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Should Black Student-Athletes start attending HBCUs instead?


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I bring this topic to an enlightened group of thinkers such as this board... 

The re-emergence (re-popularization) of the Black Lives Matter movement has led to some discussions among journalists, coaches, and some players about the idea of playing for Historical Black College and Universities (HBCUs) instead of the Dukes, Vanderbilts, Floridas, and Bamas. In light of some the recent controversies with Dabo Sweeney at Clemson, Kirk Ferentz at Iowa, and as of today Mike Gundy at Oklahoma State, that maybe these coaches don't understand black and/or mold black student-athletes like they should, instead the universities and coaches seek these players for their own financial gains without looking at a bigger picture for the athlete. 


At some point, HBCUs seemed to be sending a LOT of talent to the NFL, but the article does definitely seem to be light on post 2000 HBCU players.  
(https://www.phillytrib.com/sports/football/all-time-black-college-football-team/article_9bc6aa24-50ef-574a-b1d3-c18780478368.html)

Recently, Mikey Williams, a sophomore Shooting Guard out of California and a top 10 national recruit in basketball, made a stir when he suggested that due to his social media following that he can control his own narrative and that he wants his own people cashing in off of him. Article

Another Article answers some of the questions...

At the same time, HBCUs are historically underfunded. Grambling State almost folded their entire football program several years ago due to the lack of funding. A player that chooses this route has to realize that it is going to take a lot more to make it. Same as the kid who sticks it at a less football heavy high school, instead of jumping to St. Thomas Aquinas or Lakeland. Going to the HBCU route will not be the easier route in comparison an SEC or Big 10 or ACC powerhouse. 
 

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Gatorman-uf, I believe that most of the elite kids, at least those ranked high by the ratings services, will still chose to go the traditional route. Except for the extremely socially conscious kids, I can't see them passing up on the chance to be featured regularly on national TV. Plus, for better or worse, if you fail to make it to the league post college, a degree from say, a Cal or Northwestern or Michigan, or Stanford, or Notre Dame, or even Florida, will put you in much better stead from an employment perspective than the great majority, if not all of the HBCUs. 

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6 hours ago, DarterBlue2 said:

Gatorman-uf, I believe that most of the elite kids, at least those ranked high by the ratings services, will still chose to go the traditional route. Except for the extremely socially conscious kids, I can't see them passing up on the chance to be featured regularly on national TV. Plus, for better or worse, if you fail to make it to the league post college, a degree from say, a Cal or Northwestern or Michigan, or Stanford, or Notre Dame, or even Florida, will put you in much better stead from an employment perspective than the great majority, if not all of the HBCUs. 

Watcha talking about Willis?   ALL kids coming out of high school are going to make it to the pros.   Just ask them.   B)

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2 hours ago, Perspective said:

Watcha talking about Willis?   ALL kids coming out of high school are going to make it to the pros.   Just ask them.   B)

Many are called, but few are chosen. Each year, I make a list of the kids in Greater Orlando that I think have real chances of making it to the league. Each year, I find I miss one or two that ultimately do. But the list of those I thought had a real chance but failed to do so, is a lot longer! They are a variety of reasons for this. Kids peak at different times, academic difficulties, injuries, etc. etc, the obstacles are many and the path is narrow indeed!

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5 minutes ago, DarterBlue2 said:

Many are called, but few are chosen. Each year, I make a list of the kids in Greater Orlando that I think have real chances of making it to the league. Each year, I find I miss one or two that ultimately do. But the list of those I though had a real chance but failed to do so, is a lot longer! They are a variety of reasons for this. Kids peak at different times, academic difficulties, injuries, etc. etc, the obstacles are many and the path is narrow indeed!

This is why it is so important that these kids find a school where they feel they belong. Too many have stars in their eyes and look at how football will lead to the NFL. Most players that make it to the NFL have very short careers. It's important that the kid leave college with a marketable skill that will carry him through life. This is where the role of the coach and teacher is so invaluable. An 18 year old kid knows nothing of the world beyond going to school and playing football. The coaches have to guide these kids so they make decisions that will enhance their chances of success in life. 

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There is so much that goes into that decision.  The ONLY HBCU with facilities that compete with the Power 5 schools is Alabama State.  Today's kids are very keen on that.  Today's kids are also keen on who is playing Saturday evening and night games.  Football will not be the sport to kick off a renaissance in HBCU football.  However, basketball and track and field could.  HBCUs have guaranteed entry into the tournament just like everyone else if they win their conference, and many schedule Power 5 schools early in the year.  In basketball you could get one great recruiting class and immediately challenge for supremacy in hoops and track and field.

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This is a fascinating topic, but I just don't see how you can have the conversation in a vacuum.   Broader social issues and implications have to be part of the discussion and I'm just not sure that can be done on a message board that, understandably, tries to stay clear of larger political and socioeconomic debates. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

He is probably a one and done (if he decides to go at all). The NBA scouts will find him if he is as good as ESPN rates him (just like the scouts find the studs on a 2-8 HS football team).  Again, it will be interesting to see long term. Especially if name, image, likeness means the players have greater agency over their own brand, then going to a small school might not matter as much if these players are able to cash in. 

 

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