Black College Football

Non League America: Black College Football Men’s Final Top 10

Wiley College wins the Red River Athletic Conference Tournament and secured a berth in the NAIA national tournament in 2015.

Wiley College won the Red River Athletic Conference Tournament and secured a berth in the NAIA national tournament in 2015. Photo from Wileyathletics.com

  1. Concordia College       10-6   USCAA
  2. Florida Memorial University 10-8 (5-4) NAIA Sun Conference #22 NAIA Poll
  3. Wiley College 8-6-1 NAIA Tournament 1st Round loss
  4. Texas College 7-8-1 NAIA
  5. Harris-Stowe State University 6-11-2 (4-7)
  6. University of DC 5-11-1 (3-7)
  7. Huston-Tillotson University 4-12-1
  8. Roxbury Community College 3-9-1
  9. Medgar Evers College 2-14-1 (1-6-1)
  10. Howard University (0-17-2) NCAA Division 1

 

Others with verifiable records: Jarvis Christian College 3-12 (1-7), Talladega College 0-10 (+6 cancelled) , Malcolm X College 0-17

 

Others with unverified final records: Oakwood University, Fisk University, Paul Quinn College.

 

To say that the HBCU men’s soccer landscape is a fragmented one would be an understatement of epic proportions. The 16 colleges and universities that play official men’s intercollegiate soccer at any sanctioned competition, across the NCAA, NAIA, and junior colleges, are a diverse bunch, in terms of both the ethnicity of the players and coaches, as well as the academic and social nature of the 13 Historically Black Colleges and Universities and 3 junior colleges that compete. The levels of visibility of the soccer programs across their respective campuses does vary, but in general is quite low. While Football is at the core of the HBCU campus experience, Soccer has historically stuggled to gain a foothold in popular African American culture. None of the 4 major scholarship offering HBCU football conferences fields a Men’s Soccer team (MEAC, SWAC NCAA Division I / CIAA, SIAC NCAA Division II) NAIA does offer athletic scholarships however, many programs have limited athletic scholarship funds.

 

Howard University is the only member of one of these conferences (MEAC) that plays its games in the NCAA. The other 12 bachelors degree granting institutions play in the NAIA. There are an additional 3 urban community and junior colleges that serve predominantly Black student populations, but lack the official HBCU land grant college status afforded to institutions founded during Reconstruction.

 

Although these colleges all serve predominantly Black student bodies, only a portion of the rosters of Black college soccer teams are comprised of Black players and coaches, and an even smaller subset of African Americans involved in the game. Three HBCU men’s teams finished with winning records: Concordia College in Selma, AL, Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens, FL and Wiley College in Marshall, TX (Between Tyler, TX and Shreveport, LA)

 

Although the University of the District of Columbia and Howard University are both located within Washington DC, and are both HBCU’s the two schools do not play a rivalry game. Due to the lack of affiliation with a common conference, all HBCU matchups are few and far between. Florida Memorial beat Talladega College 1-0 at Talladega on September 19, 2015. Wiley College, Texas College (Longview, TX), Huston-Tillotson (Austin, TX), and Jarvis Christian College (Hawkins, TX) all compete in the NAIA Red River Athletic Conference and finished 6th-9th at the bottom of the conference. Sixth place Wiley College snuck into the last playoff spot and made an improbable run to the conference title, and an automatic bid to the NAIA Men’s Soccer tournament.

 

Stay tuned for future research into the Black college soccer landscape and the upcoming Non League America video feature about the all Hispanic Talladega College Tornadoes soccer team.

 

 

 

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