By Alex Hines
For years, HBCUs have been wondering how they can get some of the elite Five-Star athletes to come back to their schools. There was a time when HBCUs were the only option for black athletes, but integration opened opportunities for them to attend predominately white schools. HBCUs became an afterthought, or place of last resort. That may be changing, now, with Covid-19 putting the 2020 College Football season at risk, and the George Floyd murder and the ongoing Black Lives Matter Movement have awakened black people, HBCUs find themselves in the spotlight. This is a time for them to seize the moment to connect with some of our elite black athletes.
We may not have the money, resources or bright lights to offer, but we have things that will go with them, even when their college careers are done. HBCUs can offer them a culture where they can learn, grow and be accepted for who they are. HBCUs have a culture that is not only concerned about their athletic success, but their success in the classroom, as well. The athletes do not have to worry about racist comments from coaches who seem to only care about on-field accomplishments and want to build out their own pockets and the school brand. But HBCUs have coaches who want to develop the players not only as athletes, but as productive citizens who can give something back to society and the community. Young men need coaches who are father figures who can show them what it means to be a man and how to become one.
Also, we have a sports environment that the predominately white colleges cannot offer. Our HBCUs put on a show that is as good as any concert that you will go to, and pay a ton of money to see. They have cheerleaders who really cheer with school spirit. And most of all, they offer competitive sports events that will keep your attention. There is nothing like a good, exciting HBCU sports event, with a packed stadium or gym and the bands squaring off against each other.
With all that is going on, it’s likely no sports will be played in the fall, or if so, it will be on a limited basis. This is the time that our HBCUs should go head to head against the predominately white schools for some of our elite athletes. Let’s use this time of cultural consciousness to attract some of our athletes to come back home. Seize the moment HBCUs. Please do! An opportunity like this might never come again.