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Chicago Classic aims to 'Stop the Violence'
Widely known as the nation’s largest reunion of alumni of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the 13th Chicago Football Classic will feature two storied football programs an highlight a critically important public service message aimed at addressing the unacceptable level of violence in the Chicago Community.
The multi-day extravaganza will also pay homage to the late Chicago School Board President Michael Scott, who was a devoted and long-time CFC advocate, and Chicago’s fallen heroes, namely four Chicago police officers who have died in the line of duty in 2010.
This year’s contest on Saturday, September 18, at Soldier Field, will feature the Alcorn State University Braves, the alma mater of the late All-Pro quarterback Steve McNair, and the Mississippi Valley State University Delta Devils, alma mater of 200 Hall of Fame inductee Jerry Rice. Both teams are members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). The game begins at 4 p.m.
Under the theme, “We Can Stop the Violence. It’s Up to Us. The Chicago Football Classic supports education to end the violence in our community,” the CFC is far more than a football game. The events promote the importance of higher education by way of a partnership with the Chicago Public Schools and Chicago’s elite business community.
CFC co-founders Tim and Everett Rand and Larry Huggins, later joined by Bill Garth, are proud of the Chicago Football Classic and the fat that the much-anticipated weekend truly is more than just a game.
“It’s a three-day extravaganza that brings awareness to HBCUs, exposes Chicago students to various aspects of the college experience an focuses on and uplifting theme to unite the community,” said Everett Rand. “This year, given all of the deadly shootings and crime that has devastated families around the city, we feel passionate about the theme “We Can Stop the Violence. It’s Up to Us. The Chicago Football Classic supports education to end the violence in our community.”
The Rands and Huggins added that the anti-violence message is being distributed through a public service campaign on television commercials and public service announcements featuring local talent.
On Sept. 18, an HBCU college Fair, from 10 a.m. – 12 noon will be open to the public. The Battle of the Bands featuring local high schools will take place for 12-1:30 p.m., followed by a local talent show sponsored by the Illinois Lottery from 2:15 – 3:15 p.m.
Earnest Collins Jr. enters his second season as head coach at Alcorn State University, which finished last season with a 3-6 record. Prior to that he served as defensive coordinator and/associate head coach for the Braves.
Mississippi Valley State University head coach is Karl Morgan, a former UCLA standout. He replaced former Delta Devils star quarterback Willie Totten as head coach in January.
African American college students are known to fare better and graduate at higher rates at HBCUs, than African American students attending mainstream colleges and universities. The group achieves these goals via several initiatives, including adopt-a-school programs and most notably, scholarships for African American students planning to attend HBCUs institutions.
Chicago Defender Staff Report