North Carolina Central University and South Carolina State University will meet on the gridiron on Oct. 6 in Indianapolis, Ind., inside Lucas Oil Stadium, home of Super Bowl XLVI, for the 29thannual “Circle City Classic” football game, the event hosts Indiana Black Expo, Inc. (IBE) and Indiana Sports Corporation announced Wednesday (Feb. 22).
A series of weekend events will surround the football game (scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff), featuring performances by the marching bands from both NCCU and SCSU.
The trip to Indianapolis will be especially meaningful for NCCU Chancellor Charlie Nelms, who earned master’s and doctorate degrees from Indiana University and spent several years working in the Indiana University system, including seven years as chancellor at Indiana University East.
“Having spent more than 25 years in Indiana, I fully appreciate the purpose and mission of the Circle City Classic which not only supports academic achievement but showcases the rich legacy of HBCUs,” said Nelms. “I am thrilled North Carolina Central University, specifically our football team along with our famed Marching Sound Machine band, will have the honor of taking center stage for this noted gridiron event.”
In NCCU’s first appearance in the Circle City Classic, NCCU Director of Athletics Dr. Ingrid Wicker-McCree takes note of the exposure the event will bring to the university and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
“We are so excited about the opportunity to participate in this prestigious Classic,” Wicker-McCree said. “The exposure of our university and the MEAC to that part of the country will enhance the visibility of our institutions and what NCCU and the MEAC have to offer young men and women who aspire to reach their educational goals.
“We look forward to bringing Eagle and Bulldog fans to the great city of Indianapolis on the weekend of October 6 to watch some exciting competition on the field of play by both our student-athletes and our great marching bands,” she said.
NCCU football head coach Henry Frazier III is entering his 20th season of college football as either a player or coach, but this will be his first time participating in the Circle City Classic.
“I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Circle City Classic,” said Frazier. “I’ve heard they put on a first-class show. We’re looking forward to playing in the stadium where the Super Bowl was just played. It will provide good publicity for our program and an exciting experience for our student-athletes.”
NCCU’s award-winning marching band, the Marching Sound Machine, which performed on New Year’s Day 2011 in the Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., is slated to entertain at Friday’s pep rally and in the halftime battle of the bands.
“We are highly anticipating the Marching Sound Machine’s performances in Indianapolis for the famed Circle City Classic,” said NCCU Director of Bands Jorim Reid. “This noted sporting event’s popularity would provide a stage to introduce North Carolina Central University to potential students and new fans.
“The Circle City Classic will also expose our band students to the people, landscape, and culture of the Midwest,” Reid said. “The region is home to the Big Ten conference where the roots of ‘high stepping’ marching band style originally evolved. It will be an honor to march in a region rich with band history and participate in a classic that has a most storied tradition.”
Game tickets ranging from $10-$50 will be available at the NCCU Ticket Office on a date to be announced. NCCU fans are encouraged to purchase tickets from the NCCU Ticket Office.
For more details about the Circle City Classic, visit www.CircleCityClassic.com.
About North Carolina Central University
Founded in 1910, North Carolina Central University was the first publicly supported liberal arts college for African-Americans. Today, this dynamic campus has a diverse student body of 8,600 enrolled in academic programs including law, biotechnology, library science, business, nursing, education and the arts. In consecutive years, U.S. News & World Report ranked NCCU among the top ten HBCUs in the country. Visit www.nccu.edu or more information.
About NCCU Football
North Carolina Central University enters its second season of full NCAA Division I (FCS) athletic competition as a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The Eagles won back-to-back football conference championships and a Black College National Championship in their final two years in the Division II ranks (2005 and 2006) before starting the transition to Division I in 2007. The NCCU football program is now under the leadership of award-winning head coach Henry Frazier III, who enters his second season on the Eagles’ sideline. During its storied gridiron tradition, NCCU has produced 129 all-conference selections, 63 all-Americans, 40 NFL draft picks, 10 conference championships and two Black College National Championships. Visit www.NCCUEaglePride.com for more information.