Sports

Notre Dame keeps highlighting HBCUs on national TV — who woulda thunk it?

Marcus Freeman and co.

Marcus Freeman and co.
Photo: Getty Images

Sometimes, olive branches could be prolonged from unlikely sources.

Notre Dame has introduced that they may open the 2023 season by internet hosting Tennessee State of their dwelling opener on NBC. Yes, you learn that appropriately. Notre Dame — of all colleges — will face off in opposition to an HBCU for the primary time in program historical past, and it’s going to be a nationally televised sport on NBC.

Marcus Freeman is already out to show that he’s no Tyrone Willingham.

“We’re excited to bring a pair of great academic institutions that are steeped in tradition together in 2023,” stated University Vice President and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick in a press launch. “None of this would be possible without Dr. (Mikki) Allen and Coach (Eddie) George’s vision for what this game can represent to our Universities. I’m thrilled we’re able to bring the Tigers and the Irish together for a weekend that will feature programs with over 20 combined national titles, the Aristocrat of Bands and the Band of the Fighting Irish.”

To be clear, Notre Dame will greater than probably beat an FCS crew that was 5-6 in 2021. But, they won’t win that halftime present. That battle of the bands shall be a blowout. Notre Dame’s band is about to get their emotions damage, belief me.

The Tennessean is reporting that the sport is occurring because of the friendship between Freeman and TSU head coach Eddie George, as each of them performed at Ohio State. Ironically, the ties between Notre Dame head coaches and their associates at HBCUs are what led to the Fighting Irish males’s basketball crew touring to the nation’s capital to face Howard on their dwelling flooring earlier this yr on MLK Day on FOX.

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey recruited Howard coach Kenny Blakeney to Duke when Brey was on Coach Ok’s employees again within the day. Blakeney was additionally an assistant coach for Brey on the University of Delaware. The sport was initially presupposed to happen in 2021 however needed to be rescheduled to this yr due to the pandemic.

“When we scheduled this game, the parent of every one of our players said, ‘Coach, that’s really powerful. I’m thrilled you’re doing that,’ and our kids talked about it,” Brey instructed reporters. “When it got canceled last year, most of my guys said, ‘Coach, are we going to play that game?’ They didn’t ask about the Duke game. They asked about the Howard game.”

Notre Dame nearly misplaced that Howard sport, too. The Irish barely held on and received 71-68 in a sport through which they solely led by 1 at halftime.

“We escaped,” Brey stated on Fox after the sport. “It was an amazing atmosphere.”

What Brey did was prolong an olive department to an HBCU that put them on nationwide TV on an vital vacation that commemorates an HBCU alum. And what Freeman is doing is making historical past as it will likely be the primary time an HBCU program enters Notre Dame Stadium to play on a stage like NBC on a Saturday within the fall. That matchup will even put some cash in TSU’s pocket as these “buy games” normally pay six figures, which is cash that HBCUs are at all times in want of — regardless of how some idiots might really feel about it.

“The goal is to dominate where you are, not win, but to dominate where you are,” stated Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders in December on The Rich Eisen Show. “Then, you look towards down the line to scheduling some of those games. Right now, those games are a financial beatdown. That’s what I call them. That’s what some HBCUs choose to do. I’m going to go to these various schools, get my butt kicked, but I’m walking out of there with $750,000 or a million dollars. That’s not worth it to me. To me, that’s the ultimate sell out to children.”

Mark this as one other instance of how Deion Sanders has no thought of what’s greatest for HBCUs. There’s a motive why Howard basketball is taking part in on FOX and TSU is on the brink of play on NBC, whereas Sanders program obtained embarrassed the final time it performed on nationwide tv when the (11-2) Tigers obtained molly-whopped by (7-5) South Carolina State 31-10 on ABC within the Celebration Bowl. 

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