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Miscommunication forces DSU to forfeit game
DOVER – Derek Carter doesn’t know exactly how it happened, but he vows it will not happen again.
Carter, who started his tenure as athletic director at Delaware State University on May 11, said Monday that miscommunication led to the Hornets’ forfeit of an Oct. 17 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference football game against North Carolina A&T.
DSU had tried to change the N.C. A&T game date so that it could play Big Ten power Michigan in Ann Arbor that day. But neither A&T nor DSU could agree on a new date, so the Hornets were forced to forfeit the game.
“It’s unfortunate that the mistakes and the miscommunications occurred, but that doesn’t take from the fact that the opportunity to compete against Michigan will be positive for our school and our athletes,” Carter said.
Candy Young-Sanders, an assistant athletic director at DSU who served as interim AD before Carter came on board, said last week that the school could face a sanction from the MEAC.
“I’m sure there will be a reprimand of some sort. … This hasn’t happened before,” she told USA Today. “We’ve already settled it with North Carolina A&T that it will be their victory. You don’t want to give the appearance that you are chasing money. However, when you have an opportunity [for a guarantee game] and you see the state is making cuts …”
DSU officials have refused to say how much money the school will make from the Michigan game.
Appalachian State, another Division I-AA team, played at Michigan two seasons ago and was paid $400,000 to play in Ann Arbor.
Carter, who said he was not involved in negotiations to change the N.C. A&T game date, hopes the school can learn from the episode and move forward. He said the N.C. A&T game “doesn’t appear to be salvageable at this point.”
Carter said he was not sure if MEAC officials were asked to help the schools negotiate a new game date before the forfeit was announced. He said he learned of the forfeit about a week before he started at DSU.
DSU and N.C. A&T reportedly tried to move the game to Nov. 14, but that date presented another conflict between the Hornets and their game with Norfolk State.
MEAC commissioner Dennis Thomas is reviewing Delaware State’s decision to forfeit the N.C. A&T game.
“Any time you’re dealing with scheduling, all parties involved have to be on the same page,” said Carter, who was athletic director at Bowie State before coming to Dover. “I don’t know if there will be a penalty or what the penalty will be. Certainly we won’t repeat this error.”
Delaware State was 5-3 in the MEAC last season, while N.C. A&T was 1-7. DSU defeated the Aggies 42-7 at Alumni Stadium last October.
By JASON LEVINE • The News Journal • May 19, 2009