Monthly Archives: October 2013

Grambling Football Needs A Lifeline – Call Washington D.C. And Ask For Daniel Snyder

Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor. – James Baldwin

If there is a heaven, then Eddie Robinson is somewhere up there raising hell. It goes without saying that since the late great coach’s passing, the most historic program in black college football has seen itself take an unexplainable and precipitous decline over the past decade. A far cry from the expected restoration of the program to its pinnacle after Doug Williams took over in 1998 and proceeded to win three consecutive SWAC championships for the university. The future looked promising and then the wheels began to fall off after Williams returned to the NFL for a stint as a personnel executive. An attempted second tour of duty was too little and too late. Looking forward though the question is how can the program be restored. My solution – call Daniel Snyder.


Let us face facts, when Grambling State University had the opportunity to leverage its winning ways to raise funds like many HBCUs have, it arguably simply did not strike enough of the iron while it was hot. Now, its cold – ice cold. Furthermore, at this point with HBCU public university alumni giving rates at five percent according to a recent article by HBCU Digest, help is certainly not coming at this point from alumni. The football program needs an infusion of millions and they needed it yesterday to get itself to proper standards that accompany a Division 1 program – not a middle school program. Players not having access to cool water during scorching practices in Louisiana heat, is a recipe for a player death and worse still a lawsuit. While it is hard to pinpoint Grambling’s actual university endowment, it is safe to say it is well under $10 million and that might be being generous. So why should Daniel Snyder come to the rescue or even care?

The Washington Redskins, valued at $1.7 billion are the third most valuable team in the NFL and the third most profitable NFL team with 2012 profits of almost $105 million. Their owner, Daniel Snyder, has an estimated net worth of $1.3 billion derived primarily from ownership of the Redskins, private equity, and a number of other enterprises. However, the team has been embroiled in a public relations that seems to never end over the team’s mascot name. Seen as offensive to many Native American groups whose primary ally tends to be African Americans, as it is often noted the only group who has suffered worse in America than African Americans are Native Americans. This often creates a great deal of sympathy for Native American causes among African Americans. Although the team technically plays its games in Maryland, do not be mistaken it is Washington D.C.’s team. A city whose population is 50 percent African American, home to two HBCUs, and two hours drive either way pushes that HBCU number swells to almost ten institutions. Beyond the geographical connection, the Washington Redskins connection to HBCUs runs directly into its own history with Doug Williams being not only an alum of Grambling State University, but the quarterback who led Washington to one of its most memorable Super Bowl victories becoming the first, and still only African American quarterback to do so.


To say it pains me that we must look outside of our community to resolve our needs is an understatement for anyone who knows me. However, this is a dire situation and it is calling for dire solutions. Daniel Snyder and the Washington Redskins could use some goodwill in the public as it deals with a growing agitation over the team name and a perceived view of European American owners lack of regard for minority sensitivity. It could use its relationship with Doug Williams connection to both the Washington Redskins and Grambling State University as a way to quell some of that angst. On Grambling’s part they need the public goodwill themselves and show some proactive behavior to resolve this sinking ship. If it means that the president and AD need to go hat in hand to Doug Williams to facilitate the meeting with Daniel Snyder, then pride be damned they need to do it.

HBCUs overall have done a poor job of conveying to their alumni bases just how costly and unprofitable athletic programs actually are. There is still too much confusion of just how much university money can actually be diverted into athletics at public universities which have major restrictions on such activity. It also begs a long-term question if HBCUs can not properly fund their athletic programs, then exactly what is the plan? These type of incidents leave a scar on not only the athletic programs but the universities themselves and HBCUs as a whole. Spelman’s approach was to disband its athletic program as a whole in favor of more wellness programs, which is certainly one approach. There is also the Ivy League approach where there are no athletic scholarships at all. Whatever the solution, Grambling State University needs to act quickly and make a major splash in its resolution before the ghost of Eddie Robinson returns, and if anyone remembers Coach Robinson in a bad mood – it will not be a pleasant hau – I mean return.

The HBCU Endowment Feature – Mississippi Valley State University


School Name: Mississippi Valley State University

Median Cost of Attendance: $12 872

Undergraduate Population: 2 090

Endowment Needed: $538 049 600

Analysis: Mississippi Valley State University needs an endowment of approximately $540 million for all of its undergraduates to attend debt free. The university is located in Itta Bena, Mississippi which is part of the Greenwood Micropolitan area and has a population of almost 50 000 with over 60 percent of the population being African American. Like all public HBCUs located in Mississippi its income demographics push against the school building a stout endowment. African Mississipians have one of the lowest median incomes in the nation. It has the lowest endowment need of all of the public HBCUs in Mississippi, but it also has the reported lowest current endowment. Despite having access to Jerry Rice’s millions the school has seemingly been unable to garner a large donation commitment from the former alum. The school boast one of the most affordable options in the state and begs the question why its undergraduate population is not more in line with the other two public HBCUs. Population growth is badly needed to deal with the low percentage of alumni giving that all HBCUs face. The university has gotten rid of out of state tuition, which should make it a more favorable destination for surrounding state prospects if it can leverage it. There is much work done to create a healthy endowment for Mississippi Valley State University and while it seems to have the tools at its disposal, it remains to be seen if there will be a strategy implemented to take advantage of them.

As always it should be noted that endowments provide a myriad of subsidies to the university for everything from scholarship, faculty & administration salaries, research, and much more.

HBCU Money™ Dozen Links 10/14 – 10/18


Did you miss HBCU Money™ Dozen via Twitter? No worry. We are now putting them on the site for you to visit at your leisure. We have made some changes here at HBCU Money™ Dozen. We are now solely focused on research and central bank articles from the previous week.


Boson X: a running-style smartphone game with a particle physics twist l SLAC Lab

Non-Profit Solar Company Empowers Struggling Neighbourhoods l Clean Technica

Scientists develop heat-resistant materials that could vastly improve solar cell efficiency l SLAC Lab

Chytrid fungus is wiping out amphibians around the world by making their immune cells self-destruct l New Scientist

IBM offers 2-factor authentication package for securing Android mobile transactions l Network World

Lost volcano set off an ice age, Homo skull 1.8 million years old, genes vs teachers and more l New Scientist

Federal Reserve, Central Banks, & Financial Departments

Financial literacy may soon be a reality in schools in Florida. Its cost? About $138,000 over five years l Lusardi

Taking stock of past year’s labor market improvements l Cleveland Fed

Thinking about going to college? Check out this interactive infographic l St. Louis Fed

Do Teenagers Respond to HIV Risk Information? l World Bank Africa

Financial crisis & recession impacted real GDP per capita in the U.S. l St. Louis Fed

California home sales fall to 1988 levels l Housing Wire

Thank you as always for joining us on Saturday for HBCU Money™ Dozen. The 12 most important research and finance articles of the week.

HBCU Money™ Business Book Feature – War of the Worldviews: Where Science and Spirituality Meet — and Do Not


Two bestselling authors first met in a televised Caltech debate on “the future of God,” one an articulate advocate for spirituality, the other a prominent physicist.  This remarkable book is the product of that serendipitous encounter and the contentious—but respectful—clash of worldviews that grew along with their friendship.

In War of the Worldviews these two great thinkers battle over the cosmos, evolution and life, the human brain, and God, probing the fundamental questions that define the human experience.

How did the universe emerge?
What is the nature of time?
What is life?
Did Darwin go wrong?
What makes us human?
What is the connection between mind and brain?
Is God an illusion?

This extraordinary book will fascinate millions of readers of science and spirituality alike, as well as anyone who has ever asked themselves, What does it mean that I am alive?

The HBCU Money™ Weekly Market Watch

Our Money Matters /\ October 18, 2013

A weekly snapshot of African American owned public companies and HBCU Money™ tracked African stock exchanges.


African American Publicly Traded Companies

Citizens Bancshares Georgia (CZBS) $5.51 (0.00% UNCH)

M&F Bancorp (MFBP) $3.30 (0.00% UNCH)

Radio One (ROIA) $2.90 (2.15% UP)

African Stock Exchanges

Bourse Regionale des Valeurs Mobilieres (BRVM)  207.32 (0.96% UP)

Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE)  8 665.77 (0.01% UP)

Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE)  2 088.92 (74.12% UP)*

Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE)  130.67 (N/A)

Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) 44 689.29 (0.39% UP)

International Stock Exchanges

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) 9 982.93 (0.48% UP)

London Stock Exchange (LSE)  3 533.23 (0.76% UP)

Tokyo Stock Exchange (TOPIX)  1 205.52 (0.06% DN)


Gold 1 314.40 (0.63% DN)

Oil 100.83 (0.16% UP)

*Ghana Stock Exchange shows current year to date movement. All others daily.

All quotes reported as of 4:00 PM Eastern Time Zone