As many of you know, I am one of the largest supporters of HBCU football but I feel lately it is not getting the love and attention it deserves. Right now, our country is focused on working together to make things equal on all levels, and scouting needs to be the same.
HBCU football programs are some of the most overlooked programs in the country and it shows by looking at statistics. Most Historical Black Colleges and Universities do not operate out of the green, many of them struggle financially, when their football programs have a huge history of producing stars.
Did you know that there are 34 HBCU players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame? When you look at the list of players in the Hall of Fame you have to be blown away. Guys like Walter Payton, Buck Buchanan, Jerry Rice, and Deacon Jones headline some of the bigger names. There should be more than 34 in the Hall of Fame, and there should definitely be more than 26 on NFL football rosters.
- Grambling (4): Willie Brown, Buck Buchanan, Willie Davis, Charlie Joiner
- Jackson State (4): Lem Barney, Robert Brazile, Walter Payton, Jackie Slater
- Morgan State (4): Roosevelt Brown, Len Ford, Leroy Kelly, Willie Lanier
- South Carolina State (4): Harry Carson, Deacon Jones, Marion Motley, Donnie Shell
- Southern (3): Mel Blount; Harold Carmichael; Aeneas Williams
- Mississippi Vocational/Mississippi Valley State (2): Deacon Jones, Jerry Rice
- Tennessee State (2): Richard Dent, Claude Humphrey
- Texas Southern (2): Michael Strahan, Winston Hill
- Alabama A&M (1): John Stallworth
- Bethune-Cookman (1): Larry Little
- Bishop (1): Emmitt Thomas
- Florida A&M (1): Bob Hayes
- Fort Valley State (1): Rayfield Wright
- Maryland St./Maryland-Eastern Shore (1): Art Shell
- North Carolina A&T (1): Elvin Bethea
- Prairie View A&M (1): Ken Houston
- Savannah State (1): Shannon Sharpe
As of today, there are only 19 players from HBCU football teams that made their NFL teams 53 man roster. It does not make sense. Only half the league has a player from an HBCU school on their roster. 16 teams in total have on player on their team or practice squad from a Historical Black College or University.
Did you know that there are an additional 7 HBCU players on teams practice squads? That brings the total of HBCU player in the NFL up to 26, but it is also down from 32 from 2019.
COVID-19 has crushed the HBCU football programs. Every one of their conferences pushed their season back until the spring, and many of their top talents left the school. Who suffers the most? The HBCU programs.
I feel that right now if you support the Black Lives Matter movement, we need you to support the HBCU Football movement too. These kids are the future of the NFL. Look at Darius Leonard, he came into his rookie year after being he was too small to play linebacker at the next level and dominated. He would go on to be one of the most impressive rookies and defensive players in the entire NFL. He is on pace to end up a Hall of Famer if he continues to play the way he is.
There are tons of studs on these HBCU football rosters, but they are constantly overlooked. We as a group need to come together and help give them a platform, to make HBCU football not just a great experience for the students, but for them to know they can succeed and get a shot at the next level.
This year only five new players from HBCU programs landed on a team. FIVE and only 1 of them were drafted. We need to do better. The NFL needs to step in and help.
Last year, the NFL and the HBCU’s agreed to hold a scouting combine in Miami for the top HBCU players. Many of those players had the ability to play at the next level, yet none of them were able to attend because the league cancelled it due to COVID-19.
This crushed the dreams of players from the HBCU. Did anyone complain about it? Did anyone try to step up to help them out? NO, they didn’t.
Did you know there is actually an All-Star game called the HBCU Spirit of America Game in Virginia? Did you know that many players were invited to that game, but many were told it was a waste of their time. Did you know that there were over 15 NFL scouts in attendance to that game last year? Did you know that there was an opportunity to run a forty yard dash and get in front of NFL scouts?
We need to help these kids. These are the future of HBCU football. These kids are the ones that will carry out the name and the tradition. They are the ones that will lift the nation up and put the HBCU on their backs.
There has to be support somewhere. There are kids that are falling by the waste side. These numbers should be doubling not decreasing. This year, NFL teams will not be able to watch these kids due to COVID-19, do you think that number will increase? It will not increase if we do not do something about it.
Let me paint you a picture. Just Imagine this…
Imagine an HBCU FOOTBALL WEEK, it could be held in Atlanta, Georgia. During that week, HBCU football programs will be on hand and it could go down as one of the biggest weeks of the year. It could be held Martin Luther King Jr. Day Weekend. Three days of events. What happens in those days? A soul-fest, Yes, listen to me for a second.
Imagine, the top artists from Hip Hop, R&B, Gospel and every other Genre there to support HBCU schools and football. Bringing the culture out. This will not be cheap, but it can be a reality. There are millions of HBCU supporters out there who could make a week like this happen. It is similar to the Jazz Fest in New Orleans. Most of these artist are going to want to be there, because of the culture and the atmosphere. There can be guest speakers, the Black College Football Hall of Fame can be on hand. The HBCU greats can do autograph signings for different black owned businesses around the Atlanta area. It can bring in tons of support. The atmosphere will also bring NFL teams and their scouts.
COULD YOU IMAGINE THE BLACK LIVES MATTER BOWL?
The players will practice two days in a row, before a game on the third day. This game will be held at an HBCU stadium. It could switch every year, and be held in another HBCU stadium, but this could bring revenue. Think of the big picture here folks. These kids get to perform. The best HBCU players all on the same platform. Yes, we know about the Senior Bowl and the other large All-Star Games, but only a handful of the players get a shot to showcase their talents. These kids should not have to pay to play.
Think about this, a battle of the bands! The fans vote on the best bands from each major conference the CIAA, MEAC, SWAC and the SIAC. The two best bands voted on by the fans will showcase twice a day over the three days leading up to the game. The halftime show will be the final and the fans at the game pick out the winner based on decibels.
I am giving you an experience, think about this. These kids playing in the game will get the exposure they deserve, the HBCU can get money from the game, which can be distributed evenly to every HBCU school. This will put money back in the pockets of every HBCU school. This could be televised on BET, the battle of the bands could be televised to create more revenue.
Please people just listen to me. I have been saying this for years, but no one will listen. Maybe now with the Black Lives Matter movement people will listen. Imagine the Black Lives Matter Bowl? A Bowl game for HBCU players only.
Come on this needs to happen. This could be a non-profit and could help with the success and grooming of black athletes. I just wish you would share this, and get this message to the hands of the people who could strike a change. The HBCU football culture is the best I have ever experienced. I honestly believe it is starting to diminish, and we need you the fans and supporters, to make this happen.
You can use my idea, you can have my idea, I do not want anything in return. Just let me scout the players and I will put the best players on the field for you. Trust me, we will work together and put together the greatest atmosphere and game out there. NFL teams will be there, and we could even include the NFL. This would not be hard to do. We could have black refs who are in the training program, the NFL’s diversity program pick out the coaching staffs of up and coming black colleges in all levels so they can showcase their talents.
This is the time to help the black community, but it will not change if we do not step up to make a difference.
PLEASE DO ME A FAVOR, SHARE THIS WITH RICKY SMILEY, STEVE HARVEY, OPRAH WINFREY, P-DIDDY, JAY-Z, BOB JOHNSON, TYLER PERRY, and all the other influential blacks, because this needs to happen.
I want you to think of one thing. Please pay attention to this. All these companies came out and said they support Black Lives Matter. Companies came out the woodwork to put the Black Photo up on their Social Media pages, if they support Black Lives Matter then they will support this Black Lives Matter Bowl right? They should. No one should have to come out of their pocket at all. This should be something that us as a community endorse. This could be the biggest event in football, and with the right support and people running it, it could be the biggest success ever.
This is the best read you will find on the web today, but it is just a dream on a piece of paper if we do not start the movement.
Be a difference maker, Share this today!