Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Black College News

At least 12 all-MEAC basketball players or all-MEAC caliber talents have transferred out of the conference in the last four years. Former Norfolk State 6-8 forward Rashid Gaston and former Florida A&M 6-6 left-handed guard Malcom Bernard left the Spartans and Rattlers respectively over the last two years to play their final seasons at Xavier of the Big East. “I wanted to have the chance to go to the NCAA tournament,” Bernard said on of his move last year, similar to what Gaston expressed while leaving NSU two seasons ago. “I wanted to win a lot of games and be successful,” Bernard said. “I thought if I transferred, I would be able to do something bigger somewhere else.”

That’s not necessarily been the case. At NSU in the 2014-15 season, Gaston averaged a near double-double of 15.5 points and 9.6 boards per game on a 20-14 team. Bernard left an 8-21 Florida A&M team after averaging 14.1 points and 7.1 rebounds a year ago. At Xavier, playing on much more talented squads, neither has approached those numbers.

Gaston averaged 7.4 points and team-bests of 5.9 rebounds and 0.5 blocks for the 24-14 Musketeers this season, just above Bernard’s 6.6 points and 4.1 rebounds. Bernard started 35 of 38 games. Gaston started 18. Bernard averaged over 28 minutes per game, Gaston 20.

Both had their moments. Gaston led Xavier in rebounding in 11 games and had his best outing in a 23-point, 10-rebound effort in a loss to Villanova on Feb. 11. He followed that up with a 19-point, 14-rebound performance in a loss to Providence four days later.

Bernard had perhaps his best game in a battle against Arizona in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16. He scored 15 points and pulled down six rebounds in a 73-71 Musketeers win over the second-seeded Wildcats that advanced Xavier to the Elite Eight. Both Gaston and Bernard had five points in a 83-59 loss to eventual national runner-up Gonzaga that ended their season. As for exposure, reaching the Elite Eight at Xavier is certainly bigger than 17-17 Norfolk State’s run to the MEAC Tournament finals and a first round appearance in the postseason tournament or FAMU’s 8-21 finish.

Sterling Smith, an all-MEAC guard at Coppin State, wound up as a starter at Pittsburgh in the ACC in the 2015-16 season. Richaud Pack, a 17-point scorer and another all-MEAC player at North Carolina A&T in 2014, ended up as an occasional starter on Maryland’s Big 10 squad a year ago.

Smith, after averaging 13.1 points and 30 minutes a game at Coppin, averaged 4.3 points and 17 minutes for the Panthers last season. Pack’s 17 points and 34 minutes per game at A&T turned into 5.8 points and 25 minutes a night for the 2015-16 Terps.

“I was stunned and disappointed,” said Cy Alexander, then Pack’s coach at A&T. “He was projected to be our leading scorer coming back. When he decided to leave at the late date that he did, it was impossible to recruit someone of his skill and athletic ability to replace him. It was an obstacle we could not overcome.”

Alexander said Pack wanted to play in the NCAA Tournament and figured that Maryland, in a multiple-bid league like the Big 10, had a better chance than A&T in the one-bid MEAC. Alexander said Pack indicated that it didn’t matter if he didn’t play. Perhaps it’s the old adage of, ‘I’d rather be a little fish in a big pond than a big fish in a little pond.’ Okay, but does that make sense?

Deron Powers of Hampton bolted the Pirates after they won the 2015 MEAC Tournament title and he was named the tourney’s Most Valuable Player. He led the Pirates into a first round NCAA Tournament matchup with topside Kentucky. Powers, a 5-11 former MEAC rookie of the year who had scored 1,080 points and handed 385 assists in his three years at Hampton, would have been the top returning point guard in the MEAC. He scored 10 points and handed out 3.7 assists per game and was among the league leaders playing over 32 minutes per game in his final season with the Pirates.

He took up residence at Hofstra University of the Colonial Athletic Association, another one-bid league, and after sitting out last season played his final year of eligibility for the Pride. Powers is one of the few whose numbers have gone up since transferring. He scored 13.0 points and dished out 5.2 assists per game for the 15-17 Pride in just about the same number of minutes.

Powers told a newspaper at the time of his transferring that one of his reasons for the move was “the vibe I got up there when I went to visit, how seriously they take basketball.” He was also quoted saying he wanted to go to a “better program” in a “better setting.”

Let’s see. Hofstra drew 2,819 to its largest attended home game this season on Feb. 4 vs. Drexel. By contrast, Hampton drew 3,214 to its Jan. 25 home date vs. South Carolina State and 4,545 that showed up for a showdown vs. North Carolina Central on Jan. 16.

Hofstra finished 7-11 in CAA play, good for seventh in the 10-team CAA. Hampton was 14-17 overall, fourth in the MEAC at 11-5 and played in the College Basketball Invitational postseason tournament. Powers went from a little pond to a smaller pond.

BCSP Editor

You know things have changed in NCAA Div. I men’s college basketball when HBCU teams are being raided of their talented players.

In the latest reported defection, Howard senior guard James ‘J-Byrd’ Daniel, who led the nation in scoring in the 2015-16 season but played in only two games this season after suffering a preseason high ankle sprain, has decided to leave the Bison for what he hopes will be greener pastures.

Reports this week indicate Daniel is choosing between Missouri, Michigan, Ohio State, Tennessee and DePaul.

That never happened before. For the most part, HBCUs got good but marginal players and certainly not the kind of blue-chip talent that major D1 schools went after and landed.

That was then.

Now, HBCU coaches better keep their heads on the proverbial swivel and keep their talented players under wraps, or at least keep them happy. That’s because the so-called ‘high major’ teams in the ACC, Big East, SEC, Big Ten, Pac 12 etc., and even the mid-majors are being drained by the NBA of their top talent, primarily by the NBA, and early in most cases, in players’ first or second years. One-and-done is the new normal. That means they have to look elsewhere, anywhere for talented players.

Even to HBCUs, you might ask? Even to HBCUs is the answer. It’s a dog-eat-dog world!

Howard head coach Kevin Nickelberry, who recruited Daniel out of Hampton, Virginia’s Phoebus High School and has coached him in his four years playing for the Bison, says his biggest recruiting task each year Daniel has been at Howard has been keeping him there.

In the 2013-14 season, the 5-11 Daniel became the first freshman to lead the MEAC in scoring when he averaged 21.7 points per game and was named the conference’s top freshman. With more talent around him as a sophomore, he put up 16.7 points per game and was named first team all-conference. Last year as a junior he topped the nation scoring 27.1 points per game and also led all Div. I players in free throws made and attempted, was fourth in total points and fifth in total field goals. He was the 2015-16 MEAC Player of the Year and the 2016-17 preseason pick by league coaches to repeat with that honor. He is already Howard’s all-time leading scorer with 1,933 points and trails only Tom Davis of Delaware State (1987-91) as the MEAC’s all-time leading scorer (2,275 points).

Though Daniel told the BCSP two weeks ago that he had not ruled out returning to Howard, Nickelberry now seems resigned to losing him.

“It’s a trend in college basketball now. Fifth year guys look at their options,” said Nickelberry. “He’s had an unbelievable career for us and it would be selfish of me, and unfair to the process, not to let him go through it. I’m going to support him. And whatever happens, it can’t change the career he’s had for us and what he’s done for our program.

“This is a family decision. And I’m sure he’ll make the best decision for him, his future and his family.”

Nickelberry also said James T. Miller, a talented redshirt junior who battled injuries this season but was Howard’s second-leading scorer at 14.7 points per game, will play his final year of eligibility elsewhere. Reports indicate Miller will transfer to Missouri State.

According to NCAA statistics, 40% of Div. I basketball recruits leave their initial school by the end of their sophomore year. In other words, plenty players transfer. Sometimes it’s for lack of playing time. Other times it’s because they get in trouble or don’t get along with the coach or perhaps the school is facing some kind of probation. Some leave for a less competitive conference or move down to Div. II. Increasingly, players are leaving to play elsewhere in their fifth year of eligibility.

Regardless of why, HBCU teams losing their star players is a new phenomenon. The Mid Eastern Athletic Conference has been hit particularly hard.

North Carolina Central’s 6-7, 215-pound forward Stanton Kidd could be the poster boy for this new trend. Kidd averaged 14.5 points and 6.9 rebounds in 2013, his only year at NCCU after two years at South Plains Junior College in Texas and one year at Charleston Southern.

In 2013, he left the Eagles to play his last year of eligibility at Colorado State. The move so shocked and caught NCCU head coach LeVelle Moton off-guard that he refuses to talk about it even now.

He was first team all-MEAC at NCCU. But what got him to thinking about so-called ‘greener pastures’ was that he played well against the major programs, averaging right at 20 points in games against Wichita State, Drake and Marquette.

At the time, Kidd told his hometown newspaper, The Baltimore Sun, “I shocked myself. I said, ‘If I can do that here, I know I can do it at another level against better competition.’ I’m not saying I played down to my level, but if you play at a higher level, it brings out the best in you.”

There it is. At least, that’s one way the thinking goes.

Without Kidd, NCCU finished 28-6, won the MEAC Tournament and played and lost to Iowa State (93-75) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. With Kidd, they may have gone farther. At CSU the following year, Kidd, after sitting out a year, averaged 11.6 points and 5.1 rebounds. CSU finished 27-7 and lost a first round NIT game to South Dakota State. Kidd is playing this year overseas in Germany.

Since then, the flood gates have opened.

BCSP Editor

Grambling State University interim women’s basketball head coach Freddie Murray is no longer interim. Murray was named women’s basketball head coach last Wednesday morning.

Murray, Athletics Director Paul Bryant and GSU President Rick Gallot signed a two-year agreement in the president’s office. Murray had filled the job on an interim basis since July 2016. Bryant, who started as athletics director in January, said all coaches have been under review and it became clear to him early that retaining Murray should be a priority.

The university and Murray have agreed to a two-year deal with an annual salary of $120,000, contingent on approval of the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors. The contract extends from April 2017 through May 2019.

Gallot praised Murray’s vision and commitment to the university and the program. “I’m looking forward to us all growing old together here at Grambling State University,” he said.

“As a lifelong athletics and sports enthusiast, I appreciate and enjoy all sports. As a former basketball coach, I think I know something about what it takes to be a good basketball coach — and Murray has it all,” said Bryant. “He’s dedicated and focused, he knows the game, and he challenges and encourages his players to get the most out of them individually and as a team. Hiring him was a no-brainer.”

Murray, a 1990 Jackson State University graduate, joined the Lady Tigers basketball program as an assistant coach under then head coach Nadine Domond. In his first year, he helped Domond and the Lady Tigers with a strong 17-14 overall record and 13-5 record in Southwestern Athletic Conference competition. Two players were selected SWAC All-Conference – Jazmin Boyd (SWAC Freshman of the Year) and Shakyla Hill (SWAC Second Team All-Conference). He took over as interim head coach when Domond left for Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Before joining GSU, Murray was assistant women’s basketball coach at Florida A&M University from 2010-2015, helping the Lady Rattlers to their best record in 2010 when they finished the season 22-8. In previous roles, he worked as an assistant coach at North Carolina A&T State University twice from 2003-2005 and 2007-2010. During his second coaching job at A&T, the team won three Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference regular season championships and trips to the NCAA and WNIT Tournaments.

One team from each of the four black college conferences finished the 2016-17 season on top of the final BCSP Top Ten.

The North Carolina Central men (25-9), who won both regular season and tournament titles in the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference, topped the NCAA Div. I men’s Top Five.

The women of Texas Southern (23-10) tied for the Southwestern Athletic Conference regular season title with Grambling State and then knocked off the Lady Tigers in the SWAC championship game to earn the top spot for the Div. I women.

The ladies of Virginia Union (28-5) did not win the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament title but went on to capture the NCAA Div. II Atlantic Region title and make it all the way to the D2 championship game to earn the ladies the women’s Div. II top ranking.

And eventual men’s champion Clark Atlanta (21-12) was seeded second in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament and became the highest seeded team to capture a Div.
II conference title as they defeated Fort Valley State for the SIAC title. That earned the Panthers and first-year head coach Darrell Walker the top Div. II designation.

Clark Atlanta’s Walker joins another Walker, Grambling State’s now departed head coach Shawn Walker in sharing the Men’s Coach of the Year award. Shawn Walker led the G-Men to a 16-17 finish overall after finishing 7-24 a season ago. Grambling finished third in the SWAC regular season and fell in the SWAC Tournament semifinals to eventual champion Texas Southern.

VUU second-year coach AnnMarie Gilbert repeated as the women’s coach of the year as she led the Lady Panthers to their second straight Atlantic Region title and Elite Eight appearance.
This year the Lady Panthers won two games at the Elite Eight before falling in the Div. II championship game to Ashland, 93-77.

Board members recently elected presidents at Fisk University in Nashville and Kentucky State University in Frankfort.

Dr. Kevin D. Rome Sr. will assume office at Fisk on June 30. Dr. M. Christopher Brown will assume office at Kentucky State University on June 1.

Before Rome became president of Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo., in 2013, he held increasingly responsible administrative posts at several universities including North Carolina Central in Durham. Morehouse and Indiana University-Purdue.

“Our nation’s HBCUs are facing an interesting chapter in history and I am certain Fisk will see its story of academic excellence, diversity, and integrity expand over the next 150 years,” Rome said in a recent statement. “It will be my pleasure to work alongside the entire Fisk University family as we continue to cultivate scholars and leaders one by one.”

Brown most recently served as provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs at Southern University and A&M System. Brown has also held administrative posts at Alcorn State University, at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, and the United Negro College Fund.

Of Brown’s appointment, Board of Regents Vice Chair Ekumene Lysonge said, “Dr. Brown’s extensive work at those institutions, combined with his ideas for growing Kentucky State University’s academic capacity and student enrollment, make him an excellent choice to lead us into the future.”

Rome is a Morehouse College graduate. He earned a master’s degree at the University of Georgia and a doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin.

Brown is a South Carolina State University graduate. He earned a master’s degree at the University of Kentucky and a doctorate degree at Pennsylvania State University.

Lynn W. Thompson, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics, announced Friday, March 31, the appointment of Ryan Ridder as the next head coach for Bethune-Cookman Men’s Basketball.

“I have watched and admired Ryan Ridder from his days as a stellar student-athlete in high school and college, and also witnessed his growth and success as a coach on the college level,” said Thompson. “I know him. I know his family.

His DNA is made up of integrity, passion and the ability to teach. He is an outstanding servant leader who just happens to be a phenomenal basketball coach. His progression as a college coach on each level has prepared him to accept this challenge. He is a local product with great knowledge and respect for our university and community, and we are proud to have one of the great young coaches in the nation to join the B-CU family.”

No stranger to Daytona Beach area basketball as both a player and coach, Ridder comes to Bethune-Cookman after a four-year stint at Daytona State (Junior) College.

Ridder was successful in helping lead a resurgence of the Falcons program that produced 95 victories and four Mid-Florida Conference championships. Daytona State also finished the regular season ranked in the NJCAA National Poll in all four of Ridder’s seasons. Ridder was named Mid-Florida Conference Coach of the Year in each of his four seasons at the helm of the Falcons program.

Off the court, Ridder’s student-athletes had a 100 percent graduation his first two years and 96 percent overall across four years. No stranger to the Division I level of athletics, Ridder served three years as an assistant coach at Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina.

Paul Vallas

(From News Wire Services)

Black leaders are pushing back against Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner who is pushing to install Paul Vallas, the former CEO of Chicago Schools, into a top post at Chicago State University, which hired a new president in September.

According to the Chicago Tribune, several aldermen and religious leaders recently held a press conference to question the intent behind the governor’s push. The governor’s office wants Vallas, the CEO of Chicago Public Schools from 1995-2001, to assume a temporary-and-vaguely-defined-crisis- management-role at the 150-year-old-HBCU. The job has not been clearly defined and does not yet have an official title.

Whatever his title, the effort to give Vallas more authority calls into question how interim President Cecil B. Lucy, who has led the university since September, fits into the picture. Lucy, the university’s former finance chief, has not commented publicly.

“I just don’t know what value he adds to this university, that’s my concern,” Alderman Roderick Sawyer said at the recent press conference. “I don’t even know what a crisis intervention specialist means. I can understand it, but I would like to see a defined description of what that looks like and what he’s supposed to do. Is he usurping the president’s authority and powers? Is he adding to that? Has he got a specific task in mind?”

Sawyer is one of many politicians from Springfield to Chicago who has jumped into the debate during the past week. And some are accusing the governor of overstepping his authority.
“We are not going to stand idly by and let someone just pick or appoint who they want to be the president of Chicago State,” Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore said at the recent news conference.

But other politicians support Vallas, including former Illinois Senate President Emil Jones. In a recent statement, Jones said, “He’s a terrific public servant who earned the community’s trust during the six years he led the state’s largest public institution, the Chicago Public Schools, with more than 400,000 students who were mostly minority and many who were living in poverty.”

Vallas also has support from South Side Alderman Anthony Beale, who said in recent news reports, “I’ve known Paul for 20 years, and I know his heart. He’s very smart. He can turn that place around. We need to stop the bleeding.”

Still various factions strenuously disagree over placing Vallas at the helm of the HBCU because he ran as the GOP candidate for lieutenant governor two years ago.

“The university has great potential, great assets,” said Vallas, who has developed a reputation as an education turnaround expert after stints at the helm of public school systems in Chicago, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Bridgeport, Conn. Most recently, Vallas worked in the hurricane-devastated country of Haiti.

“I believe you can significantly expand the university’s offerings and enrollment,” Vallas said in recent news reports. He said he definitely has some turnaround ideas for the school, where enrollment is just half of what it was in 2010 and has only 86 students its freshman class.

The struggling school’s finances have made headlines in recent years.

But at a board meeting on Dec. 9, trustees declared an end to the school’s financial emergency. And school leaders outlined plans to move the 150-year-old school ahead including advertising in Chicago’s northern suburbs and several nearby states to attract new students. There was talk about purchasing space on billboards and sending direct mailings. Administrators and trustees discussed the idea of creating a football team with an accompanying marching band and cheerleading squad as a potential enrollment booster.

While Vallas said declining state funding has hurt the school, only 30 percent of its revenue comes from the state.

Jones who supports Vallas said, “Chicago State University is on life support. I urge those with conflicting political agendas to carefully consider the bigger picture. The university needs a crisis manager. CSU’s future – perhaps its very existence as an independent university – hangs in the balance.”

The ladies of Virginia Union University, who staged second half comebacks to knock off second and third seeds and get to Friday’s NCAA Div. II national basketball championship game, could not pull it off a third time as they fell to top seed and undefeated Ashland University, 93-77.

Ashland (37-0) were just too efficient and relentless for the sixth-seeded Lady Panthers (28-5) to overcome. The Lady Eagles shot 52.6% from the field, 50% (11 of 22) from 3-point
range and canned a sparkling 20 of 22 (90.9%) free throws to keep VUU at bay. Ashland had a remarkable 24 assists on 31 made baskets.

“It’s just tough to kind of figure out how to slow down this Ashland team,” said second-year VUU coach AnnMarie Gilbert.

“We tried a little zone, we tried a little man-to-man defense, we pressured a little bit, but they push tempo so well. They just get it out of the net and they go. They run on makes and
misses and they find each other. Just when you think you’ve got them cornered, a skip pass occurs and another skip pass occurs.

“It’s a team that plays a different style that any team that we’ve faced. It’s not so much that they are fast afoot, they are extremely efficient. They’re hard-nosed and don’t take a play off. They’re just a well-oiled machine. Kudos to them on an outstanding season.”

But VUU did not go down without a fight. Though never leading at the end of any quarter, the Lady Panthers battled and took leads in the first and second quarters and never trailed
by double digits until the last play of the third quarter when AU’s Maddie Dackin’s made two free throws to send the Lady Eagles into the final quarter up 68-58.

Between the last 1:34 of the third quarter and first 2:21 of the fourth, VUU went scoreless until Alexis Johnson’s 3-pointer cut the lead to 75-61. The 11-3 Ashland run all but ended the Lady Panthers’ chances.

The game was played before a raucous capacity crowd of 2,200, about 2,000 of them rabid Ashland fans who filled the arena at Ohio Dominican University just 82 miles from the school’s Ashland, Ohio campus.

VUU’s undoing was its inability to slow down the Eagles, a bevy of misses in close on the offensive end and a 5-of-15 performance at the charity stripe. “All the little things we did for us to get here, we just failed in some of those areas today,” said Gilbert.

Johnson, a talented 6-foot junior forward, led VUU with a game-high 28 points canning 12 of 24 shots from the field including 3 of 4 from behind the arc. Six-two senior center Lady
Walker scored 19 points and had a game-high 12 rebounds in her last game in a VUU uniform. Both Johnson and Walker were named to the all tournament team.

“The ball just wasn’t going into the basket,” said Johnson. “Those are easy shots we usually make but tonight they just weren’t falling.”

Ashland evenly distributed minutes between eight players and had five score in double figures led by 19 points from freshman Jodi Johnson. Junior Laina Snyder, named the tournament’s
most valuable player, added 17 points. After posting a 21-18 rebounding edge in the first half, VUU was out-rebounded 37-34 for the game.

“We played come-from-behind in the two previous games but I just knew we couldn’t get down to Ashland,” said Gilbert.

The Eagles, champions of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and Midwest Region, won each of its three games in the Elite Eight by double-digits and had not trailed prior to meeting the Lady Panthers.

“But we fought,” said Gilbert. “We were never really in it but never totally out of it. I’m just proud of the statement we made.”

After losing in the CIAA Tournament’s semifinal round, the Lady Panthers regrouped and took the Atlantic Region title for the second straight year to earn a return trip to the Elite Eight.

“I’d also really like to say how proud I am of our young ladies,” said Gilbert. “Our goal was to make it to the Elite Eight and see how far we could go from there. I’m just so proud of the run and the journey it took to get here.

“People know about Virginia Union. We are a program on the rise. We’re rebuilding. We’re a program that won a national championship in 1983. We’re back!”

“We weren’t that good my first two seasons,” said Walker. “It took for us to get coach G (Gilbert), one of the best coaches in the country, for us to get back here. Since she set foot on the campus of Virginia Union University that’s been her mindset.”

“It was a learning experience,” said Johnson. “We’re just going to come back stronger and learn from our mistakes.”

BCSP Editor

Citing an unnamed source on a Twitter post Monday night, ESPN College Basketball Insider Jeff Goodman said Howard senior guard James “J-Byrd” Daniel III, the top scorer in the 2015-16 NCAA Div. I season who played in just two games for the Bison this season, will play his final year of eligibility elsewhere.

Contacted by phone early Tuesday afternoon by the Black College Sports Page, Daniel said he is not necessarily transferring. “Howard is one of my top choices,” said Daniel who is graduating from Howard in May but will have another year of eligibility based on his short stint on the court this season.

“I’m more or less weighing my options,” Daniel said. “Howard is still in consideration.”

As to whether he talked with Goodman, Daniel said “Not me personally. I’ve just put my name out there. I’m open to everything.”

Daniel sustained a high sprain to his left ankle in the preseason that kept him out of all except two games in January for Howard this season. He scored 24 points in a 78-66 home loss to Florida A&M on Jan. 4 and 10 points in a 66-48 loss at Columbia three nights later.

Daniel said Howard head coach Kevin Nickelberry, who recruited and has coached him in all of his four years at Howard, was aware of his decision.

“Coach Nickelberry and I have a wonderful relationship,” Daniel said. “He’s one of the best coaches I’ve ever been around. Of course, he knew first.”

In a BCSP story a year ago, Nickelberry said his toughest recruiting job over the past three seasons has been convincing Daniel to stay at Howard. It appears he may have to do it again. Attempts to reach Nickelberry before press time were unsuccessful.

Daniel, a 5-11 guard from Phoebus High School in Hampton, Va. led all scorers in the nation a season ago with over 27 points per game. He also led all Div. I players in free throws made and attempted, was fourth in total points and fifth in total field goals. He was the 2015-16 MEAC Player of the Year and 2016-17 preseason pick by league coaches to repeat with that honor.

In the 2013-14 season, Daniel became the first freshman to lead the MEAC in scoring when he averaged 21.0 points per game and was named the conference’s top freshman. He is already Howard’s all-time leading scorer with 1,933 points. Daniel trails only Tom Davis of Delaware State (1987-91) as the MEAC’s all-time leading scorer with 2,275 points.

President Donald Trump’s recent proposed budget reduction for Historically Black Colleges and Universities was met with this statement from Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04).

“When during the campaign, the president repeatedly asked the African-American community what do we have to lose, clearly one answer was funding for the historically supportive and important institutions and colleges in our community. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have provided low-income and first generation college students and their families with a high-quality education for almost 200 years. Once again, the president has reneged on a promise and is not providing these historical institutions with the fiscal resources that they need to continue serving our communities.

“Recently, when the president invited HBCU presidents to the White House for a meeting many hoped –including me –  that would result in increased funding for our HBCU institutions.
We now know that it resulted in a decrease masked as maintaining the level of spending.

“As the alumnus of an HBCU (Virginia Union University) and the representative of a congressional district that is home to two HBCUs and neighbors another district home to two more HBCUs, I am alarmed by the message that was sent to these treasured institutions. These institutions have an important impact for many young people in my district and in Virginia.

“I call on this Administration to allocate more funding for HBCUs instead of providing taxpayer dollars for a racially charged border wall. The budget states that it protects support for HBCUs and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), while suggesting a decrease in spending, cancelling $3.9 billion for Pell Grants funding, and reducing Federal Work-Study funding.

“I look forward to my upcoming conversations with HBCUs during the Congressional Black Caucus College Tour. I will ask them directly about their needs at the federal level to best serve our students. I believe that these nationwide conversations between CBC Members and HBCU leaders will be an important information source so that funding can be appropriately allocated.

“Our HBCUs should be empowered to meet the needs of this underserved population. Once again, this budget does not make America great again.”

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