple weeks,” Williams said. “Even though we don’t have as many as you would like, but when you get a Penn State and a Texas, them schools together almost make up for about 10 schools.”

There are 125 colleges playing in the top-level Football Bowl Subdivision. In 2013, 13 of them had black coaches. That was down from 15 in 2012 and an all-time high of 17 in 2011. Strong and Franklin have not been replaced by African-Americans, so the overall numbers remain low.  For Franklin, the numbers are less important than the opportunities.  “I don’t underestimate the significance of this moment. I take a lot of pride in that,” he said in an interview. “But the most important thing is we’re getting to a point where universities and organizations and corporations are hiring people based on merit and the most qualified guy.

Continue reading “Charlie Strong and James Franklin are “Historic” Black Coach Hires at Texas, Penn State”

Florida State’s Jameis Winston Wins Heisman Trophy


Jameis Winston set Football Bowl Subdivision freshman records for touchdown passes, with 38, and passing yards, with 3,820. (Julio Cortez/Associated Press)

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston spent the past week on college football’s postseason awards circuit, cycling through banquets and red carpets and trophy presentations. That culminated Saturday in Manhattan, where Winston won the Heisman Trophy, his sport’s pre-eminent honor.

Winston wrapped his arms around the Heisman Trophy late Saturday, after an hourlong television special in which the only suspense centered on how much he would win by. The assembled cheered loudly, and Winston hugged his parents and thanked God.  At his news conference, Winston said that he had expected to win but that doubt had remained until he heard his name called.

Last December, a college student accused Winston of rape after a party. The accuser’s lawyer came forward a year later to say that the Tallahassee Police Department had pushed her not to press charges, and the lawyer held a news conference Friday to skewer the investigation. Winston’s lawyer has said that Winston and the accuser engaged in consensual sex.

Winston was not charged after a rape accusation that had clouded his season.  Wherever Winston traveled, an accusation of rape clouded the celebration. Florida officials said this month that Winston would not be charged in the year-old case. But as the Seminoles wrapped up an undefeated season and their spot in the Bowl Championship Series title game, scrutiny of the investigation only intensified.

Continue reading “Florida State’s Jameis Winston Wins Heisman Trophy”