Welcome back to Week 6 of Division II Tuesday.
This week, we’re going to take a look at the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), which consists of mainly historically black colleges and universities. The CIAA’s football-sponsoring membership is primarily in North Carolina, with 8 schools in the state, with two more in Virginia and one each in Pennsylvania and Maryland. (New member Claflin University, which joined this year, does not sponsor football and is in South Carolina).
NOTABLE ALUMNI OF THE CIAA
Frederick C. Branch - the first African-American officer in the United States Marine Corps - Johnson C. Smith University
Singer Gladys Knight and longtime US Representative Adam Clayton Powell - Shaw University
Former NBA All-Stars Charles Oakley and Ben Wallace - Virginia Union University
WWE Hall of Famer Sylvester Ritter, aka “The Junkyard Dog” - Fayetteville State University
Schoolteacher and Space Shuttle Challenger victim Christa McAuliffe - Bowie State University
And then there’s Lincoln University, who boasts a long and storied list of alumni including Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, poet Langston Hughes, jazz legend Cab Calloway, jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron, and well, it goes on
CIAA GAME OF THE WEEK, THE WEEK I COVERED THE CIAA
No... no we’re going to save this one for last.
CIAA PLAYER OF THE WEEK, THE WEEK I COVERED THE CIAA
Again, we’re going to come back to this. It’s worth it.
LET’S RANK SOME MASCOTS
THE WINDOWS 95 CLIP ART TIER
12. Elizabeth City State Vikings
11. Shaw Bears
10. Virginia State Trojans
9. Fayetteville State Broncos
THE “THIS IS COMPLETELY FINE” TIER
8. Virginia Union Panthers
This is the logo of a school who doesn’t need to prove it to you with logos. More on that later.
7. Winston-Salem State Rams
6. Johnson C. Smith Golden Bulls
It’s a bit surprising how many of the leagues in Division II have at least one school whose logo looks like an investment bank.
THE “BIRD ANGRILY FLIPPING A CARD TABLE” TIER
5. St. Augustine’s Falcons
THE “WHAT IF A UNIVERSITY LET JON BOIS MANAGE THEIR BRAND” TIER
4. Chowan Hawks
THE “ACTUALLY GOOD” TIER
3. Bowie State Bulldogs
Bulldogs are done throughout the NCAA, but this is one of the better renderings of one out there.
2. Lincoln Lions
Lions are seen frequently as a logo too, but rarely do they have such verve, such elan, such “I am pleasantly surprised to have the chance to eat you” joie de vivre.
1. Livingstone Blue Bears
THAT’S MY FOOTBALL I DON’T KNOW YOU [bear knee to your groin]
OKAY NOW BACK TO THE GAME OF THE WEEK
Virginia Union came into its homecoming game this Saturday at 3-1, 2-0 in conference, facing off against Lincoln (PA), winless on the year. It looked likely to be a comfortable win for the Panthers. So what happened?
[more nervously] no, what HAPPENED
Okay, well, I’m sure they just blew the doors off in the first half, and then rested on their heels for the second ha-
Oh. Oh my goodness gracious no.
Now, the game recaps I can find give fairly anodyne treatment to this-
“When you play as a unit, you will see success in all three phases of the game,” first-year Union coach Alvin Parker said. “It was nice to see so many different guys make plays today. I appreciate the hunger of the whole team.”
- so I just have to speculate. Was this personal? Was there a “Paul Johnson has a decade-plus-long grudge against Brian VanGorder” payback at play? I don’t know, but if you do, please contact Every Day Should Be Saturday’s Compliance Office with details.
In the meantime, let’s just admire this box score.
There’s so much to unpack in these numbers - like Lincoln not converting a single third or fourth down try! - but I think my favorite statistic is that Virginia Union still managed to punt twice in a game where they scored thirteen touchdowns.
This is the box score of “I sat down with my brother to play NCAA on the Playstation, he told me not to unpause while he ran to the bathroom, but instead I locked him in the bathroom and played out the game”.
[eyes shift nervously] I have not done this.
CIAA PLAYER OF THE WEEK
So, there’s plenty of options on Virginia Union’s roster - eight different players reached the end zone - but head and shoulders above the rest statistically is running back Tabyus Taylor, who racked up 235 yards and three scores on only 23 carries.
Please. someone who knows: tell me what happened in this game.