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NCCU, A&T Chancellors: No Decision Yet on Future of Football Series

Posted September 26, 2007

— The chancellors from North Carolina Central and North Carolina A&T State universities said the brawl after Saturday’s football game between the two schools cannot be tolerated, but they stopped short of saying the series between the two rivals would not resume.

The two teams met at midfield after N.C. Central’s 27-22 victory Saturday and a brawl broke out. Police subdued it.

“The behavior was reprehensible, irresponsible, abhorrent and not in keeping with the qualities of our institutions,” N.C. Central Chancellor Charlie Nelms said.

"It hurts me for two African-American males to stand before you and talk about a fight, because we're bigger than that," A&T Chancellor Stanley Battle said.

"However, when our students make mistakes, we deal with it."

The chancellors stopped short of saying the 2008 game scheduled for Durham would not be held. The two longtime rivals used to play in Raleigh, at Carter-Finley Stadium, until 2006.

Saturday’s game turned into a brawl as Central players took the field after the game and stomped on the Aggies’ Bulldog logo at midfield. N.C. Central has suspended one player for this week’s home game against Presbyterian.

"Who started the fight is not the central issue," Nelms said. "We both agree it was wrong."

Coaches were unable to stop the melee, and after several minutes at least one police officer from Central used pepper spray to break it up. The schools said nobody was hurt.

"We will also look at what led up to it and try to make an intelligent decision," Battle said. "But I will not bury any of my kids. I will not give up on them because they've made a mistake."

Both chancellors said they will continue to review videotapes of the incident; are talking to coaches, players and spectators as part of their investigation, and further punishments could follow. Battle said there was no timetable for completing the probe.

"We're not going to rush," Battle said. "Neither one of us are under any pressure whatsoever to rush. Clearly, this is extremely important to our institutions, and we want to make sure it never happens again. So when we decide, we need to really take some time to look at appropriate steps, protocol, lines of engagement."

NCCU is playing its first season in Division I as an independent after moving up from Division II. A&T is a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference of Division I's Championship Subdivision.

The Eagles have expressed interest in joining the MEAC, the league they helped found in the 1970s. But MEAC commissioner Dennis Thomas has told WRAL his league has a moratorium on expansion.

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  • Tackman792000 Sep 28, 2007

    Fights have occured between A&T and NCCU for years in football and basketball! This is nothing new but it needs to be something of the past. If we can't have an athletic competition and shake hands after it's all over, no matter who won or lost, then we've got problems. Hell, that probably was some of the best blocking all day! In all honesty, the NCCU kids should have been more interested in leaving the field savoring the victory than stomping on the logo. As heated as this rivalry is, the coaches should hae put a little extra into the pep talks.

  • wakemom Sep 27, 2007

    It's obviously G.W. Bush's fault that these poor deprived, helpless, children felt it necessary to act out like they did.
    davidnraleigh

    GOD please! help some of you!

  • s.wake.co Sep 27, 2007

    It's obviously G.W. Bush's fault that these poor deprived, helpless, children felt it necessary to act out like they did.

  • trunkmonkee1971 Sep 27, 2007

    wakemom, I remember the ECU/NC State incident because of the speech one of the assistant coaches of my High School football team gave us because of it. The speech was about good sportsmanship, winning with class etc. I never thought of the folks involved as "thuggish". The whole series cancellation just added fuel to an already intense rivalry between ECU and NC State.

  • rayzer Sep 26, 2007

    I hope this great rivalry can continue. Stopping the series won't solve the problem.

  • yeahright2 Sep 26, 2007

    Wow, all this over a football fight. We are talking football, not tennis. There have been plenty of fights in football. You punish those who started the fight and move on. Next story.

  • hollylama Sep 26, 2007

    Chancellors only come out of their million dollar homes when the university is caste in a bad light. I wonder if either of them were even at the game? If so, maybe the kiddies would've have behaved as such.

  • anonemoose Sep 26, 2007

    The Police used pepper spray to break it up... They should have tased one or two... hundred that is.

  • BottomLine Sep 26, 2007

    Stop making excuses for these folks... they screwed up, toss them off the team, toss them out of school and make some examples that they play by the rules or lose. They'll find the same thing outside of school if they break the laws ... enough excuses ... caught up in the game ... fierce rivals, etc.

  • justbnme Sep 26, 2007

    "It hurts me for two African-American males to stand before you and talk about a fight, because we're bigger than that," A&T Chancellor Stanley Battle said.
    THIS SAYS IT ALL. Think about it. Probably wouldn't have
    hurt him had it not been that way, huh. UNBELIEVABLE!

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