HBCU athletes up to the challenge

There is an unfair stigma attached to HBCU football players.

When most people compare them to black athletes at white majority colleges, people tend to put them in different categories.

It is assumed that the athlete at an HBCU is not as talented as one at a predominantly white college.

Not only is the assumption unfair, it is completely untrue.

Several players who have excelled on an HBCU’s field have gone on to do the same on a professional field.

Football’s greatest receiver, Jerry Rice, attended Mississippi Valley State.

He ended his career with 13 Pro Bowl Selections and three Super Bowl Rings.

In 2006, the New England Patriots drafted Antoine Bethea, from Howard University.

He finished third on the team with 90 tackles at the safety position, his rookie year.

In 2007, the Jacksonville Jaguars picked up FAMU’s Daniel Parrish, Roosevelt Kiser and Quinn Gray as rookie free agents, and helped lend hope to black players vying to enter into the NFL.

The environments may differ, but oftentimes the talent levels match.

Many of the black athletes who attend majority white college institutions do it because they feel that they have a better chance to make it to the NFL.

In many cases that proves to be true, but with a shift in thinking, that trend could change.

If more black athletes chose to go to HBCUs, the NFL would be forced to look to HBCUs as a source of talent rather than an afterthought.

It would benefit HBCUs if premier black athletes chose to attend the schools out of a personal respect for black culture and a desire to ensure the validity of HBCU athletics.

Doug Williams was a legendary quarterback at Grambling State University, and became the first black quarterback to play in and win, a Super Bowl.

That legacy of excellence was developed on an all black campus.

When you look at what black colleges had to endure during segregation, people should want to help out HBCUs.

HBCUs were established to allow blacks to have an opportunity to fulfill the same educational needs as whites because blacks were denied admission to white traditional schools.

Black athletes who attend predominantly white institutions, are not wrong for choosing the schools, but it is important that to remember the legacy of HBCUs helped get them there.