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HBCU Third Down Thursday
Posted By: HBCU Connect Sports on September 25, 2011

Connell Maynor

First Down

How can anyone not respect Winston-Salem head football coach Connell Maynor?

He had the guts to instruct the Rams to keep playing football even in the midst of blowing out Virginia Union 67-16.

I understand that it is not popular in this politically correct world (where players are penalized for celebrating in and even before reaching the end zone) to support what can be interpreted as running up the score when the contest is well in hand. Its bad sportsmanship, lack of respect for the game and the opponent, right?


If coaches, fans and the press demand athletes perform to the very best of their abilities at all times, why should that standard be compromised just because the score just so happens to be lopsided?

I wanted triple digits, said center Markus Lawrence[1], who helped the Rams rack up 493 yards of offense. If they werent ready to play, thats their fault. We were ready to play.

The win was the largest margin of victory since 1990, when the Rams who were CIAA champions that year and played in the Division II playoffs rolled to a 73-6 win over Johnson C. Smith. The 67 points were the most scored by the Rams since 1991 when they beat N.C. Central 68-22.

I told (the coaches) at the (CIAA) roundup, Im playing football and when my backup quarterback comes in, hes going to throw the football, Maynor said.

As an ex-Division 1 college athlete, I consider it is more disrespectful for an opponent to take easy when in a blow out situation than continue to attempt to score. Thats playing the game the right way. And I know damn well that Virginia Union was trying to close the gap to at least make it appear the game was competitive.

Second Down

Through the first two weeks of the regular season the SWAC did not fare well in non-conference play going a combined 2-7.

Should we care? That is next question that needs be asked at this moment. It does not seem those in positions of power care as the production on the field continues to diminish. Since 2008, the SWAC is a paltry 16-33 outside of the 10-team league.

It is my belief that the conference segregating itself from the FCS postseason has resulted in schools accepting being stuck in this mire of losing.

Since there is no incentive for having a successful season outside of possibly winning a conference championship, there is no need schedule ranked FCS opponents at home or on the road to improve programs. Its easy being mediocre or average because there is no pressure or real expectations. And the non-conference record has reflected that in recent years.

Third Down

As I was putting the finishing touches on my TSPNsports.com SWAC Weekly Football Round Up column[2], I asked a relative, who just turned 50 a week ago and attended Mississippi Valley State, what grade should I give her beloved Delta Devils after their 39-0 lost to Murray State.

A, she said.

But they lost 39-0, I responded.

An A for effort, she said.

I ended up giving Missississipi Valley an F.

The Delta Devils have not won a game since 2009. Last year Karl Morgans team lost every game by double-digits. Through the first two games both at home MVSU has been outscored 80-9.

Morgan, who has the toughest job in all of intercollegiate athletics, has been rather optimistic about the program making an 180 degree turn since taking over. However, there doesnt seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel appearing now or in the not-too-distant future.

According to data from the U.S. Department of Education, the school had spent the fifth-lowest amount on athletics of any of the NCAAs 344 Division I teams.

About 70 percent of Valleys athletic budget comes from a combination of student fees and direct funding from the university. This has many, including yours truly, wondering if it is time for Valley to move down to Division II just to save face and be competitive.

In an interview
[3], MVSU president Donna Oliver said there had been internal discussions about leaving Division I but nothing was on the front burner.

That has been in our conversations, Oliver said at the time. But at the same time, we want to make sure we provide for our students the very best for every arena that we can.

If MVSU continues to struggle on the football field, maybe those discussions will heat up once again.


  1. ^ said center Markus Lawrence (www2.journalnow.com)
  2. ^ TSPNsports.com SWAC Weekly Football Round Up column (www.tspnsports.com)
  3. ^ In an interview (www.championshipsubdivisionnews.com)

For full article click here.

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