Chat with Donald Hunt
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, Philadelphia Tribune columnist Donald Hunt, who covers Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) athletics, stops by to chat about the MEAC's 40th
MEAC (Mid Eastern Athletic Conference) football is celebrating 40 years in the game by selecting a 40th anniversary team. The team features many of the top players in college football history, including Hall of Famers Harry Carson and Donnie Shell of South Carolina State. Donald's pick Jay Walker, Howard University's all-time single-season leader in pass completions and in passing yardage also made the team.
Send your questions now and join Hunt Thursday at 1 p.m. ET!
Donald Hunt (12:59 PM)
Hey SportsNation! I'm a sports writer for the Philadelphia Tribune and I contribute to ESPN.com's HBCU Notebook. I'm ready to chat!
I didn't go to an HBCU so I'm not faimliar with the 40th anniversary team. Why did you choose Jay Walker?
Donald Hunt (1:01 PM)
Jay Walker went to Howard Univ and had a great career there. He played really well against Steve McNair when he attended Alcorn State.
What changes, if any, may occur in the membership of HBCU conferences in the next 5-10 years?
Donald Hunt (1:02 PM)
There could be some movement. It's possible that one or two teams could move up to Division I. I've heard rumors of Morehouse moving and Tuskegee Univ.
Does undefeated Morehouse have a chance of knocking off Tuskegee at the classic next weekend?
Donald Hunt (1:04 PM)
Oh, absolutely! Tuskegee's program is well known, but "The House" is playing the best football in the conference right now.
DuWarn Porter (Richton Park, IL)
What about the SWAC? How does it compare to MEAC in greatest players?
Donald Hunt (1:05 PM)
The SWAC has an overall edge because they have produced more NFL players.
Which HBCU could possibly compete w/ larger conferences if given the chance?
Donald Hunt (1:06 PM)
South Carolina State is a strong contender. I like what their coach Buddy Pough is doing down there. Plus, they've won back to back MEAC titles.
Dre J (Orlando Florida)
Do you think the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats have a chance to run the table for the MEAC title if they blow out Morgan State Saturday in Baltimore?
Donald Hunt (1:08 PM)
No. Bethune-Cookman is off to a great start, but they won't go undefeated. However, they have a great QB in Matt Johnson. This week, Johnson was named MEAC Offensive Player of the Week...
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you think is the Best Black College Football Players that Plays in the NFL?
Donald Hunt (1:11 PM)
I like Antoine Bethea who plays for the Indianapolis Colts. He played college ball at Howard University, he's been to two Super Bowl's, and he's a two-time pro bowler.
thomas williams (charlotte)
Do you think that HBCU's need to be in all HBCU conferences? The Big South would provide SCSU and FAMU a conference with more regional rivalries, reduced travel cost, etc....
Donald Hunt (1:15 PM)
I like the conferences they're in now. I'm a traditionalist when it comes to HBCU football and I think people recognize those conferences and they're easier to identify with. Building each program is the key. If Hampton went to the Big South,for example, they'd have to build a rivalry within the conference... rivalries are established over time. You can't just create them.
Magic Man (Mass)
HBCU football in my opinion hasn't been given the credit it deserves. It's Division 1 football. Too many people feel its a remedial league.
Donald Hunt (1:17 PM)
They definitely deserve more credit! And that's why we have the HBCU Notebook on ESPN.com! HBCU schools produce some great players and they are maintaining great traditions and rivalries.
brian wilson (atlanta)
What is coach buddy pough doing at SC State University that is allowing him to dominate HBCU football. His record since he has been there is :-- 68-13 against all HBCUs-- 52-11 against MEAC schools.-- 17-1 against non-MEAC HBCUs.-- 3-0 against the SWAC.-- 2-0 in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge.
Donald Hunt (1:20 PM)
Coach Pough is doing a great job at recruiting and he's picked up some great players like Malcolm Long (quarterback) who has pro potential. Last year he had a tremendous running back in Will Ford, and he held All-Conference honors.
Grambling just defeated last years SWAC champ Prairie View. Do you think they take back the SWAC championship this year?
Donald Hunt (1:22 PM)
Grambling has a good chance! I think we'll know more in the next three weeks because they play Alabama A&M, Alabama State and Alcorn State. Two of those games are at home and one is on the road... Alcorn State is undefeated right now and Alabama State has one loss. A
BigIke06 (Raleigh NC)
Hampton had gotten off to a great start with the exception of the first game against Central Michigan, albeit against sub par opponents, how do you expect the Pirates to match up with stronger opponents like SCSU of FAMU
Donald Hunt (1:26 PM)
SCSU is going to be a really tough matchup for the Pirates. The team is really stacked with talent. FAMU is tough, too. Hampton is really going to have to turn it up if they want to beat those teams. If Hampton quarterback David Legree has a big game, you can count on them having a good chance to win.
Clayton Mack (Durham)
Does the CIAA have a shot at getting a playoff berth and a favorable draw this season?
Donald Hunt (1:27 PM)
Yeah they have a chance. Winston-Salem State is playing some solid football right now, as they are undefeated in the CIAA. They will definitely land a CIAA playoff berth. However, it will be hard to determine what kind of seed they'll get at this point.
How long do you think Winston-Salem State can stay undefeated?
Donald Hunt (1:30 PM)
They seem to be head and shoulders above a lot of teams right now but you can't take anything for granted in the CIAA. By the way, they play JCSU this week. As we get into late October, I have a feeling they cold stumble against an under the radar team.
Which team has the edge in what will no doubt be a sloppy affair tonight? Let's go Pirates!
Donald Hunt (1:32 PM)
Hampton plays Delaware State at 7:30pm on ESPNU tonight. It should be a good game and Hampton definitely has an edge in this one.
Do you think Classics or BCS guaranteed games are a better model for growing the HBCU football product?
Donald Hunt (1:39 PM)
I like the Classics because it grows HBCU football better overall but the guaranteed games grow your program financially and assist with recruiting. Classics involve other HBCU schools and I think that's great because you have rivalries, tradition and alumni involvement.Playing against a team like Georgia Tech or Michigan is exciting for a lot of kids joining your program.
Eric (Raleigh, N.C.)
What will it take for the schools in the MEAC to be successful past the first round of the playoffs?
Donald Hunt (1:40 PM)
They probably won't get a home game so one of the keys is playing well on the road and when you go on the road you have to play well and you can't turn the ball over. Minimize the mistakes!
How do you think Alcorn will do against MS State on Saturday?
Donald Hunt (1:43 PM)
It's going to be a tough matchup. The big thing is to keep the game close and try to steal it at the end. I think MS State will win because they're the bigger and stronger program.
Has the resumption of football at Lincoln sparked greater interest in HBCU football in the Philly area?
Donald Hunt (1:46 PM)
It has definitely sparked interest in Philly and that's my alma mater! We had the Lincoln-Cheney football game in Philly on September 3rd, which happened to be the same day as the MEAC/SWAC Challenge. It was a great rivalry between two of the oldest HBCU's in the country and dubbed as the "Battle of the First."
Donald Hunt (1:46 PM)
I'll take one last question...
Name your top 5 all-time HBCU football players.
Donald Hunt (1:54 PM)
1. Doug Williams (Grambling State) 2. Walter Payton (Jackson State) 3. Jerry Rice (Miss. Valley State) 4. Art Shell (Maryland State, now Maryland Eastern Shore) 5. Bob Hayes (FAMU)
Donald Hunt (1:56 PM)
Alright SportsNation, thanks to eveybody who took the time to submit questions about HBCU football! For more, check me out on ESPN.com in the HBCU Notebook.