Sports news, notes & rumors - 3/28
The question on everybody’s lips is, did he know he was going to get fired BEFORE he applied for the job, or did he get fired AFTER he applied? That’s the million-dollar question for former St. Augustine’s men’s basketball coach Tony Sheals who was “released” Thursday just a day after Virginia Union announced he was one of five finalists for its men’s opening. I talked to several CIAA coaches and it was a consensus: Once Sheals’ name was released, it was over.
What I’d like to know is how is he a finalist for any head coaching job after finishing 13-16 in only his first season at St. Aug’s. They did advance to the tourney semifinals but still… Then someone reminded me of the Florida A&M connection – Sheals was a longtime assistant with the Rattlers and Union Athletics Director Joe Taylor is, of course, from FAMU.
Wonder if Sheals knew Union is very open about publishing candidates for any of its coaching vacancies? President Girlfriend, Dianne Boardley Suber, got into hot water when she applied for the FAMU presidency job without informing the board. She withdrew her name. They didn’t give Sheals that option. Evidently former coach Lonnie Blow’s sudden departure to Virginia State is still fresh on some minds.
You know it’s bad when the SID doesn’t even include the coach’s record or the customary “We thank (fill in blank) for his service and wish him luck in the future.” It was just he’s been released and don’t let the door hit ya’ where the good Lord split ya’. OK, I added that last part.
• The list grows. Add another coaching vacancy to the growing list. Ron “Fang” Mitchell was released today by Coppin State. Mitchell coached at CSU for 28 years and is the winningest coach in school history with 429 victories. The Eagles upset No. 2 seed Hampton in the MEAC tournament and advanced to the semifinals, but there was a whole lotta other stuff going on behind the scenes in this one. Mitchell’s departure puts the list at eight: Delaware State, Livingstone women, UMES, Miles, St. Aug’s, Tennessee State and VUU.
• Golden goose. One Falcon who doesn’t have to worry about a swinging door is AD George Williams. Although Suber has tried – and failed – in the past, “Pup” isn’t leaving until it’s on his terms. After winning a 13th national indoor track title – and second straight – he was named the CaptainU Indoor Track & Field Winter Coach of the Year this week.
• NCCU reschedules. N.C. Central has rescheduled its football scrimmage Saturday at Rocky Mount High until April 5 due to the threat of severe weather. Called “Eagles Down East,” the game will be held at 12:30 p.m. Fans can also buy season tickets.
• Pro Day. Although it was closed to the public, Shaw and St. Aug’s participated in a shared Pro Day today on St. Aug’s campus. “This is big for us,” Shaw coach Robert Massey said. “We’ve not done this before, and it’s an outstanding opportunity for our young men to get exposure at the next level.”
• All-star invite. Norfolk State senior guard Pendarvis Williams will participate in the Reese’s College All-Star Game April 4 in Dallas. Williams is the first MEAC player to compete in the 6-year-old game. He finished his NSU career with 1,646 points.
• For women only. Bethune-Cookman will host its second women’s football clinic April 12. Humph, I know quite a few guys who could use some lessons, too.