BOWIE -- The football team hasn't proven anything lately, but Bowie State scored some victories in the off-season.
The Bulldogs are coming off two losing seasons, and all but one of the university's teams was on Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association probation last year because of ineligible players. However, tangible gains were the main topic Tuesday when coach Sanders Shiver and company spent their first picture day at a new Bulldog Stadium.
The new facility is the centerpiece of nearly $2.2 million worth of improvements. Athletic director Charles Guilford eyes the project and some less visible improvements in the area of NCAA compliance, and says that Bowie State is ready to become a major player across the board in the CIAA.
"The students here know we're not here playing games with them," Guilford said. "Most of the infractions we were found guilty of were minor, and now I'm doing a lot of the compliance work myself. We think we're on the right road, and the only thing missing is a big dollar sign that can help us make some other improvements."
In 1991-92, Bowie State teams were on CIAA probation for the second time in three years because of the earlier use of ineligible athletes, most being transfer students with transcripts that didn't meet NCAA standards. The football team played on a field with dilapidated bleachers that seated fewer than 1,000, and it's doubtful that the surrounding cinder track had been rolled in Carl Lewis' lifetime.
Now track coach Jerry Molyneaux has a nine-lane, synthetic surface that can stage quality competitions. On what used to be practice fields and a wooded area is the new football field, with metal stands that can seat more than 3,500, a press box and a utility building that is lacking only sewage lines. The goal posts are suited to soccer and football, and Guilford wants Bowie State to add the former.
For its money, Bowie State also got six lighted tennis courts and two basketball courts.
Shiver's football team is nearly as new as the facilities. The roster lists just nine seniors and four juniors. Nearly a third of the 60 players in spring practice are gone, and almost half in camp now are true freshman. One of them, Delmar Glanton of Trenton, N.J., could be the quarterback when the Bulldogs open Sept. 5 at Livingstone.
Most of the seniors were contributors in 1989 when Bowie State won seven games and the CIAA title. It went 3-6 in 1990 and finished 4-5 a year ago. They're eager to make the most of their new field during a five-game homestand that begins Sept. 19, but the biggest date is Halloween, against Howard at RFK Stadium.
Bowie's 1992 football schedule
(All times p.m.) Date. ... .... Opponent. ........... Time
Sept. 5. ..... At Livingstone....... 1:30
Sept. 12. .....At Hampton. ......... 1:30
Sept. 19. .... N.C. Central. .......... 1
Sept. 26. .... Virginia State.. ....... 1
Oct. 3.........Virginia Union. ........ 1
Oct. 10. ......Norfolk State. ......... 1
Oct. 17....... Elizabeth City St....... 1
Oct. 24....... At Winston-Salem........ 7
Oct. 31. ..... Howard-x................ 1
Nov. 7........ At American Intl.....12:30
Nov. 14 .......At Wofford.............. 2
x-at RFK Stadium