ALFORD: Is It Time To Do Away With HBCUs?

Harry C. Alford | 11/13/2013, 3 p.m.
Is it time to merge state-funded Black schools into mainstream schools?
Howard Bison WR Matthew Calvin protects the football from Morehouse Maroon Tigers DB Lance Bennett en route to a touchdown in the second quarter of Howard's 27-16 win in the third annual Nation's Football Classic at RFK Stadium in D.C. on Sept. 7. Photo by John DeFreitas

The good news from a commercial aspect is that the athletic make up of our integrated schools is growing exponentially in diversity. There was a time when you could count the amount of major college Black quarterbacks. Now there are so many you just can’t keep up with them. Ohio State which has not lost a game in two years and is ranked #2 in the nation has all three of their roster quarterbacks being Black.

Some of our Black athletic departments believe they can make quick money sending their ill prepared HBCU teams to meet major programs. They “feed” these poorly equipped and ill prepared teams to face some of the biggest football machines in the nation. Florida A&M vs. Ohio State and South Carolina State vs. Clemson are examples of these atrocities. The money may be good, but the school’s image and their players’ morale are shattered.

It’s time to regroup. HBCUs will be small, culturally-based institutions that should be supported by middle class Blacks as a whole. Regardless of your affiliation, it is important to our heritage to keep them alive at some level. We should look to better management and more attention given to them (funding) by our elected officials. It is shameful that the support levels by their alumni do not reach 10 percent.

Harry C. Alford is the co-founder, president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Website: www.nationalbcc.org. Email: halford@nationalbcc.org.