More American football to be held in The Bahamas
Guardian Sports Reporter
Published: May 22, 2014
The Bahamas will play host to the first ever historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) classic game on Saturday September 13, 2014 at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium. Two schools have committed to playing in a multi-year football classic. This year’s game will feature the Central State University Marauders going up against the Texas Southern University Tigers.
Central State is located in Wilberforce, Ohio, and is one of the oldest historically black universities; it has a 125-year legacy of academic and athletic achievements, while Texas Southern is located in Houston, Texas, and was founded in 1927. It has an enrollment of 9,700 students and is one of the largest historically black universities in the United States.
At a press conference yesterday, representatives from the schools sat down with Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Daniel Johnson and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Harrison Thompson to discuss the possibilities that could stem from the partnership between the schools and the country.
“The Bahamas HBCUX Classic not only supports our goal to bring more people to our beautiful islands, but Bahamians can experience American football at home and gain insight into what two HBCUs have to offer, should one decide to continue their education in the United States,” said Thompson.
This year’s game will be broadcasted on HBCUX, a recently launched digital media network. The network along with The Bahamas’ Ministry of Tourism is teaming up to produce the “Bahamas HBCUX Classic”.
The HBCUX Network is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is a 24-hour education, entertainment, lifestyle and sports programming network. It is an advertiser and subscription supported service, with a portion of its proceeds going toward scholarships for prospective students to attend historically black colleges and universities.
“This is the culmination of a dream and a combination of out-of-the-box thinking, hard work, commitment and faith on our part as well as the Minister of Tourism Obediah Wilchcombe and his staff to advance tourism in The Bahamas. The game allows two HBCU presidents to provide a cultural experience for their students in addition to promoting their universities to a wider audience. Paramount to this experience is allowing the Caribbean and international communities to see first-hand the educational value HBCUs have to offer,” said the minister.
The game takes place just months before the Bahamas Bowl, set for December 24, and will give the Bahamian public a good idea of what to expect in a college football environment. The Sports in Paradise campaign that was implemented by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture has attracted several large scale events to the country over the past several months, and more look to be on the horizon. The partnerships created through these events can help to benefit The Bahamas on a long-term basis.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for Central State to participate in the inaugural Bahamas HBCUX Football Classic. It will allow Central State to showcase our university while broadening our reach within The Bahamas and the Caribbean. Participating and traveling to another country always adds to a quality collegiate experience for our students. We look forward to establishing new relationships with the wonderful Bahamian community,” said Athletic Director at Central State Jahan Culbreath.
Texas Southern University has offered two full scholarships to the Ministry of Tourism to be awarded to two prospective students.
“For Texas Southern University, accepting an invitation to be a part of the first American football classic in Nassau, Bahamas, highlights our willingness to take the lead in educational innovation, even as it relates to athletics. This is a tremendous opportunity for the university to showcase academic and athletic programs to citizens of The Bahamas. Texas Southern University must chart new directions so that we can take full advantage of opportunities to introduce historically black colleges and universities athletics to individuals in places like The Bahamas and abroad,” said President of Texas Southern University John Rudley. “We are especially excited and hopeful this first endeavor will create a lasting relationship between the government of The Bahamas, its citizens and Texas Southern University.”
Both schools plan to bring their marching bands, as well, and will do a ‘battle of the bands’ competition. Central State will be represented by the Invincible Marching Marauders, while Texas will be represented by The Ocean of Soul marching band. Ticket prices will begin at $25 for the event.