SBD/August 14, 2013/Colleges

Proposed Charleston Bowl Game Faces Roadblocks Due To Confederate Flag

Efforts to bring a college bowl game to Charleston, S.C., are facing a "familiar obstacle -- the NCAA’s ban on 'pre-determined sites' in South Carolina because of the Confederate battle flag still displayed on the State House grounds," according to Jeff Hartsell of the Charleston POST & COURIER. The proposed Legends Bowl would begin in '14 at The Citadel's Johnson Hagood Stadium ane would "pair teams from the Sun Belt and Mid-American conferences." The game, which would be be televised by NBCSN, would bring an "annual economic impact" of about $6M to the area. But organizers must "figure out a way past the NCAA moratorium and the long-standing call for an economic boycott by the state NAACP, which has objected to past efforts to bring a bowl game to Charleston." The NCAA in '04 directed its Football Certification Subcommittee to "deny any requests for certification for bowl games in any state where a moratorium exists as a result of the state's Confederate flag stance." The moratorium "derailed a 2004 effort to bring a proposed Palmetto Bowl to Charleston." But there "appear to be some holes" in the moratorium. The NCAA in '09 "allowed the Division II Pioneer Bowl to be played at Benedict College in Columbia." It is listed as the "only NCAA-sanctioned bowl game involving teams from historically black colleges." The NCAA also has allowed state schools Clemson and South Carolina to "host regional baseball tournaments, because those sites are not 'pre-determined'" (Charleston POST & COURIER, 8/10).

HEART OF DIXIE: In Birmingham, Jon Solomon cited sources as saying that the city of Montgomery has been in "intensive talks to land a bowl game owned by ESPN Regional Television pairing the Sun Belt against the Mid-American Conference." The game would start in '14 and be "played at the Cramton Bowl, not Alabama State's stadium as originally intended by a different prospective owner." Central Alabama Sports Commission Exec Dir Ken Blankenship said, "We're still trying. We've been trying for the last three years. I really don't know where things stand" (AL.com, 8/12).
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