CIAA Stays, News & Notes

I’m excited to bring BOX TO ROW to JET!  As host of the national sports talk radio show, From the Press Box to Press Row, I cover all sports, with an emphasis on our Historically Black Colleges and Universities, with some entertainment sprinkled in from time to time.

The CIAA has decided to keep its tournament in Charlotte, N.C. for the next six years.

Furthermore, the conference is moving its headquarters from Hampton, Va. to Charlotte “in the near future,” according to a statement released on Monday.

While the CIAA Tournament staying in Charlotte or the conference’s move to the Queen City doesn’t contradict what Commissioner Jacqie Carpenter told me in an exclusive interview last Monday prior to the start of the tournament, this announcement is out of left field.

“We are in the process of getting bid specs out to respective cities,” Carpenter said. Those cities include Atlanta, Ga.; Raleigh, N.C.; Washington, D.C.; Hampton and Richmond, Va., Philly and the Bronx to name a few.  She also said the tournament could stay in Charlotte. 

There must have been some pretty intense negotiations within those seven days.

Charlotte’s financial commitment to the CIAA will be $1.4 million each year, up $400,000 from where it currently stands.  The CIAA Tournament is the third largest attended tournament only behind the ACC and the Big East; however, attendance seemed to be down this year not only at the games, but in the ancillary events as well.

Will the conference’s presence in Charlotte make a difference? We shall see.

The Shaw Lady Bears are the definition of the word dynasty.  Shaw won its fourth-straight CIAA Tournament championship, 73-70 over Fayetteville State in a rematch of last year’s game.  It’s the second time the Lady Bears have four-peated and the ninth championship in 14 years under head coach Jacques Curtis.

“This one was the most special,” said Curtis.  And one would have to say so considering that the team is talented but not as dominant as his other seven teams during the previous runs.

During this four-peat, Shaw made an NCAA Division II Final Four appearance in 2011 and won the Division II national championship in 2012.  Other current HBCU dynasties include Saint Augustine’s track and field teams, authored by 2004 U.S. Olympic men’s track and field coach George Williams, who has won a combined 33 national championships in 38 years, and more recently last year’s men’s indoor and outdoor national championships.  The University of Maryland-Eastern Shore’s women’s bowling team has also dominated, winning four national championships in 2008, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

NCCU Wraps up MEAC Regular Season
The North Carolina Central Eagles men’s basketball team wrapped up the MEAC regular season on Monday with a 64-57 overtime victory over Savannah State in Durham, N.C.  It is the Eagles first conference title as a Division I member.  NCCU’s only loss in the MEAC was at Florida A&M 63-60 on January 11.  The Eagles avenged the loss with a 92-49 statement win a month later in Durham.  

The Eagles, who will be the No.1 seed going into next week’s MEAC Tournament, are 24-5 and have some solid wins this season including an 82-72 overtime win over NC State back on November 20.  It was the first win in the program’s history – at least in a game that counted – over an ACC opponent.  

Alumnus LeVelle Moton is in his fifth season as the head coach and has the program going in the right direction after things looked disastrous when it left the CIAA and entered Division I in 2007.  In the last three years, the Eagles are 63-29.

SIAC Tournament Moves to Birmingham
The SIAC Tournament began on Monday in Birmingham.  The conference decided to move the tournament from Atlanta where it had been the last four years.  Birmingham was the tournament’s previous destination prior to Atlanta.

Could the SIAC be contemplating a similar move like the CIAA, moving its conference offices to Birmingham? We’ll be sure to keep you posted on further developments.

You can follow Donal Ware on Twitter @dware1 and @boxtorow. Please share your thoughts at