Morgan State may drop J. C. Smith in '93 Series in jeopardy after Saturday fight

September 30, 1992|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Staff Writer

Fallout is expected from the fight that followed Morga State's 25-21 victory over visiting Johnson C. Smith Saturday.

The incident occurred after the game's last play, a desperation pass by Johnson C. Smith that was ruled incomplete. Players swung helmets and fists, and the fight lasted several minutes until a police car drove onto the field.

In the aftermath, the Morgan State public address system's on-field speakers were damaged, and athletic director Leonard Braxton said he will ask Johnson C. Smith to pay a repair bill of approximately $1,000.

The Bears also will consider dropping their 1994 game at Johnson C. Smith.

L Johnson C. Smith officials could not be reached for comment.

TTC Braxton called a mandatory meeting Monday for all of Morgan State's teams and coaches to discuss the incident.

"We must learn to walk away from dangerous situations like this,"said Braxton, who added that any disciplinary action against Morgan State students would not be considered until Earl S. Richardson, the school's president, returns from overseas travel next week.

Morgan State is a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and Johnson C. Smith the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, and both leagues are investigating the fight.

It was the latest violent episode growing out of the rivalry between the two conferences, as a North Carolina Central at North Carolina A&T basketball game in 1989-90 was prematurely ended after a near-riot.

The CIAA is a regular in assorted NCAA Division II championships. The MEAC, meanwhile, might get its first at-large berth in the I-AA football tournament. Florida A&M, which didn't embarrass itself against Miami two weeks ago, is ranked No. 11, and unbeaten North Carolina A&T is No. 15.

He knows the rivalry

Jim Ward has seen the CIAA-MEAC rivalry from both sides.

Ward, a native Baltimorean, coached at Northwestern High, then spent six years as a football assistant at the MEAC's Howard and the last two at the CIAA's Norfolk State.

He's in his first year as coach at Buffalo, which plays host to Morgan State on Saturday.

Ward has been charged with moving the Bulls from Division III directly to I-AA. One of his seven full-time assistants, James Garland, played for him at Northwestern High and Howard, and Morgan State assistant Andre Creamer was quarterback of his last teams at Northwestern.

After losing to Lafayette and Division II powers Edinboro anNew Haven, Buffalo got Ward his first win Saturday, beating Mansfield, 56-42. The Bulls are averaging more than 36 points a game.

More rookie coaches

Bowie State knew it would be facing another first-year coach Saturday, when it plays its third straight home game, against Virginia Union. Instead, it will face two, as Mel Rose resigned Monday and two interim replacements, Richard Macon and Willie Spence, were named yesterday. They'll handle the offense and defense, respectively.

Sherman Wood, who played at Salisbury State and spent the past five years as an assistant at Bowie State, is no longer the Panthers' defensive coordinator, but he will remain as coach of the defensive backs. His unit had a difficult time last Saturday, as Virginia Union, seeking its 23rd straight winning season, fell to with an 80-26 loss to New Haven.

St. Mary's changes

Bob Valvano, who was fired by Catholic University earlier this year, is one of two finalists for the basketball coach's job at St. Mary's.

Technically, Jay Gardiner is still the Seahawks' coach, but he'll resign if and when St. Mary's finds a successor. He has been working two jobs at the southern Maryland school since 1989, and Gardiner prefers to be a full-time athletic director for an improving Division III program.

Gardiner's seven-year record is 74-100. He inherited a program that had six victories in three seasons.

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