Howard-Hampton Battle For the Actual HU

Mentioning Howard College and Hampton College in the identical dialog usually is a direct impetus for banter over who’s ” the Actual HU.”  These two excellent establishments of upper studying have produced a number of the high African American leaders within the historical past of traditionally Black schools and universities (HBCUs). 

Due to that, arguments can usually result in aggressive ardour. There are numerous tales and fuzzy information about when the controversy truly started, however there isn’t any query that the competitors has heightened as a result of athletic competitors on the fields and courts.  Every time the 2 meet on the soccer area, the courts or perhaps even marbles, it may possibly get fairly intense. 

Earlier than we get into this, let’s give a quick historical past.  Howard was based in 1867 whereas Hampton adopted the subsequent yr.  Initially Hampton Institute, it obtained College standing in 1984. 

Each have been unique members of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Affiliation (CIAA), the oldest HBCU convention in historical past.  In 1971-72, Howard determined to make the leap to NCAA Division 1 and have become a member of the Mid-Japanese Athletic Convention (MEAC).  Hampton would later comply with and have become a member in 1995 and a few say that’s the place “the Actual HU” argument grew to become intense. 

Legend has it that within the first assembly as members of the MEAC, the soccer groups have been invited to play within the Larger Washington City League Traditional at RFK Stadium in 1997.  It was a good selection as each establishments had a big illustration of scholars and alums within the DMV space. 

On that day, Howard College, which went on to win the Black Nationwide Championship, dominated their outdated foe and welcomed their new member.  It didn’t sit properly with the Hampton devoted, particularly the then, affectionately referred to as “President for Life,” Dr. William R. Harvey.  Through the presentation of the winner and loser trophies following the sport, Harvey is reported to have proclaimed to the Howard directors, “This can by no means occur once more.” 

And you understand what, he proved to be prophetic. For the subsequent 13 instances that the 2 met, Hampton got here out victorious. Due to their profile and the budding rivalry, the 2 would meet in quite a few venues, together with Giants Stadium within the Meadowlands and in Chicago at Troopers Discipline 

Because of this rivalry, lots of the video games have been shut and bitter defeats for Howard and Hampton took nice pleasure in beating their rivals. 

Then issues took a flip and in 2011, beneath then-head coach Gary “Flea” Harrell, the Bison snapped the Pirates streak with a 10-7 victory at Hampton.  Following the sport, a number of of the Hampton gamers have been so upset that they initiated a confrontation with the Howard gamers and refused to shake palms. 

“As a participant at Howard, I knew nothing concerning the rivalry,” recalled Harrell, who was a member of the 1993 staff at Howard that went undefeated.  “I do know that each colleges are proud establishments and satisfaction themselves on their legacies.  However I’ve to confess that as a proud Howard alum, the streak bothered me.  So I simply informed the gamers that they needed to recover from the psychological hurdle that had performed a job.  I informed them that they needed to get out of the psychological block and make it about who we’re as Howard College.” 

Following that victory, Howard would go on to start a streak of its personal, profitable 4 in a row. 

Harrell is presently large receivers coach on the College of Colorado.

Within the meantime, the battle for “the actual HU” permeated to the opposite sports activities. 

Nobody can converse to this in addition to Kevin Nickelberry.  He coached at Hampton for 5 years earlier than coming to Howard and training there for 10 years.  He’s now an assistant coach at Florida State. 

“Once I was at Hampton, there was an unbelievable ardour when it got here to enjoying Howard,” recollects Nickelberry.  “After which once I got here to Howard, the fervour was equally sturdy.  They’re two nice colleges with sturdy passions about who they’re and what they stand for.” 

Ladies’s basketball was additionally a part of “the actual HU” storyline.  Earlier than Hampton grew to become a member of the MEAC, the Howard ladies’s basketball staff had dominated for a few years.  It took a few years however finally Hampton grew to become the kingpin of the convention.  Throughout one interval, the 2 met for the convention match three straight years and Howard misplaced all three by a mixed whole of seven factors. 

Even volleyball, softball and now ladies’s soccer at the moment are within the fray.  In softball, Howard’s first-ever journey to the NCAAs within the sport got here after unseating the Pirates, the reigning champions.  

 Howard’s ladies’s soccer grew to become the primary HBCU to area a Division 1 program (2001-02).  Hampton is just in its third yr within the sport.  Two years in the past, the 2 performed at Howard and drew its largest residence crowd ever.

Hampton has now left the MEAC and is a member of the CIAA, however even though they’ve modified, some issues by no means change.  They nonetheless play one another in soccer and sometimes different sports activities.     

That results in this coming Saturday when the 2 meet within the “Reality and Service Traditional” at Audi Discipline in Washington, D.C. The sport is ready to broadcast on ESPN2 and can kick off at 3:30 p.m. It is going to be the a hundredth assembly between the 2 on the soccer area.  

Hampton maintains a 55-43-1 benefit within the collection that began in 1908 and has received six in a row. Earlier than that, Howard had received six of seven. 

“The factor I respect most about this recreation is that we get an opportunity to point out how two HBCUs have an excellent stability between lecturers and athletics,” famous Greg McGhee, quarterback of the 2011 staff that stopped the Hampton win streak and present quarterback coach for the Bison. “On the finish of the day, this recreation is all about satisfaction.” 


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