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By ALVIN HOLLINS JR.
 
Savannah State University, which begins its’ first year of membership in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference this fall, announced that they would enter into consultation with former University of Georgia athletic director Damon Evans to advise the school on its’ sports programs. Savannah State Tiger
 
Evans, who was a rising star in college athletics, led the UGA program to the rarified air of profitability for an athletic program for several years, before a DUI incident prompted his dismissal last summer.
 
This agreement between SSU and Evans came in the wake of the school’s firing of their former athletic director after just six months on the job, as the institution continues its’ administrative restructuring.
 
HBCU sports message boards were abuzz with opinions about Evans’ association with the fledgling athletic program, which has had its’ struggles in Division One for years.
 
Why are some HBCU fans so lathered about someone like Evans being consulted with???
 
It makes one wonder if some folks are scared the guy might actually do some good for Savannah State, who could do well to break with the traditional HBCU cycle of  retreads in leadership (CEOs, VPs and ADs, even coaches), to move their program forward.

If HBCUs overall are serious about competing against the best of the best in the NCAA, while staying true to our legacies as successful programs, why not 'consult' with one of the best.

True, Evans will probably charge a big fee and move on after a time, but surely this man's experience and knowledge has some value.
We all love our HBCUs, and some more than others, are fiercely protective of the brand because of what these schools have meant to Black people.

But that should not stop us from enhancing our conferences, their member schools and their athletic programs by reaching out to some the best and brightest of our own race (as well as others) to share what they have learned and experienced elsewhere to help us.

That’s what the late great Coach Eddie Robinson at Grambling used to do every spring, have his boys in the NFL come back and tutor the next generation of G-Men.

Now that we have Black men and women in leadership positions in business, major schools, conferences, professional leagues, and even in the media, some of whom started out at HBCUs, why not reach out to them???

Sometimes, I wonder if we are afraid of finding out that Albert Einstein’s old saying of “Insanity is repeating something over and over again and expecting a different result," is true of us in the HBCU realm.
 
That S.O.S. (Same Old Stuff) has played out.

Like Linus, the little kid with the blanket in the Peanuts cartoons, we need to be willing to let go and try something different.
 
Because living on our laurels, is beginning to seriously tarnish that glorious legacy.
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