Preserving History & Legacies

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Spring Sports: Alive and Striving

Spring time welcomes the high excitement of college sports basketball’s elite tournament season. The indoor rivalries that meet in the climax of a long hoops season offers men and women a last chance to compete for the crown of conference and national championships.  Then, the stage is set for the opening of outdoor sports like baseball and track and field. These sports bring out the champions and upcoming athletes and fans outside where the air of anticipation is as reverent as watching new blooms piercing the crusty earth that houses the baseball diamonds and oval tracks of baseball and track and field.

Black college history is wrapped around these moments when the opportunities to reign or produce an upset are imbedded in the annals of time. In the chapters …Champions and Dynasties, Most Memorable Moments and NAIA Black College Basketball Champions, they highlight some of the exciting history landmarks. Be sure to check out the CIAA Tournament timeline for one of the nation’s most popular tournaments and the best of college sports.  Be sure to browse all of the categories for more exciting and entertaining Black College Sports History.

Cleve Abbott: A Pioneer, Innovator, Teacher

Cleve abbot was hired by the Tuskegee Institute founder Booker T. Washington in 1925 as Director of the Department of Physical Education. He was passionate about sports and used his influence to start the first women's track and field program and led squads that went undefeated from 1937 to 1942. Six of his protege's competed on the U.S. Olympics teams featuring the first black female gold medalist Alice Coachman, Dr. Nell Jackson and  Mildred McDaniels. He developed a superb tennis program that produced the twin stars, Margaret "Pete" Peters and Romania "Repeat" Peters. They won over 18 national ATA tiles. Abbott's football dynasty teams featured All-American Ben Stevenson, considered one of the finest early college stats.  
Born in Watertown South Dakota, he was a football star at South Dakota State from 1912-16.
He was the head varsity coach in all sports from 1925-1955. His teams won a combined 81 conference and national titles.
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This Month in Black College Sports History

1845      ATLANTA BAPTIST SEMINARY played first game of organized baseball at a Black college


1865      BOWIE STATE UNIVERSITY founded

1887      CENTRAL STATE UNIVERSITY, OHIO founded as part of Wilberforce University

1891      NORTH CAROLINA A&T University founded as “The Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Colored Race”  

1909      FISK UNIVERSITY lost to Pearl High School in baseball 

1910      NORTH CAROLINA COLLEGE founded

1925      FIRST CIAA TRACK & FIELD MEET held at Hampton Institute

1940      National Association Intercollegiate Athletics as National Association Intercollegiate            Basketball, Kansas City, MO.

1957      TENNESSEE A&I UNIVERSITY won their first NAIA National Invitational Basketball Tournament

New "Editions"
We have added five new Classics to the BOWLS & CLASSICS category thanks to Alaric Robinson's contribution. He is a former Student Assistant Sports Information Director at Southern University ( 1986-1988). Robinson is also a Southern University School of Architecture Graduate (1986) and now contributor to Black College Sports).
They are:
Space City Classic: Grambling and Texas Southern, Houston, Texas (Baseball)
State Fair Classic: Grambling and Prairie View, Dallas, Texas (Football)
Turkey Day Classic: Tuskegee and Alabama State (Football)
Coleman Young Classic: Southern and Tennessee State, Detroit, MI - unknown
La. State Fair Classic: Grambling vs. opponent, Shreveport, LA (Red River State Fair Classic (formerly the State Fair Classic and, more recently, the Shreveport Classic) (Football)
Southern Heritage Classic: Tennessee State vs. Jackson State, Memphis, Tn. (Football)