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SWAC Football Rivals Make Date at Cotton Bowl
DALLAS — The coaches of the Texas Southern and Arkansas-Pine Bluff football teams, along with city and state officials, gathered in the Cotton Bowl’s press box Tuesday to announce the beginning of what they hope will turn into a Dallas college football tradition.
The two Southwestern Athletic Conference teams are scheduled to meet at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 29 in the Cotton Bowl for the inaugural Dallas Lonestar Classic.
The schools are scheduled to return next year, but the atmosphere Tuesday suggested the schools and the city want the game to continue for much longer.
“There’s no doubt that the games between Texas Southern and the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff will become part of Dallas’ great history in terms of football matchups in this stadium,” said Daniel Huerta, executive general manager of Fair Park. “I think we are going to take this game to a great level.”
The Cotton Bowl already has a tradition with Historically Black College and University teams Prairie View A&M and Grambling State, which are under contract to play in Dallas through 2015.
However, officials said the objective of the Dallas Lonestar Classic is to complement that game, not diminish it.
“This will be a successful, great, new tradition,” said Dallas lawyer Domingo Garcia, a Texas Southern alum and former Dallas mayor pro-tem and state representative. I’m going to try to make sure all the TSU alums come.”
Texas Southern and Arkansas-Pine Bluff are already SWAC Western Division opponents, but coaches Johnnie Cole and Monte Coleman said this game could lead to a more intense rivalry.
“Hopefully, this game will be one that determines who represents the West,” Cole said.
Much of the discussion Tuesday centered not on the game, but on the social and economic implications surrounding it.
In addition to the 10 a.m. on-field HBCU presentation Nov. 29, the Thanksgiving weekend festivities surrounding the Dallas Lonestar Classic will include a presidents’ luncheon, a welcome reception, an HBCU college/job fair and an invitation-only gospel brunch on Sunday at the House of Blues in Victory Park.
SWAC football rivals make date at Cotton Bowl
By Ricky Treon, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram