Talladega College President Gregory J. Vincent speaks at the HBCU Gymnastics Alliance Collaboration on Saturday, January 14, 2023, announcing that the college have partnered with Brown Girls Do Gymnastics to launce the college’s first-ever women’s artistic gymnastics team.

TALLADEGA, AL – Brown Girls Do Gymnastics (BGDG) and Talladega College have partnered with the HBCU Gymnastics Alliance to launch the college’s first-ever women’s artistic gymnastics team. The partnership was unveiled during the HBCU Gymnastics Alliance Collaboration on Saturday, January 14, 2023, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Talladega College will join Fisk University, which has also partnered with BGDG and the HBCU Gymnastics Alliance, in developing the only HBCU women’s artistic gymnastics programs in the nation.

“This historic moment will have a lasting impact. Establishing a women’s gymnastics team at Talladega College will expand opportunities for HBCU student athletes to compete in a rewarding sport that fosters discipline, confidence and success,” said Gregory J. Vincent, Talladega College President. “Developing our first-ever women’s gymnastics team will also promote student and alumni engagement and pride; enhance the college’s brand; and help create a pipeline of diverse gymnasts.”

“While there are over eighty intercollegiate women’s gymnastics teams in the nation and many gymnastics clubs, Talladega will be one of the only two HBCU teams,” added Michael Grant, Talladega College Vice President and Athletic Director. “Having a team will give our athletes greater visibility and recognition.

Pictured: Talladega College VP and Athletics Director, Michael Grant; Frank L. Sims, Fisk University Interim President; Brown Girls Do Gymnastics; Gregory J. Vincent, Talladega College President.

In addition to providing more opportunities for black and brown gymnasts to compete, BGDG creates awareness surrounding the issues such as injury prevention, coaching, recruiting, and judging. The organization also promotes camaraderie among HBCUs via diverse gymnastics events and activities, including an annual conference.

Talladega College will host the 8th Annual BGDG Conference, which will be held July 18-21, 2024.


2019 Southern Heritage Classic at Liberty Bowl Stadium in Memphis, TN. Photo Creds: Division of Strategic Communications and Media Relations / HBCU Campaign Fund.

CHICAGO, IL – The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF), non-profit advocacy, educational organization, announces today that representatives’ will hit the road this fall once again for its 5th Annual HBCU Football and Recruitment Tour in support of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) football classics. The tour will be joined by its Division of College Recruitment and Scholarships on specific dates to recruit students to HBCUs. The Annual HBCU Football and Recruitment Tour is the organization’s largest initiative program.

Last year, the tour was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic that paused outside events due to a health scare and rising numbers of cases/deaths. The previous year, the tour made stops at the Southern Heritage Classic College and Career Fair and football gameChicago Football Classic College Fair and football gameCircle City Classic college fair and football gamethe University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s homecoming football game, and the Bayou Classic. This year, the tour will add the Fountain City Classic game (Albany State vs. Fort Valley State) in Columbus, GA. The Division of College Recruitment and Scholarships joins the SHC and CFC college fairs tour to provide students with imperative information about attending college and the HBCU experience/campus life.

“We are so pleased to return to normalcy and finally receive the opportunity to enjoy HBCU football again traditionally. We cannot wait to get back on the field sidelines to cover some HBCU football, recruit for HBCUs and enjoy our supporters never like before,” said Demetrius Johnson Jr., Founder, President & CEO at HBCU Campaign Fund. “We look forward to when planning season comes around for the tour and when it begins to enjoy our outreach efforts in telling the story of our nation HBCUs and MSIs. This initiative is an important part in pushing our advocacy mission forward.”

A representative of the Division of College Recruitment and Scholarships at HBCU Campaign Fund speaking with students at the 2018 Chicago Football Classic College Fair in Chicago, IL.

The Division of College Recruitment and Scholarships was established to partner and recruit prospective students to HBCUs and MSIs. Representatives are assigned to mentor and encourage students to choose the right HBCU that fits their educational needs. The division has also established their signature “College Bound Guide Folders,” which provide students with information such as college tips, scholarship information, in-kind HBCU recruitment materials – brochures and flyers, and career planning information.

“We look forward to getting back out to meet with students in encouraging them to choose HBCU; that is our mission and goal at HCF. We also hope to continue to inspire and meet other members of our HBCU community as well as supporters who follow the work of our organization,” Demetrius added. “We hope this tour continues to bring empowerment and awareness to our HBCUs while making sure that the name of those institutions is known to the unknown.”

The 2021 confirmed dates are as follows below.

  • Sat., Sept. 10-11: Southern Heritage Classic College/Career Fair and Football Game / Memphis, TN
  • Sat., Oct. 30: Magic City Classic Football Game / Birmingham, AL
  • Sat., Nov. 6: Fountain City Classic Football Game / Columbus, GA
  • Sat., Nov. 26: Bayou Classic Football Game / New Orleans, LA

More dates are still to be confirmed. All dates are subject to cancellation and may not be rescheduled.

If you would like to donate to support HCF’s continued advocacy work and the Annual HBCU Football and Recruitment Tour, you may visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org/donate or text “CAMPAIGNFORHBCUS” to 1-844-701-5181. Cash App is also an option using our Cashtag $CampaignForHBCU.

About the HBCU Campaign Fund
The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) was founded in 2012 and is a non-profit educational organization that remains a strong advocate for students and higher education. The mission of HCF is to support the significance and raise funds for scholarships, programs, and for private and public HBCUs and MSIs. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Charlotte Sports Foundation (CSF) announced that North Carolina A&T State University will play North Carolina Central University in the Duke’s Mayo Classic to open the 2022 season. Exact dates and times along with events information will be released in the future.

100 Black Men of Greater Charlotte and the Leon Frank Agency will be partnering with CSF for the matchup, working on events and business development.

Next year’s game will be the third time that the 97-year rivalry has been played in Charlotte, and just the second time since 1990. The two teams played at Memorial Stadium on October 4, 2008 in front of 20″,180 fans. The teams also played in Charlotte in 1990.

The rivalry dates back to 1924 when NC A&T tied NCCU, 13-13, in Durham, North Carolina. The Aggies lead the series 52-34-5. NC A&T has won 21 of the last 29 meetings. NCCU has won seven of the last 14 contests, including three of the last six, but the Aggies have three straight victories over the Eagles,

“We are very proud to bring the storied rivalry of NC A&T and NC Central to Charlotte in 2022 and 2027 for the Duke’s Mayo Classic,” said Danny Morrison, Executive Director of the Charlotte Sports Foundation. “Hosting such a longstanding rivalry between two HBCU schools is an honor and privilege for CSF, our partners, and the city of Charlotte. We look forward to working with 100 Black Men of Charlotte and the Leon Frank Agency to impact the community through new initiatives and events around the games. We are excited to welcome Aggies and Eagles fans to the Queen City for great fun and football to kick off the 2022 and 2027 season.”

“We are thrilled about this opportunity to compete in Charlotte at Bank of America Stadium,” said Dr. Ingrid Wicker McCree, NCCU Director of Athletics. “This will be a fantastic experience for our student-athletics, students, university community and fans. We have a solid alumni and fan base in the greater Charlotte area and we are excited about bringing this game to their back yard. We want to thank the team from Charlotte Sports Foundation for hosting this event for these two great institutions.”

“Duke’s Mayo partnered with the Charlotte Sports Foundation to help create impact and add our southern favor in the communities that have supported us for over 100 years,” said Joe Tuza, President & “Captain Condiment” at Sauer Brands Inc. “This is an exciting rivalry and we’re looking forward to NC A&T and NCCU in the 2022 Duke’s Mayo Classic game.”

“Tepper Sports & Entertainment is thrilled to host this historic rivalry at Bank of American Stadium to kick off the 2022 and 2027 college football season,” said Tom Glick, president of Tepper Sports & Entertainment. “Welcoming this game back to Charlotte for the first time in more than a decade is great for the city, the schools and fans.”

About the Charlotte Sports Foundation
The mission of the Charlotte Sports Foundation (CSF), a 501(c)(3), is to provide leadership for sports-based initiatives that result in a positive impact on the economy and quality of life in the Charlotte region. CSF?was created in the spring of 2013 as a combined entity of Charlotte’s two primary sports development groups, Charlotte Collegiate Football and the Charlotte Regional Sports Commission. Its origins can be traced to the vision of Charlotte civic leaders after the very successful hosting of the 1994 NCAA Men’s Final Four.

The Foundation also provides support for recruitment and operation of other local sporting events, and spearheads Charlotte’s continued growth as a preferred host for premier national and regional sporting events. CSF’s future regular season football games scheduled include: East Carolina University vs. Appalachian State University and the University of Georgia vs. Clemson University (2021), the Universities of North Carolina and South Carolina (2023), and the University of Tennessee against West Virginia University (2028).

The Board of Directors that guides the Charlotte Sports Foundation boasts a dynamic roster of top Charlotte civic and business leaders. Please visit www.CharlotteSports.org for more information.

About 100 Black Men of America, Inc.
100 Black Men was founded as an organization in New York City in 1963. The national organization, 100 Black Men of America, Inc. began with nine chapters in 1986 as a national alliance of leading African American men of business, public affairs and government with a mission to improve the quality of life for African Americans, particularly African American youth. These visionaries included businessmen and industry leaders such as David Dinkins, Robert Mangum, Dr. William Hayling, Nathaniel Goldston III, Livingston Wingate Andrew Hatcher, and Jackie Robinson. Since inception, the vision emerged and grew to over 10,000 members impacting over 125,000 underserved, underrepresented minority youth annually. Visit www.100blackmen.org for more information on the programs and initiatives of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. and their global network of chapters.

100 Black Men of Greater Charlotte, Inc. improves the quality of life for the communities it serves. Mentoring is the core service delivery of The 100, the largest network of African American male mentors in the nation. It influences and transforms the lives of underrepresented and disenfranchised youth, with a focus on African American youth. Through the platform of Mentoring The 100 Way®, across a lifetime, it provides programmatic services in education, health and wellness, economic empowerment and leadership development, which makes a fundamental difference in the lives of the youths it touches and the communities it serves.

About Leon Frank Agency
The Leon Frank Agency was founded in 2018 with one goal in mind: help HBCU Athletic departments, programming, and events take their opportunities to the next level. With over 20 years of experience in sports marketing, partnership development, advertising, and social media, it is here for the HBCU Culture. It aims to develop unique experiences for partners and clients to engage with the current HBCU Landscape.

About Duke’s Mayonnaise
Duke’s Mayonnaise was created in 1917 in Greenville, SC by Eugenia Duke. In addition to the flagship mayonnaise, which is still made according to Eugenia’s original recipe, Duke’s offers light, olive oil, and flavored mayonnaises, tartar sauce, sandwich relish and regionally-inspired Duke’s Southern Sauces and dressings. For more information, visit www.dukesmayo.com.

Duke’s Mayonnaise is owned by Sauer Brands, Inc., which was founded as The C.F. Sauer Company in 1887 in Richmond, Virginia. The company produces a broad line of inspired flavors to excite and delight consumers in the condiments, spices, seasonings and extracts categories. The company’s manufacturing facilities include locations in Richmond, Virginia; Greenville, South Carolina; New Century, Kansas; San Luis Obispo, California, and Elk Grove Village, Illinois. Besides Duke’s Mayonnaise, the company’s brands include The Spice Hunter, Sauer’s, Gold Medal, BAMA, Kernel Seasons, and Tasty Shakes. Sauer Brands also produces high-quality private-label products for the retail and foodservice channels. Learn more at sauerbrands.com.

ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, has announced a three-year sponsorship agreement with Cricket Wireless, who will be the new title sponsor for the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff and Celebration Bowl. Both events, which are staged in Atlanta, celebrate the tradition, legacy and value of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

“We are delighted to have Cricket Wireless as the title sponsor of both our football kickoff and bowl games,” said John Grant, executive director for the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff and Celebration Bowl. “These events provide valuable diversity to the sports offering in the city of Atlanta. This relationship reflects our mutul passion for and appreciation of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the vaulable contributions they make to our nation. We look forward to working together and building world-class events in a world-class city.”

ESPN Events’ relationship with Cricket began with the sponsorship of the 2018 Celebration Bowl. Cricket’s support of HBCUs began with an agreement with Southern University, which eventually expanded to include sponsorship of the Magic City Classic and Bayou Classic. In October 2020, Cricket and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) announced a sponsorship agreement extension through 2023.

“At Cricket, we’re all about creating a meaningful connection with our customers and within the communities where we operate,” said Tiffany Baehman, vice president and chief marketing officer, Cricket Wireless. “Our extended relationship with ESPN allows us to continue to introduce our brand to HBCU students, alumni and fans. It also means that we can help amplify the rich culture and legacy of HBCUs, and the positive impact they have on the Black community.

The Cricket Wireless MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff – an early-season matchup of HBCU football teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) – is played at the Georgia State’s Center Parc Credit Union Stadium. The Cricket Celebration Bowl is played each year, with the game typically opening the college bowl season, from Mercedes Benz Stadium.

Due to the current health pandemic, both events were cancelled for the 2020 season, but excepted to return in 2021. Fans can re-live and enjoy last year’s Celebration Bowl between Alcorn State and North Carolina A&T on Thursday, Dec. 10, at 8 p.m. on ESPNU. Those interesed in joining a virtual watch party can sign up here.

Information regarding the Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff and Cricket Celebration Bowl can be found at www.meacswacchallenge.com and www.TheCelebrationBowl.com.


About Cricket Wireless
Cricket is focused on inspiring smiles, one meaningful connection at a time. Cricket offer an easy and high-quality wireless experience on their reliable nationwide network. Their affordable, straightforward service plans include monthly taxes, and don’t require an annual contract. Their customers also enjoy basic to top-brand phones at affordable prices.

Visit www.cricketwireless.com to learn more or find a store near you. Stay up-to-date with the Cricket Newsroom and connect with Cricket on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Smile. You’re on Cricket.

About ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of 35 collegiate sporting events nationwide. The roster includes four early-season college football games, 17 college bowl game, 11 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 400 hours of live programming, reaches nearly 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite office in more than 10 markets across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conference, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

CLINTON, MS – The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff placed four runners in the top 20 to bring home the 2018 Southwestern Athletic Conference Men’s Cross Country title, their fist since 1993.

The Golden Lions tallied 62 points, beating Prairie View A&M. The Panthers finished second for consecutive seasons, scoring 76 points. Grambling State finished third with 78 points. Wade Garner led the way, finishing fourth with a time of 26:20.3 Laurel Heath took 10th overall with a time of 26:50.44.

Rounding out the standings were Southern (98), Jackson State (102), Texas Southern (120), Alabama State (157), Mississippi Valley (195) and Alcorn State (220).

Vincent Langat bested the field with a time of 25:11:32 to earn the 2018 SWAC Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year award for the second year in a row. Texas Southern’s Hilary Maiyo was close behind, claiming second (25:20.91), and Lavante Williams finished third (25:28.57).

UAPB Coach Chris McCoy was named SWAC Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year.


The full All-SWAC list of athletes is below:

First-Team All-SWAC Men’s Cross Country

Vincent Langat (Jackson State; SWAC Men’s XC Runner of the Year)

Hilary Maiyo (Texas Southern)

Levante Williams (Prairie View A&M)

Wade Garner (UAPB)

Henry Kiplagat (Jackson State)

Second-Team All-SWAC Men’s Cross Country

Jorge Martinez (Texas Southern)

Worthington Moore (Prairie View A&M)

Matthew Kibet (Alabama State)

Hassan Chepkwony (Grambling)

Laural Heath (UAPB)

Duer Sharp.

BIRMINGHAM, AL – The long-serving commissioner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) which serves historically black member institutions, Duer Sharp, has resigned this past Thursday amid rumors of potential financial issues and concern among member school presidents about the direction of the conference under his leadership.

According to The Advocate, The SWAC will hold its winter meetings in Houston, where school presidents and chancellors met Thursday morning. Southern director of athletics Roman Banks stated that the council of presidents accepted Sharp’s resignation. But it is unsure whether Sharp’s resignation is effective immediately, or if he will stay in his post throughout the remainder of his contract, which is set to expire this summer.

As of today, the SWAC office has yet to issue a statement regarding Sharp’s future.

Banks stated that there was no official record of who was or was not displeased with Sharp’s performance as commissioner. But Banks said, there was a unanimous concern” about the SWAC stability and the direction the league was taking.

“Also among the concerns was a lack of sponsorships,” Banks said, which “prompted us (Southern) to look around at other leagues.”

 Sharp started with the conference as assistant commissioner in 2004 and has served as commissioner since 2008. Under he leadership, the league secured a spot in the Celebration Bowl opposite the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion, and it also orchestrated the move of the league’s football and basketball conference championships to Houston in 2013.
Earlier this year, the SWAC announced that this year’s football conference championship game would be its last.

The decision is believed to be related to the high cost of hosting the game at NRG Stadium in Houston, the home of the Houston Texans. And when combined with an earlier decision to change the league’s scheduling format from a nine-game round-robin schedule to a seven-game schedule, which opened the door for potential chaos when it came to determining a sole champion to represent the SWAC in the Celebration Bowl.

“By focusing on the Celebration Bowl, we can continue to grow (it) as an HBCU classic for the teams and fans of both conferences and for HBCU football nationally,” Sharp said in June.

 Banks said SWAC athletics directors “unanimously agreed” to look at re-instituting the SWAC championship game next season when the conference will still operate with a seven-game schedule

“We need to be fair,” Banks said. “We need to make sure it’s settled on the field.”