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Letter from President of Black College Sports Network to HBCU Conferences
Open Letter to the HBCU Conferences - Please Post & Pass Along
The following letter was sent to each of the HBCU Conference Commissioners on Thursday 24 June 2010 . As an Alum & Fan I was concerned about the direction in which HBCU sports were headed. As a business man I am disappointed with the process and conduct as a whole in regards to the way that ” our business” was being managed. With that in mind and in an effort to assist with the correction of our path I reached out to the leaders of the CIAA, MEAC, SIAC, & SWAC. This gesture was to offer assistance in creating an aggressive plan that will benefit ALL HBCU’s athletically and academically!!! I am pleased to say that I have gotten positive, open-minded responses from most of the commissioners and we are now into the next phase of planning a summit.
With that in mind it is now time for “US", the alum, to step up and make ourselves accessible to the leadership! They need our input and support. Regrettably, not all parts of this meeting will not be open to the public there will be sessions wherein you “the fan” will have the opportunity to voice your opinion and present proposals to the leadership. If you would like to present a business proposal at this meeting, then please submit to us your name, contact information and the nature of your proposal at firstname.lastname@example.org. Upon receipt and verification of your business proposal you will be notified of your scheduled date and time for your presentation.
The event will be held in Eatonville, FL (Orlando area) and ALL presenters must supply their own methods of presentation, materials, lodging and transportation to and from event. Upon finalization of plans notification as to the date of the summit will be sent and made public at least 14 days prior to the event. As I said to the commissioners, the question is , “Am I my brother’s keeper?” and the answer is “Yes, I am!” It is time for us to stop talking about uplifting ourselves and our institutions and it’s time to start doing something about it!!! Here, at this conference, is your chance voice your opinion and present your ideas, so what will you do?
June 24, 2010
Black College Sports Network Proposed HBCU Football Conference Alignment & Marketing Program
This is a proposed setup for all four of the HBCU conferences that would help to provide more parity, increase regional/national market revenue potential, generate a stronger traveling fan base, and increase the level of competition across the board.
This plan is based on an 11-week season and a 7-game conference schedule with no conference championship game. We (BCSN) also have a comprehensive plan that will enhance the marketing of the HBCU product maximizing the usage of multiple media outlets.
@ This proposal begins with all four conferences splitting into two regionally based 5 to 7 team divisions. Each team will play all teams in their division accounting for 4 games. They will then play 3 teams from the other division to account for the conference schedule. This format will allow for expansion of the conferences to 14 teams without needing to change the scheduling.
@ The second phase will use one (1) of the four (4) remaining games as a cross conference game i.e..MEAC vs. SWAC & CIAA vs. SIAC.
@ The next phase would be used as the key component in creating higher NCAA national rankings with each conference partnering with another conference in their classification (Division One FCS, Division Two) in order to create one (1) cross conference game for each school in the conference, i.e., MEAC vs. OVC.
@ The final two (2) games would be held out as payout (guarantee) games or as a major (classic) game not covered by the conference or cross conference schedule.
@ The final phase of this proposal will cover post season play. It is imperative that the HBCU’s maintain a presence in the NCAA Divisional Playoff picture in order to maintain competitive recruiting opportunities which will keep the quality of football high.
Additionally, HBCU’s have a built in and historic drawing power that will lend itself to create two (2) very profitable divisional post season bowl games. These bowl games could feature the two conference runner ups participating with the champions moving on the divisional playoffs.
This would be important for the success of the game to have the two runner ups playing in the bowl games to maintain the integrity of the event. These games will be marketed the entire year as the epic clash of the conferences thus creating the following that will be needed in order to sustain it.
@ The CIAA & SIAC already have the Pioneer Bowl in place. The MEAC & SWAC can create their game. These are Bowl Games, NOT Black College National Championships!
I have been broadcasting and covering HBCU sports for over twelve years and have been following them as a fan for over 25. All of our broadcasts have been done at NO EXPENSE to HBCU’s.
It is our desire to see HBCU’s grow and prosper. I truly believe that the ONE thing that has been missing all these years is a unity of the product that is indicative of the rich tradition and history of not only our institutions but our culture as well.
With this type of cooperative effort HBCU football can become a powerful force in the revenue generation of the FCS and the Division 2 on a regional and national level. A plan such as this will not only improve the athletic landscape but grow the academic landscape of all of the institutions as well.
We (HBCU’s) must take our rightful place as the Talented Tenth that W.E.B. DuBois spoke about. In order to do that we must put aside our egos, pride and jealousy and do what is best for ALL of our institutions, students, and fans.
There are thousand’s of HBCU alums who have the professional knowledge, skill and desire to help move our schools into its next phase. All we are asking is that we (your alumni) be allowed to do what you have trained us to do! These schools were created so that we might have fair and equal access to higher education and future opportunities. We must return to that mind set now and move away from business as usual where who you know or are friends with is more important than what you know and can do.
Our question is…”Am I my brother’s keeper?” and our answer should be a resounding…”Yes I AM!” Everyone must be willing to compromise for the continued success & survival of the Historically Black Colleges & Universities.
Our Major HBCU’s must realize that if the smaller schools continue to vanish it will only be a matter of time before it happens to all of them. Our smaller HBCU’s must realize that it is imperative to stay competitive in the college landscape which can be done by Partnering with larger HBCU’s in athletics and academics.
This is an open invitation to the Commissioners & heads of the Presidents Councils of the CIAA, MEAC, SIAC, & SWAC. JBN/BCSN is willing to host a summit here in Eatonville, FL where we can discuss the future of HBCU sports and academics and how we can access the talent that is at your disposal. We will cover your travel, lodging & meals for this 3 to 4 day event.
Athletic Directors and Heads of any other HBCU are also invited to attend. We will also open portions of this event to any HBCU alum, other vendors, or anyone who would like to present ideas or proposal to HBCU’s.
The time I spent at an HBCU changed my life and showed me a part of my heritage that I had not seen. I truly believe that our institutions are the key to our culture’s future in this country but WE must do what is necessary ourselves to ensure that future!
So I end with this: for our culture to survive & thrive in the future, OUR HBCU’s MUST find a way to work together!!! Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon!
Roy M. Eavins II
Black College Sports Network/JERICHO Broadcast Networks, Inc.
Roy M. Eavins II
President/CEO, JBN, Inc.