Credits: BCU Athletics
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Jack Forsyth “Cy” McClairen, the living embodiment of all things Bethune-Cookman University Athletics, whose contribution to his beloved alma mater included seven decades as a playing, coaching and senior administrative living legend as well as a father figure, passed away on Monday, December 28, 2020. He was 89.
“The world has lost a Hall of Famer, ” said Lynn W. Thompson, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics. “I am merely one of the thousands of people whose lives have been significantly impacted directly by this man as a coach, father figure, leader and friend. The Wildcat Nation and beyond pauses in prayer to simply say ‘Thank You God for Jack ‘Cy’ McClairen’.”
— Read on bcuathletics.com/news/2020/12/28/general-bcuathletics-mourns-the-passing-of-cy-mcclairen.aspx
The Bethune-Cookman Wildcats don’t face the same pressure as Power 5 schools and don’t have as much money, so it made sense for them to shut down all sports for the school year.
— Read on www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/mike-bianchi-commentary/os-sp-bethune-cookman-covid-19-shut-down-mike-bianchi-20201027-abcqe3prpzbktixgcupkro5qoi-story.html
NORFOLK, Va., August 19, 2020 – The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) has unveiled a scheduling model for how fall sports could be played in the spring 2021 semester, depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and the NCAA scheduling guidelines for fall championships being played in the spring. Each individual institution can opt out of competing in the spring based on local and state COVID-19 conditions.
This action follows the conference’s announcement in July that the fall season would be suspended.
“Although it’s still too early to tell if the coronavirus conditions will improve fast enough to allow us to reconvene spring sports, we want to be prepared with a plan of action,” Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, President of Howard University and chair of the MEAC presidents and chancellors, said.
Next spring, football teams will play a slate of six regional conference games, with teams split into divisions. The season would span from February 27 through April 24, with a championship game set for May 1. Volleyball season in the spring semester will potentially span from the first weekend of January through February, with the MEAC Volleyball Championship being held the weekend of March 13-14 in Norfolk, Va. The volleyball championship game will be played on Sunday, March 14. These dates are tentative and subject to change. Teams’ schedules will be available at a later date.
A regional schedule will be implemented for men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s tennis, baseball and softball. In addition to keeping the mental and physical health and safety of student-athletes, coaches and staff at the forefront, this scheduling model will also minimize the amount of time student-athletes spend out of class, eliminate air travel and reduce travel expenses.
The divisional breakdown will be as follows: Northern Division: Coppin State, Delaware State, Howard, Maryland Eastern Shore, Morgan State, Norfolk State. Southern Division: Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M, North Carolina A&T State, North Carolina Central, South Carolina State.
“As has been the case since this pandemic started in March, the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, university staff and fans are paramount,” MEAC Commissioner Dennis E. Thomas said. “I want to thank both the Forecasting Committee and the Health and Medical Advisory Group for their tireless efforts in formulating this plan.”
The MEAC Forecasting Committee, comprised of several of the conference’s Directors of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrators (SWAs), has been working since April – meeting twice a week to formulate a variety of plans for intercollegiate competition in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the Forecasting Committee has consulted with the MEAC Health and Medical Advisory Group, which is made up of the league’s team physicians and head athletics trainers.
All options were considered, from a normal fall schedule to a modified fall schedule and moving the fall sports to the spring.
NORFOLK, Va., July 16, 2020 – The Council of Presidents and Chancellors of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announces that the league will suspend all sports competition, championship and non-championship segments, for the 2020 fall season, as a result of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. A decision is yet to be made on whether fall sports schedules will be moved to the 2021 spring semester.
The conference currently plans to proceed with winter sports competitions as scheduled, unless health and medical professionals advise otherwise. We will apprise the public on further decisions.
HBCU Sports Aficionados, Bryan Harvey and Bradford Gillens, join Hail Wildcats to discuss BCU’s move to the SWAC. What should Wildcat/SWAC fans expect? What’s the future of the MEAC? How do BCU athletic teams stack up against SWAC foes? Tune in to find out.
Forgive me if this sounds a bit overstated but Coach Alvin “Shine” Wyatt is a national treasure. Checkout this interview with Coach Wyatt from the good folks over at HBCU Gameday. It’s pure gold!
Quick question; who was the winningest Division 1 HBCU program from 2010-2019? Here’s a hint, it rhymes with Cuthune-Bookman. If you guess BCU, congratulations you are correct.
The Bethune-Cookman Wildcats wrapped up the decade with the highest winning percentage (.693) amongst FCS black college programs. The Wildcats also claimed three (3) black college national championships (2010, 2012, 2013), 5 MEAC titles (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015), 2 FBS wins and 9 straight Florida Classic wins during the 2010s. It’s been a great decade of Wildcat football to say the least.
Before we close out the decade, let’s first recognize the best of the best. Narrowing this list was an extremely difficult task and we congratulate all of the athletes that contributed to the Wildcats success. With that in mind, here are our selections for the Bethune-Cookman All-Decade Team (2010-2019).
QB – Quentin Williams
RB – Isidore Jackson
RB – Anthony Jordan
OL – Terrance Hackney
OL – Natiel Curry
OL – Anthony Eduardo
OL – Dariusz Bladek
OL – Trevin Huff
WR – Eddie Poole
WR – Frank Brown
WR – Jawill Davis
Wildcat – Matt Johnson
DL – Ryan Davis
DL – Harold Love
DL – Erik Williams
DL – LeBrandon Richardson
LB – Reggie Sandilands
LB – Ryan Lewis
LB – Jarkevis Fields
CB – Dion Hanks
CB – Tim Burke
S – Nick Addison
S – Diquan Richardson
RS – Jimmie Robinson
K – Uriel Hernandez
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Two members of the Bethune-Cookman football team have been selected to participate in the FCS Bowl by Spiral on Sunday afternoon.
1st Team All-MEAC performer Jimmie Robinson and 3rd Team All-MEAC defensive back Trevor Merritt will participate in the game in front of scouts from teams across the NFL and Canadian Football League.
The annual all-star game for seniors from Football Championship Subdivision programs will kick off at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday in DeLand, Fla. The game will be played at Spec Martin Stadium, home of Stetson University and can be viewed online at FloFootball.com.
Robinson, a senior from Flagler Palm Coast, wraps up a stellar career that saw him earn All-American status as a kick returner and all conference honors as a wide receiver. The speedster led the conference in both kick return average (28.1 yds) and all purpose yards (123.6 per game) in 2019.
Merritt, who hails from Rockledge, FL, registered 31 tackles and 3 interceptions his senior year. The ballhawking defensive back didn’t just pick off passes; he returned 2 of his 3 picks for touchdowns this season and 2 of his 4 picks for touchdowns in his junior campaign.
Robinson and Merritt are slated to play on opposing teams at this Sunday’s matchup and may find themselves in direct competition to impress the reported 30 plus scouts game organizers state will be in attendance.
The FBS Bowl website estimates, through its parent organization (East Prep LLC), that upwards to 40% of players that participate and actually pursue a Pro career are placed and many players play from the NFL to Europe!
Best of luck to Jimmie and Trevor!
The Florida Classic is the largest football game in the nation between two historically black colleges. After experiencing Bethune-Cookman’s thrilling 31-27 victory over a red-hot Florida A&M squad this year, you can make a great case that the Florida Classic is not only the biggest, but also the best football game in HBCU sports.
In honor of BCU’s 9th straight Florida Classic win, here are the Top 9 moments from this weekend’s contest.
Trevor Merritt’s pick six – You don’t usually highlight a play 7 minutes into the first quarter as the game’s most important but Merritt’s 23-yard interception and touchdown return of FAMU’s Ryan Stanley may have been just that. After struggling in the prior 3 games and failing to convert on the game’s opening possession, the Wildcats needed to grab early momentum in the game. Merritt’s pick six provided the spark needed and helped set the tone for the rest of the evening. BCU led most of the contest, finished with 3 turnovers and Merritt earned the Week 13 Black College Football Player of the Year Spotlight for his efforts.
Steffon with the smooth 28 yard TD grab – Midway through the 2nd quarter, Akevious Williams hooked up with Steffon Francois for a 28 yard TD. Francois beat the cover and hauled in a spectacular catch, twisted and lunged to put BCU up 21-7.
Middle Finger U – A big shout out to Donovan Wells and the Marching Wildcats for forming an amazing “deuces” picture formation at halftime. In route to forming the 2 finger deuces sign, the middle finger transitioned into position first creating what could be construed as…well let’s just call it a middle finger salute. Rather this was intentional or not, I think fans “got the point” to use the words of Marching Wildcats announcer Ken Moore.
Scoop and almost score – FAMU started to seize momentum in the contest and trailed 21-20 late in the 3rd Linebacker Marquis Hendrix ended the Rattler drive when he forced a Ryan Stanley fumble and Devin James scooped up the loose ball and appeared to run it in for a score. Replay officials determined James stepped out at the FAMU 11 yard line but 4 plays later, wide receiver Jonathon Thomas converted his first college field goal to push the Wildcats ahead 24-20.
Akevious to Francois to setup the game winner – BCU took over possession of the football with 5:38 remaining in the contest and trailing 27-24. On 2nd down and 25, Williams found Francois running free in the middle of the field. The two connected on a 44 yard pitch and catch setting up the game winner.
Washington scores the game winner – One play after the Williams to Francois 44 yard reception, running back Isaac Washington scored from 15 yards out to put BCU ahead 31-27. The 15 yard score ended up being the final of the game. “A lot of things could have went bad on that play but thank God they didn’t” Washington stated after the contest. When pressed about what could have went bad and whether it was a broken play, Washington stated the details would remain between him and the quarterback but did state “God was looking out for us”.
JT Money – Wide Receiver Jonathon Thomas was pressed into emergency place kicking duties after Xavier McDonald injured his ankle in practice on Thursday. Thomas, who kicked extra points and field goals at Treasure Coast High School, accounted for 7 points going 4/4 on extra points and 1/2 on field goals. For the record, BCU won by 4 points. Big props to the JT and the coaching staffing for coming up clutch.
Devin James seals the deal – Speaking of Treasure Coast High School, Thomas high school teammate Devin James picked off Stanley on 4th and 3 on the Rattlers last drive of the evening. Not only did James’ pick seal the Wildcats 9th straight FL Classic win, it was also the 3rd consecutive year that BCU ended FAMU’s potential game winning drive with an interception of Ryan Stanley. Diquan Richardson (2017), TyDarius Peters (2018) and Devin James (2019) all ended FAMU’s hope of breaking the streak with final possession INTs.
The Florida Classic itself – The best moment of the weekend was the Florida Classic itself. After years of rebuilding, the Florida Classic is fully back. 55,730 attendees inside the stadium, twice that number outside the stadium, the buzz surrounding the game, the bands, food, trash talk and comradery; yeah The Classic is back. The expectations surrounding this year’s game as well as the supercharged atmosphere throughout the entirety of this year’s contest made this the best Classic in a decade and amongst the best of all-time. Congratulations to Florida A&M on a great season. All Hail to the Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman University for their “Devine 9” win. Hopefully next year’s game will be as good as this one.