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N.C. Central Saying Goodbye to CIAA Tournament

Posted February 28, 2007
Updated March 1, 2007

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— North Carolina Central University fans are getting ready for a big change in their postseason plans. N.C. Central is about to be re-classified as a Division I university in the NCAA, meaning they’ll say goodbye to the CIAA.

N.C. Central Eagles fans are savoring every minute of their time at the Bobcats arena in uptown Charlotte this week, as they watch their team's last run in the CIAA tournament. With enrollment jumping more than 50 percent over the last four years, the move to Division I is a product of its own success.

“We've been in it for so many years,” said N.C. Central alum Wanda Baker. “I'm just sad, I really am.”

“I wish we could stay here another year but that's the way it goes, moving up in life,” said N.C. Central alum Roy Hunt.

The Eagles are slated to join the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference next season. Marion Herman said she’s not a fan of the move.

Even though I’ll go to the (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament), it won't be because I want to,” Herman said.

Other fans said this week is bittersweet.

“My husband and I always come,” said N.C. Central alum Carolyn Thomas. “We consider this our winter vacation.”

CIAA commissioner Leon Kerry said based on conference figures, an estimated 55 percent of people who attend the CIAA are not alums.

“If you played in the CIAA at N.C. Central, you want to see people, you went to school with or played with in the CIAA, that's where they're going to be,” Kerry said.

Many of the fans said even though the Eagles will no longer be part of the conference, that doesn't mean they're taking the CIAA tournament off their social calendar. After all, this isn't just a basketball showdown, it's a showcase for longtime friendships.

The Eagles will join another former CIAA school in the MEAC. Winston-Salem State moved up to Division I last year. The MEAC tournament tips off in Raleigh next week.

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

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  • rainy Mar 2, 2007

    Screen name...you are the second most ignorant person on this board! your parents must be proud of you being that you stayed up past your bedtime to sit up and think about a comment like that. funny the first thing you rhought of was a prison because you probaly thought of your girlfriends there. miss them dont you?

  • rainy Mar 2, 2007

    its ok everyone, WRAL had the sense to delete her ignorant comment.

  • kaecee Mar 1, 2007

    You all are ridiculous. You all will make the weather about race if you could. If some of you all had the sense that God gave a goat, you'd be doing half okay. MsLisa, you make no sense and I went to NCCU on scholarship and I worked for my scholarship and my NCCU degree has done me well in the workforce. cupkrazy, I'm not even going to comment because that was completley uncalled for and unwarranted. If you all can't say anything worthwhile, I would suggest you say nothing as it personifies your ignorance.

  • nccruzer Mar 1, 2007

    I agree, welcome NCCU to the NCAA. I can't see how this can be seen as a race issue at all, it affects no races one way or the other right?

  • Screen name Mar 1, 2007

    NCCU is a university. Whoa, I thought it was a prison.

  • Low Voltage Mar 1, 2007

    I think it's great. Let NCCU fall in with a stronger conference, more power to them. Good for the students, players, the school and the State. So what's the problem?

    Go Pack

  • DougD Mar 1, 2007

    wrathpower: MEAC is a conference of HBCUs, so i don't think it's a "minority" vs. "majority" issue.

    cupkrazy: All black? Did you think governor Easley is black?

    I'm willing to bet ignorant people like you were the ones who wouldn't let black people in UNC/State, and created the need for NCCU in the first place. For people like you, your words change, but the motive stays the same: try to keep black people from having anything.

  • Cookie Mar 1, 2007

    NCCU is a HBCU. For those of you who may not know(cupkrazy), it stands for HISTORICALLY Black College or University. It was historically for blacks only, and we all know the reason for this. If you were to go to any HBCU today, there are many people of different ethnic backgrounds who attend these colleges and universities. I know that a student would not be turned away from this school if he/she were of a race other than Black. I am glad that more & more people are attending college, so that they will not make ignorant comments such as cupcrazy.

  • Taurus Mar 1, 2007

    MsLisa they probably couldn't get in anyway, so you shouldn't worry. Cupkrazy, sounds like somebody missed snack time, your comment makes no sense at all.

  • wrathpower71 Mar 1, 2007

    Being a grad from a CIAA school I really dont see the point other than a money move.. How many Big Majortiy schools u see trying to joing other minority schools.. If its a move for positive advancement for all students and better the learning experience, then I could understand. However for sure like most of the school that left the CIAA it was only about money therefore solidfying the case that again selling ourselves for a buck. Nothing new. How many Private school u see going public? get the point? WSSU Nofolk State, Hampton, now NCCU all are helping to create more seperation amongst Historic Foundations But hey, thats America thinking they moving up when they moving sideways.. Having played 4 years in the CIAA and former POY, nothing beats that experience for young black kids and the energy u feel before all those people of ur own. Cant expect the same respect in the NCCA D1. The obejective is to get a education so does it matter which level the school is?
    Best of Luck to them all