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2010-11 College Top 10 Memories
The 2010-11 school year has ended for the Palmetto State high schools and colleges. All that’s left now are the various memories which were created by the student-athletes who excelled on the field of play.
In a two-part series, The T& will look back on some of the top local sports moments and put them in a Top 10 poll. Today, a look at the Top 10 moments involving college athletes.
1. Legacy Bowl voted down
Controversy swirled the moment it was announced the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and Southwestern Athletic Conference were in talks to hold a “Black College National Championship Game” in lieu of competing in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. While popular among the SWAC contingent, concerns about the financial details coupled with two teams (South Carolina State and Bethune-Cookman) earning playoff berths and the belief such a contest would mean a step back in progress resulted in the MEAC voting down the idea.
2. Eric Salley
One minute, the Walterboro native is thriving on the basketball court as one of the leading scorers in NCAA Division II. In one swift action, however, his Panthers’ career was abruptly halted by school officials who seemingly acted on the side of caution on the issue of Salley’s National Guard status.
3. The Statesboro Debacle
The Bulldogs were hoping the third time would be the charm in their quest for a first-round FCS playoff win, this time against Georgia Southern. Things looked promising early when linebacker Christian Thompson knocked Eagles’ quarterback Jaybo Shaw out of the game with a concussion. Instead, Georgia Southern racked up 323 rushing yards behind replacement Jerick Mckinnon and kept the football for 41 minutes in handing S.C. State a 41-16 loss. Even more upsetting for Bulldog fans than the team’s performance was seeing several players walk off the field during the playing of the school’s alma mater.
4. Voorhees’ women’s basketball team snubbed by NAIA
A 25-7 record and winning the Association of Independent Institutions’ tournament title was not enough to earn a spot in the field of 32 competing in the NAIA tournament. The Lady Tigers fell victim to having two fellow AII schools either go undeclared or unable to send a team to the AII tournament at Claflin University, leaving them below the six required teams necessary to reach an automatic bid.
5. Bethune-Cookman snaps SCSU’s MEAC-record 21-game winning streak
The Oct. 16 game was billed as the irresistible force of the Wildcats’ high-powered offense going against the immovable object which was the Bulldogs’ nationally ranked defense. While Bethune-Cookman did not light up the scoreboard, it managed to capitalize on its two scoring opportunities and its defense was just as imposing in shutting out S.C. State 14-0 before a stunned, displeased crowd at Oliver C. Dawson Stadium which booed starting quarterback Malcolm Long for poor play. The loss was the first in the conference since Oct. 27, 2007, against Delaware State, which was also the team’s last MEAC home defeat.
6. Johnny Culbreath drafted by Detroit Lions
Since Arther Love in 2001, the most attention an S.C. State football player received during NFL draft weekend was during the post-draft free agent signing period. Fresh off Phillip Adams getting picked in the seventh round by the San Francisco 49ers, the All-American offensive tackle was selected late by the Detroit Lions. Once the lockout ends, Culbreath could find himself lining up in practice against either Auburn’s Nick Fairley or All-Pro Ndamukong Suh.
7. Willie Jeffries Field
It was an honor long overdue in the minds of former Bulldog players and fans. On Nov. 5, 2010, the winningest head football coach in school history and College Football Hall of Fame inductee officially had the field at Oliver C. Dawson Stadium named in his honor.
8. Hardeep Judge reaches 300 wins
A glance at Judge’s desk and the 14 men’s and women’s tennis conference titles serve as his winning resume at S.C. State. On March 19, he added another personal milestone with his 300th career win and 110th in MEAC play.
9. SCSU men’s basketball team finishes worst season in school history
Men’s head basketball coach Tim Carter had hoped the program would continue its upward climb after finishing a victory shy of reaching the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2003. Instead, a lack of leadership from the returning starters, a 1-13 road record and 10 games lost when leading at halftime added up to a school-worst 22 losses.
10. Lady Bulldogs win MEAC title in volleyball
The last time the S.C. State women’s volleyball team were crowned MEAC champion, current athletics director Charlene Johnson was the head coach in 1990. Exactly 20 years later, Johnson watched as the Lady Bulldogs under head coach Millicent Sylvan clinched the regular-season title with a 3-1 win over Delaware State.
By T. Grant, The Times and Democrat