Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC
By Hal Lamar
Hal Lamar goes….Inside Clark Atlanta
The new coaching lineup at Clark-AU
When former NFL gridder James Lin Dawson landed on the cardinal and red campus of Clark-AU in November of 2015, , having sojourned from similar posts at three HBCU schools and administrative posts at North Carolina State, Virginia Commonwealth and Disney, he hit the ground running .
Actually, he had little choice.
The school was in the midst of a three year probation principally against its basketball and tennis teams which came down in January of 2014, a year and 11 months before Dawson arrived. Then, two years into Dawson’s tenure , the school was hit with a sexual harassment complaint against a CAU doctoral student (which has reportedly been settled). Then, charges were leveled against the school’s athletic department alleging it drags its feet on complaints of gender inequality in athletics. Dawson has said in published reports that the school and department looked into the matter but then declined further comment. A school official said they take such matters seriously and that “appropriate action will be taken for policy violations pending conclusion of an investigation.”
The investigation continues (?)
Well,things seemed to brighten a bit by 2017. In January of that year, the three year old sanctions against CAU athletics, particularly in basketball and tennis, were lifted. The same year, the CAU men’s basketball team, under former Coach Darrell Walker, won the SIAC hoop tournament crown. The following year, the Panthers made it to the conference finals but lost to Claflin College 69-61. But then, Division I college Arkansas-Little Rock apparently made Walker a “Godfather” offer - one he couldn’t refuse, and he was off.
In April of 2018, former NBA great George Lynch took over as head coach and guided the Panthers to the quarterfinals of this years SIAC roundball tournament before losing to LeMoyne Owen.
Women’s basketball also took a leap forward their new head coach Yolanda Moore. In her first year as head coach, the one time Ole Miss collegiate great and noted player in the WNBA led the lady Panthers to the 2018 conference basketball championship and a post-season trip by defeating Central State of Ohio 71-70.
But then just a few months after the celebrating, the school released a statement saying that Moore was taking a “leave of absence” from basketball. But according to published reports, Moore wrote a “counter release” joining other CAU women coaches complaining to the college’s office of human resources about their shabby treatment on campus and what they charge is a “toxic atmosphere of discrimination against women coaches, administrators and student-athletes.” Their bias arrows are all pointing in Dawson’s direction, according to media accounts attributed to Moore’s release.
I reached out to Dawson by telephone to his office and left a message on June 26 to talk to him about coaching changes and other campus related athletic matters, including these
. No response yet.
And in another related development, the school has hired Dr. George French as its new president.
Do Dawson and French have their hands full? We’ll have to wait and see…..
XTRA POINTS: I failed to mention that in addition to changes on the hardwood, a coaching change came to the football gridiron as well. Former University of Alabama assistant Tim Bowens has been hired as the new head football coach. He replaces Kevin Ramsey, who was ousted following the end of the 2018 grid season,,,,,,,,CAU legend Leonidas S. Epps has been inducted into the Black College Alumni Hall of fame. He joins famous names like Thurgood Marshall, Oprah Winfrey, Martin Luther King Junior, Rev Jesse Jackson and Andrew Young and Eddie Robinson for his lifetime achievements. ..
Anybody know the whereabouts of one time Fort Valley sports information director Willie Patterson?
Got an item? Contact Hal -> hallamar at comcast.net