6 Times HBCUs Made Sports History

These HBCUS are doing the work to diversify sports.

6 Times HBCUs Made Sports History (Morgan State University | @morganstateu via Instagram)

Historically Black Colleges and Universities have been growing steadily in recent years and they are also expanding the activities and sports they offer. Below are six sports or clubs at HBCUs that have been making strides to help diversify the sports playing field beyond football, baseball and basketball. 

Tennessee State University announced this year that they are the first HBCU to offer a men’s club hockey team after finding the program feasible in 2021. The plan to introduce hockey to TSU was a collaborative effort between the university, the National Hockey League, and the league’s local team, the Nashville Predators.

Another one of the states of Tennessee, Fisk University became the first HBCU to launch a gymnastics program and to compete with Ncaa women’s gymnastics team. The program is a little more than a year old and is led by the legendary Corrinne Tarver,  first Black gymnast at the University of Georgia and went on to become the first Black gymnast to win the NCAA all-around national title in 1989, according to CBS News.

Morgan State University has announced that they are forming a D1 wrestling team within the next few months, which has been in the works for some time. MSU will be the only HBCU to offer the program, they previous had the program in 1977. It will be led by Kenny Monday – the first Black wrestler to win an Olympic gold medal according to Landscape.

Bethune Cookman University  is excited to revive their bowling program this academic year after taking two years off. They will now be in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The program originally started at the institution in 2002.

After over two years of planning, Benedict College became the first HBCU to create an esports undergraduate degree track. Students will even be able to learn topics such as cyber security through the program.

Howard University’s swim team made history by becoming the first and only all Black team to be featured in Sports Illustrated. As of now they are the only HBCU to offer a swim team after several others had to cut their programs. Howard’s Swimming and Diving team is also a Division 1 NCAA program.

These are just some of the HBCUs doing the work, there are so many more with great programs. When looking for a school with athletic programs, don’t rule out HBCUs. Hopefully more programs successfully grow from HBCUs within the upcoming years. 

Ariyana Griffin is a graduate student at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. She is a California native and graduate of Clark Atlanta University. Follow her on Twitter: @Ariyanaaganee and Instagram: @ari.yana.g.

Edited by Nykeya Woods

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