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Forgotten Fridays: HBCU bands have been intertwined with the Super Bowl since its inception

By Rhiannon Walker, The Athletic

As long as there have been Super Bowls, there have been historically Black colleges performing at the NFL’s crown jewel event. And for as long as HBCU bands have been taking center stage, they’ve torn the house or whatever venue they’re welcomed into down. Especially if they’re playing in their own backyard, or close to it, as the three schools that have been used in more or less of a rotation have done since 1967.

Now, there is one school that holds the record for the most appearances in the halftime show, another that has performed with Prince, and the third school took the stage with a queen in the most recent Super Bowl show featuring an HBCU band.

But there have also been halftime shows attributed to HBCU bands — they’re just that good, folks — that, well, they didn’t actually perform in. In all, there are more than a dozen instances in which an HBCU band or a portion of the unit has done the halftime show. Want to know the backstory of your favorite school or how its selection came to be? You’ve ventured to the right place.

Super Bowl I
School: Grambling State

The Tigers were joined by Al Hirt and the University of Arizona marching band in the very first Super Bowl between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs in 1967. Grambling State’s inclusion wasn’t without some controversy. Two years earlier in Los Angeles, the Watts uprising had taken place, and some people implored the historically Black college to reject the NFL’s offer to perform. When the school accepted the invitation, there was criticism because of the racial tension, not just in the country, but also in Los Angeles in the aftermath of the uprising.

In addition to playing the national anthem, the bands also worked together to form a paddle boat and the Liberty Bell. Rolling Stone ranked it within its top 10 Super Bowl halftime performances, and to give perspective on just how new the idea was, the Super Bowl wasn’t even the biggest event the Tigers Marching Band participated in, according to an article from the Shreveport Journal on Grambling’s inclusion. It also went on to say that director Conrad Hutchinson Jr. asked his players to move at a cadence of 220 steps per minute versus the 130 to 145 most marching bands used at the time. Hutchinson explained, “the 220 steps per minute offer the necessary tools for the band to move quickly through its routine. The band also uses short, choppy steps for increased animation.”

Super Bowl II
School: Grambling State

When the person running the show and all subsequent reading material tells someone one thing, people tend to believe it. In this case, the NFL and all articles related to the Super Bowl II halftime show indicated that The World Famed Tiger Marching Band did the honors for the performance after doing so during the inaugural Super Bowl. But it was Grambling saying that it didn’t play that forced people to take a look into who exactly performed at the second Super Bowl.

It took Pro Football Hall of Fame archivist Jon Kendle recovering a pamphlet from the “1968 World Championship Game Pre-Game and Half-Time Entertainment Program,” which gave proper credit to the seven Miami-area high school bands who did perform that day. It’s far from the last example of this happening.

Super Bowl III
School: Florida A&M

The Marching 100 went from coming out in what could best be described as an anatomical organ as the unit worked its way through the tunnel, to eventually moving to form a giant and fantastic-looking eagle taking flight. The band played “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and there was a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy, who were assassinated the year before.

Super Bowl IV
School: Southern

Determining who did and didn’t perform in those early Super Bowl halftime shows is a bit like a game of Where’s Waldo? Except swap Waldo out with the halftime performer. In this case, the Human Jukebox most certainly did perform at this game — the New York Daily News mentioned the troupe along with Marguerite Pia--a, Doc Severinsen, Al Hirt and Lionel Hampton. Carol Channing says she sang, “When the Saints Go Marching In” … and yet video evidence doesn’t support that claim. In addition to that song, the Jaguars also added their talents to the performance of “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?”

Super Bowl IX
School: Grambling State

Now that all the mystery about whether the Tigers performed in Super Bowl II is resolved — they didn’t in case anyone skipped over that section. The World Famed Tiger Marching Band returned to its first Super Bowl since being the main show for the very first big game. The NFL paired the band with Mercer Ellington, the son of Duke Ellington, who led the Duke Ellington band.

The Tigers and the Mercer Ellington Orchestra split the 50-yard line during the tribute to Duke. The 1975 Super Bowl was the final one to focus on ja-- as its primary entertainment for the halftime show. Whenever the show returned to New Orleans, it was included, but in terms of main acts, this was the last time such an act was brought on.

Super Bowl XIV
School: Grambling State

The Tigers were flown to Los Angeles to perform with the nonprofit group Up With the People. The theme of the performance was to celebrate the big-band era and featured a sort of awkward conga line.

Super Bowl XV
School: Southern

The odds of a Super Bowl using a Mardi Gras theme while in New Orleans? Even a full month out before the actual annual event? Extremely high, and exactly what the league did. But the party vibe was tempered because the real celebration was the return of 52 American hostages who had been in Iran for a year and released five days before the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XXI
School: Grambling State

The World Famed Tiger Marching Band was one of five performers — the others were George Burns, Mickey Rooney, the USC marching band and several Los Angeles-area drill and dance teams — brought in to help with the NFL’s “Salute to Hollywood’s 100th Anniversary — The World of Make Believe.” As Mickey Mouse moved around with Rooney, the bands played songs from movies such as “Footloose,” “Flashdance” and “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” but with a Disney- and family-friendly twist on them.

Super Bowl XXIV
School: Southern

A number of notable things occurred during this halftime, which saluted New Orleans and the comic strip “Peanuts” for Snoopy’s 40th birthday. There was the 120-foot-long, five-story steamboat that took up the entire Superdome and required both of the goalposts to be removed and then quickly reinstalled before the third quarter kicked off. There was also the performance of “Waiting for the Robert E. Lee,” which … wowzers. The rest of the setlist included “(Up A) Lazy River,” “Here Comes the Showboat,” “When the Saints Go Marching In,” with Pete Fountain, one of the headliners, going off on the clarinet, and “Happy Birthday to You.” The Human Jukebox and Fountain were also joined by Doug Kershaw, Irma Thomas, and the Nicholls State and USL marching bands.

Super Bowl XXXII
School: Grambling State

The coin toss featured Tigers legendary quarterback Doug Williams and Hall of Fame coach Eddie Robinson. The World Famed Tiger Marching Band provided the grand entrance for “A Tribute to Motown’s 40th Anniversary,” and came moving and grooving down the walkway as Martha Reeves opened the show with “Dancing in the Street.” As the Tigers hustled into their proper alignment, acts like Boyz II Men, Queen Latifah, Smokey Robinson and the Temptations sang. From start to finish, this was a Grambling-centric Super Bowl and the last of the school’s six halftime performances.

Super Bowl XLI
School: Florida A&M

The Marching 100’s inclusion worked out as a bit of happenstance. After watching the Marching 100 take the stage with Kanye West and Jamie Foxx at the 2006 Grammys, Prince invited the Rattlers’ band to perform with him in Miami. This was their third, and most recent, Super Bowl halftime performance, although they also did a pregame show at Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005. Though the date of the agreement wasn’t disclosed, band president Chandler Wilson told The Famuan that he was made aware Dec. 14 during fall commencement. Wilson also shared that because of concerns from interim university president Castell V. Bryant, the Marching 100 almost didn’t take the trip down to South Beach in the first place.

“From what I understand, it was Prince who invited us,” Wilson told The Famuan. “He saw the band at the Grammys and wanted to know who the band was. Dr. Bryant expressed reservations about us attending the performance, but our alumni came through and fought for us to be able to go.”

It all worked out, as the Marching 100 practiced for a week straight ahead of the game with Prince, then flooded the field and played for 12 minutes with the legendary singer. The group marched out from the tunnels and filled the stadium with the opening horns from “1999,” then transitioned to “Baby, I’m a Star” and closed with a rain-soaked “Purple Rain” performance to shut down the show and put it in the conversation for, if not the very best, one of the best Super Bowl halftime shows of all time.

Super Bowl XLVI
School: Southern

When the Jaguars sent their Dancing Dolls team to the Super Bowl to perform alongside Madonna, it marked the first time an HBCU performed without a band. It all came together thanks to YouTube, actually. Madonna checked out videos of the troupe’s performances after her personal trainer found them while searching for dancers to work with her, the singer told the Dolls. At Madonna’s request, the normally 11-person group expanded to 20 dancers, because that was the minimum the performer said she needed for her set. The students reached out to nine other Southern students they knew to be strong dancers to travel with them to practices in New York.

When the students were initially brought in, they believed they’d be learning something from Madonna, but as it turned out, she wanted them to show her their choreography and moves. Lawrence Jackson, Southern’s director of bands, said Madonna liked long practices to go over the finer details of the performance and she was very hands-on. In addition, this opportunity arose right after the Bayou Classic, he said, which Southern plays against Grambling State in New Orleans annually. The Dolls wore red-and-white outfits for the halftime show.

Super Bowl XLVII
School: Southern

Grambling may own the fact it performed in the first Super Bowl and the record for the most Super Bowls played in. FAMU will always lay claim to performing alongside Prince. But there’s only one HBCU that can boast it played during the same halftime show as Beyoncé. Some people may argue how much of a brag that is … but let’s all be honest, that’s one hell of a thing to be able to discuss with your children and grandchildren one day. This was Southern’s fourth time participating in the big game as a full unit.

At the time, director of bands Lawrence Jackson told The Advocate that the Human Jukebox would do a six-minute, three-song performance that included spelling XLVII, NFL and NOLA with crisp lines. The three songs selected — beginning with Diana Ross’ “The Boss,” Bruno Mars’ “Locked Out of Heaven,” and concluding with Rebirth Brass Band’s “Do Whatcha Wanna”— were intended to hype the crowd at Mercedes-Benz Superdome before the band departed with a second-line parade. The Dancing Dolls were clothed in outfits described by Jackson as “trademark Beyoncé,” while Seaera Cole, their captain, performed with her.


The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation donated $10 million to Spelman for innovation and entrepreneurship programs.  The Spelman Innovation Lab will be renamed to the Arthur M. Blank Innovation Lab.  The lab will be hosted by the Spelman Center for Innovation and Arts, which is scheduled to open in 2024.


What a $50 Million Donation Did for One H.B.C.U.
The New York Times · by Gina Cherelus · November 7, 2021

At Prairie View A&M, one of the historically Black colleges and universities where MacKenzie Scott donated millions, the mood is cautious optimism.

Prairie View A&M University, the first state-supported college for African Americans in Texas, received a $50 million donation from MacKenzie Scott in 2020.Credit...Rahim Fortune for The New York Times

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas — In-person learning resumed at Prairie View A&M University at the end of August, and the campus was soon buzzing with familiar sounds and sights: freshmen laughing in the dining hall, students walking across the sprawling yard in between classes.

There were also inescapable nods to our current era, like signs on light posts with different reminders, including “Today’s Task: Wear Your Mask.”

If colleges have been among the most disrupted institutions during the pandemic, they have also been centers of hope and resilience. At Prairie View, a historically Black university, some of that optimism has been magnified by a $50 million donation from MacKenzie Scott, the former wife of Jeff Bezos, who has quietly given billions of dollars to underfunded organizations since 2020.

The president of Prairie View, Ruth Simmons, is using the money for initiatives to reignite the campus, including starting a writing program, opening a center for race and justice, increasing the university’s endowment and reserving $10 million for a grant program from which some students are already benefiting.

Joshua Gant, 21, remembers texting his mother several months ago about his remaining balance for the summer semester and his concerns about how it was going to get paid. He had applied for a Panther Success Grant — created in 2020 to provide support for students financially impacted by the pandemic — but had not heard back yet.

Born in Shreveport, La., Mr. Gant came to Prairie View to study mass communication and play trombone in the marching band. At the height of the pandemic, he juggled his music, a part-time job and his virtual classes, all while managing the anxiety and depression that crept in during isolation.

When he finally reached the financial aid office, Mr. Gant was told that if he didn’t pay off his tuition balance in time he would be dropped from his classes. Then, just before the deadline, $2,000 landed in his account and reduced his debt to $0.

“It said: Panther Success Grant has been added to your account,” Mr. Gant said. “I’m like, ‘Mom, you don’t have to worry about it.’ And she’s like, ‘Thank you, God.’”

The grant helped him quit his job so he could focus on graduating. He hopes to stay at Prairie View for graduate school, too, for audio engineering or radio broadcasting.
Joshua Gant, a recipient of a grant made possible by Ms. Scott’s donation.Credit...Rahim Fortune for The New York Times
‘Our Future Is in Fund-Raising’

Students, faculty and graduates of historically black colleges and universities have a special kind of school pride.

This stems from the experience of attending schools where Black people aren’t the minority, where Black culture is celebrated and where the academic needs of Black students are a priority, despite historically racist systems that have made those aims difficult.

But what does it feel like when decades of underfunding and lack of support make it hard for an institution to meet all of its academic and operational demands?

Prairie View is the first state-supported college for African Americans in Texas and the second oldest public university in the state. Founded in 1876, it has been an incubator for Black talent. The school was built on a former plantation, where enslaved people worked the land, and, more than 140 years later, the university has educated tens of thousands of mostly African American students.

Nearly 9,000 students attend Prairie View. They come from various socioeconomic backgrounds and ethnicities; many are first-generation college students and immigrants.

Prairie View, one of two public H.B.C.U.s in the state, has historically received less money from the state government and philanthropists than state flagship schools like Texas A&M University, which was founded the same year.

In April, The Houston Chronicle reported that Prairie View spends a larger percentage of its overall budgets to provide scholarships and support services to students, but graduates a greater number of students with more debt than those at Texas A&M.

“One of the most difficult things that we do as a state institution is to try to persuade this government that we deserve to be supported at the highest level, and so they’re not there yet,” Dr. Simmons, Prairie View’s president, said in an interview. “After 1876 and all of the years that we have been at work doing what we do and providing a Black professional class for the state and doing so much for the state, there still is not enough recognition of the value of the institution.”
Credit...Rahim Fortune for The New York Times

The state has worked to rectify these inequities and has made “generous” contributions, Dr. Simmons added, but she believes that bolstering the school’s funding initiatives is the key to a successful future.

“I’m certainly persuaded that our future is in fund-raising,” she said. “It’s not in being a supplicant to the state government.”

Philanthropists were galvanized to assist Black communities after last year’s nationwide protests in response to the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis and the exposure of the immense disparities between minority communities and nonminority communities.

In 2015, a similar tragedy hit the university close to home when Sandra Bland, a 2009 graduate of Prairie View, died inside a jail cell in Waller County three days after she was arrested by a white Texas state trooper during a traffic stop.

Her death spurred protests across the country as questions were raised about what happened at the jail. The Prairie View City Council later voted to change the name of University Drive, the roadway that leads to Prairie View A&M where she was stopped and arrested, to Sandra Bland Parkway.

Ms. Scott first made an anonymous donation of $10 million to Prairie View in November to help during the pandemic. She gave the remaining $40 million in December and allowed the university to reveal her as the source.

The university has used some of the money to create the Ruth J. Simmons Center for Race and Justice and the Toni Morrison Writing Program; revamped its library’s student center; and invested in faculty development and career services.

At the end of May, the school’s endowment was more than $142 million, up from $95 million the previous year. Tulane University in New Orleans, which enrolls about 5,000 more students than Prairie View, has a pooled endowment of about $1.4 billion.
Ruth Simmons, the president of Prairie View A&M.Credit...Rahim Fortune for The New York Times
Where Will the $40 Million Go?

Amid the excitement and optimism over the recent improvements there is also some wariness about how the additional funds from Ms. Scott will used. That concern may be underscored by past experience.

Imani Taylor, 21, a senior, said that she’s excited for the recent donations but hasn’t seen much change.

“I know a lot of students have wanted more parking, better housing,” said Ms. Taylor, who is studying management information systems.

She described the Wi-Fi on campus as “terrible.” “And especially since we’re in the middle of nowhere, even our cellular doesn’t always work,” she said. “So it’s times where the Wi-Fi will go out in the housing unit and we can’t do anything. It’ll even go out in the actual academic buildings.”

She was also a recipient of the new grant and said that it has been nice to have extra funds to support her along with her scholarships, but as someone who will graduate soon, she hopes to see the underclassmen reap more benefits in the future.

“Even if I don’t get to experience it, there’s going to be other generations that go here,” Ms. Taylor said. “And like I said, just improving the quality on campus will make a drastic difference in the lives of the students and the teachers.”

Prairie View is a small, largely rural city within Waller County that comes with the quirks of having limited cellular coverage, grocery stores and restaurants. Many students acknowledged that these issues aren’t all attributable to the school but that they would like to see more efforts being made to fix them.

Mr. Gant said that he notices the differences on campus between Prairie View and other, predominantly white institutions nearby with more funding and larger endowments.

“Right now we still don’t have some working water in my major’s department,” he said. “How are we supposed to wash our hands?”

Issues like these aren’t exclusive to Prairie View. Last month, students at Howard University began protesting against what they described as subpar living conditions inside the dorms, including mold growth and poor Wi-Fi connections.

Melanye Price, an endowed professor of political science and the director of the new race and justice center at Prairie View, said that when it comes to H.B.C.U.s, there is a tendency to believe that “we don’t take care of it well.”

“That’s not the whole story,” Dr. Price said.

She said that she had attended public schools from kindergarten through graduate school, including Prairie View as an undergraduate in the 1990s. The only school that wasn’t underfunded, she said, was a predominantly white institution, Ohio State University, where she received her Ph.D.
Prairie View students enjoying “hump day” last month: a campus celebration every Sunday. Credit...Rahim Fortune for The New York Times

“Endowments allow you to do the things that the state won’t pay for,” Dr. Price said. “Endowments allow you to bring back top-shelf professors and scholars to teach here because we can cut down the number of classes they can teach. Endowments help us fund more students to not drop out of school because they can’t come up with $600.”

Having a deep endowment, she said, is key to “do all the things we’ve been dreaming about over time.” She also described it as a safety net. “There are some schools for whom, if in Covid, they had to give back all the tuition — I’m thinking Harvard, Princeton, University of Texas — they would still have enough money in their endowment to make it,” she said. “We wouldn’t.”

Dr. Price said that Prairie View takes those who have been “underserved” in their early education and turns “them into engineers.” For the most part, she said, the students there are “not trying to choose between Harvard and us. We’re taking kids who are choosing between nothing and us, and we’re saying, ‘I know nobody expected you to go to college. I know you were not well prepared in your high school.’”

Marquinn Booker, a 22-year-old from Houston and the president of Prairie View’s student body, gave the welcome remarks at the first virtual gathering for the Toni Morrison writing program. The event featured its inaugural writer-in-residence, the poet Nikki Giovanni.

When it comes to the future of the university, Mr. Booker said, he’d like to see the state and others assist more in helping the university build a stronger infrastructure. But regardless of what happens, he is certain that Prairie View will continue to support its students.

“I’m going hard behind Prairie View because Prairie View has given me something that I haven’t received anywhere else,” he said. “Once you receive your degree, you’re supporting the fight behind your education.”

The Drum / Entertainment Industry Internships for HBCU Students
« on: September 06, 2021, 03:35:33 PM »
HBCU in LA, Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program
Apps open on September 10 and are due on December 20.
Register for information session via Zoom at

*****EMail Text*****
Dear HBCU Community Leaders!

It is that time of year to let the HBCU community know, the Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program premiere internship program, HBCU in LA, application will open September 10th!! Please share the attached announcement with your students, faculty and department heads. We look forward to having more HBCU scholars join us in Hollywood for our summer 2022 program!!

The HBCU in LA program is the first of its kind, providing unapparelled access and opportunities for HBCU students to work behind-the-scenes with major Hollywood studios, networks, talent agencies and other leading industry organizations. We are seeking students across all majors! The program provides paid housing and a minimum of a $4K stipend for all students selected to participate in this 8-10 week immersive internship program!

This immersive internship experience gives HBCU students access to viable hands-on work experience from both the corporate and creative aspects of the industry. Students will be placed into key internship roles across the industry working in Animation, Human Resources, Legal, Finance, Technology, Creative Development, Production/Post Production, Digital Media, PR/Marketing, Music, Sports and Major Talent Agencies.

In order to prepare students for this opportunity, we will be hosting a virtual informational tour! Our first session will be September 9, 2021 at 4 PM PST. Also attached is a flyer with the link to RSVP. We would love to see you and/or your students in attendance. This first session will be a look into the exclusive opportunities the program has to offer along with a resume workshop from an industry professional.

Exciting Update: We will be establishing an HBCU Advisory Council to work with us as we look to build and bridge relations between HBCUs and the Entertainment Industry. If you would like learn more about becoming a member our advisory council please email, Leonard Washington at for more information. We look forward to working with the HBCU community leaders in support of this important initiative. Together, we can change the lives of HBCU Scholars one student at a time!

Thank you for your time and consideration. We are looking forward to welcoming another stellar cohort of HBCU Scholars!


Stacy Milner
Founder & CEO
Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program
HBCU in LA Internship Program
2321 West Olive Avenue Suite F
Burbank, CA 91506
EICOP! celebrates and promotes workplace diversity

Dominion Energy has agreed in principal to donate $25 million to be divided among 11 HBCUs:
Central State
Norfolk State
North Carolina A&T
South Carolina State
Virginia Union
Virginia State

That gift will be supplemented with a $10 million scholarship available to African-American and other underrepresented minority students in Dominion Energy’s service area.

Sports Forum / Former PVAMU WR Hodge Playing for Rams in Super Bowl
« on: January 31, 2019, 04:54:34 PM »
KhaDarel Hodge, former PVAMU WR and D'Lo, Mississippi native, will play for the LA Rams in the Super Bowl.  He's spent much of this season on special teams.  Hodge is also an aspiring male model.

Finally, he heard from the Rams, who didn’t offer him a contract. They offered him a tryout. He tried out – thought he did well – but no contract was offered. He went home to D’Lo, continued to work out diligently, and waited for a call. He never gave up. All he needed, he thought, was a chance.

KhaDajah Hodge, his twin sister, finally told him, “Don’t you know how to pray?”

KhaDarel went to his room and did just that. Believers no doubt will call what happened next Divine Intervention. Doubters will call it coincidence. Hodge went out for a run that afternoon, taking his cell phone with him. The phone rang. It was the Rams. They needed another receiver in training camp.

The list according to SmartAsset (via

Here's how the five top schools on the list stacked up:

Louisiana Tech University -- $49,400
LSU -- $47,300
Xavier University -- $44,600
McNeese State University -- $43,600
Tulane University -- $43,100

Rankings of Private HBCUs in the US Department of Education's Financial Responsibility Test, 2012-2013

Using institutions' debt, assets, operating surpluses/deficits, the department develops a composite score for each institution.  The range of scores is from -1 to 3.0.  Scores of 1.5 and above are considered passing.  (As an aside, Sweet Briar College which recently announced its imminent closure scored 3.0.)  Using the supplied data at the link below, I pulled the scores for private HBCUs and listed them below.  Four had scores less than 1.5.

3.0 American Baptist Theological Seminary
3.0 Concordia College Alabama
3.0 Hampton University
3.0 Jarvis Christian College
3.0 Miles College
3.0 Morehouse College
3.0 Morris College
3.0 Oakwood University
3.0 Rust College
3.0 Saint Augustine's College
3.0 Spelman College
3.0 Tougaloo College
3.0 Virginia Union
3.0 Xavier University of Louisiana
2.9 Howard University
2.8 Bethune Cookman University
2.8 Huston-Tillotson College
2.8 Meharry Medical College
2.8 Shaw University
2.8 Talladega College
2.7 Clark Atlanta University
2.7 Livingstone College
2.7 Tuskegee University
2.6 Fisk University
2.5 Edward Waters College
2.5 Johnson C. Smith University
2.5 Lane College
2.5 Texas College
2.4 Paine College
2.3 Dillard
2.3 Shorter College
2.3 Southwestern Christian College
2.2 Philander Smith College
2.2 Voorhees College
2.1 Arkansas Baptist College
2.0 Florida Memorial University
2.0 Wiley College
1.9 Bennett College
1.9 Benedict College
1.9 Claflin University
1.8 Selma University
1.8 Stillman University
1.7 Morehouse School of Medicine
1.6 Interdenominational Theological Center
1.4 Paul Quinn College
1.2 Virginia University of Lynchburg
-0.3 Wilberforce University
-1 Sojourner-Douglas College

Sports Forum / Heart, Soul and the Bayou Classic
« on: December 09, 2014, 08:20:16 PM »
SBNation published a longform article on the Bayou Classic:

"In the most recent data, LSU spent more than $105 million on athletics and took in revenue of more than $117 million. One state over, Texas spent almost $147 million and took in almost $166 million. Grambling State, about 220 miles northwest of Baton Rouge and about 370 miles east-northeast of Austin, spent under $8 million and took in just over $6 million.

Among public Division I schools, Grambling's revenue figures aren't actually the worst. SWAC mate Mississippi Valley State spent and took in about $4.4 million. Coppin State, a MEAC school with no football program, took in $3.4 million and spent $3.7."


"Southern University and A&M College is located on the Mulatto Bend of the Mississippi River, about 10 miles north of LSU in Baton Rouge. Because of the Robinson effect, Southern has taken on second billing in the Bayou Classic, an Auburn to Grambling's Alabama, a UCLA to GSU's USC. But that's not fair. The Jaguars have won nine HBCU national championships and had already won 10 SWAC titles by the time Grambling, a school only two-thirds Southern's size, joined the conference. Southern didn't produce a run of pros like GSU in the 1970s, but it has cranked out stars like Mel Blount, Harold Carmichael, and Aeneas Williams."


""The band was ranked by the NCAA in January of this year as the No. 2 band in the country behind Ohio State. Now, that's an honor within itself. When you think about North Carolina or Duke, you think about basketball. Alabama and LSU, football. For Southern, it's the band. That's no slight to the football team, but the way I try to look at it, the Southern band being ranked No. 2 in the nation would be like the Southern football team being ranked No. 2 in the Playoff rankings.

"When you compare Ohio State's budget to ours, it's like comparing a steak dinner to a piece of candy. Our band has always been great, but our students are graduating with house notes because of student loans. I don't think that's right. State funds have been cut, and there's nothing we can do about that. But we wanted to raise funds. We're focusing more on marketing and branding. We've had an active campaign all fall."


"When you see the smiles of two 70-something Southern supporters on the Superdome field after the game, asking "Did you have a good time?" and, knowing the answer to that question already, "You coming back next year?" ...

... you realize this is a special thing. The Bayou Classic is everything you fell in love with when you fell in love with college sports. It is rivalry. It is an important battle. It is players from the losing team unable to control the tears.

It is also a respite, a perfect oasis for a sports life that is, for the other 51 weeks of the year, challenging and frugal."


"Professor James Oliver, band director for the Mighty Marching Hornets, said the show will be family-based and will highlight student growth as they navigate through the music program. 

"This is a unique and wonderful opportunity to share with the public, through the A&E Network, our incredible university, and to let the world see how we nurture our ASU band members into becoming good musicians and motivate them to become great students academically," Oliver said.

He said that the show has been named "Bama State Style" and filming begins on Monday at the university. The band director added that the reality television show begins is expected to air in January, 2015.

Excerpts from FoxSports:

In June, Winslow put FAMU boosters on their heels, controversially proclaiming at a 220 Quarterback Club luncheon that the school’s athletic department was “broken,” telling the audience: “It can't be fixed. Tear it down, start over, build it the right way.”
“I don't think the program is broken to the point that it can't be fixed,” 220 Quarterback Club president Eddie Jackson told the Tallahassee Democrat after Winslow’s proclamation. “There is a foundation to build off of rather than tearing things down. I just think this is going way, way too fast. … I don't think we're moving down the right path. In terms of what he is doing, it's too much, too soon. Too many changes.”
Winslow has never been one to put too much stock in criticism, though, and has already made a few major moves, suspending the men’s tennis and golf programs, firing track coach Wayne Angel and football defensive line coach George Small and hiring Byron Samuels as the new men’s basketball coach, with more moves expected in the coming weeks and months at the recommendation of an advisory committee assembled to assess the current state of the program.


Winslow uses the hypothetical installation of artificial turf on the football field as an example of how an investment in athletics is also an investment in academics.
“(I have to) convince them that this is not just about 100 or 120 yards — if we put down FieldTurf, it’s not just about 100 yards of FieldTurf for five home football games,” Winslow said. “You put down FieldTurf, and I get a chance to start soccer. I reduce my costs of taking care of the field. When I start soccer, it gives me access to a different kind of athlete, because it’s played in different areas from a socioeconomic standpoint, from the quality-of-high-schools-they’re-attending standpoint.
“So in many ways I’ve improved my academic profile in the athletic department by starting soccer. (It’s) well documented, well proven. Now I’m also reaching a diverse audience compared to the audience we have now. That’s 35 men, 35 women, that’s 70 more students here at our school who are pretty sound academically, who are from diverse backgrounds — now I’ve taken the tentacles of FAMU, because I’ve put down FieldTurf and I’m playing soccer, and I’m in different markets.

“So facilities are where it starts. You have to be able to show young people that we have better facilities than you had in high school, and we can’t do that right now. I’m just being honest. And so it’s difficult to recruit the best of the best or get your share of that talent pool that you’re supposed to be getting. That’s where it all starts. If they walk into the locker room and they don’t go, ‘Wow,’ then you have a problem.


“By definition, nobody does first-generation better than FAMU,” he added. “It’s that nurturing, transformative environment that you’re in. It’s the ability to come to a school that has high academic standards and a classroom that’s small enough where you get the attention — where people can lay hands on you on a daily basis and say, ‘How are you? What’s going on? How are things at home?’ That’s the culture. We let it get away from us to become known as a ‘black university,’ but that’s so inaccurate, because by that definition, there should also be ‘white universities.’ … Our forefathers did not get this one right. They screwed it up for us, and we’re still trying to fix it.


“It has to be strategic,” Winslow said. “When we go into Columbus, we accept a game to play Ohio State, you say, ‘Yeah, they paid us $900,000,’ which we probably netted $650,000 or $625,000 after expenses for that. So you do that calculation and then you sit down and go, ‘OK, so what’s the other value?’
“Yes, we were on television, but did your brand get an uptick, or — if you watch the Colbert Report — did we get the ‘Colbert Bump’? No, we didn’t, because we’re playing a superior football team, simply because of the number of scholarships, size of athletes, training, nutrition, coaching, weightlifting, etcetera. If we played a game where we were competitive, or even won, we get the Colbert Bump, but if we don’t show well, we take all the negative branding that comes with that, and we have to find a way to fix it, and that costs you money.”

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