Rams and Eagles To Meet For 43rd Time At Bowman Gray Stadium On Saturday

Nov. 9, 2009

Complete Game Notes


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The Rams return to action on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. as they welcome the Eagles of North Carolina Central University to Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C. for their third and final of three consecutive home games as the two teams meet for the 43rd time in the history of the two programs.  The 1-8 Rams look to snap a home losing streak that was pushed to six games following last Saturday’s 24-21 loss to Delaware State University.


Game Details

The contest is the 10th game of the season for both teams.  The Rams have lost eight of their nine games this season as they have dropped decisions to North Carolina A&T (19-10 on Sept. 5), Florida A&M (34-10 on Sept. 10), Morgan State (16-10 in overtime on Sept. 19), #14 South Carolina State (27-10 on Sept. 26), Howard (7-3 on Oct. 4), UC Davis (45-14 on Oct. 17), Hampton (16-13 in overtime on Oct. 31) and Delaware State (24-21 on Nov. 7) and earned their lone victory of the season on Oct. 24 as they defeated Bethune-Cookman 16-10 as the Rams enter the contest sporting a 1-8 record.  The Eagles enter into the contest with a 2-7 overall record as they have lost seven of their nine contests this season.  NCCU has dropped decisions to Hampton (31-23 on Sept. 5), #24 Liberty (35-10 on Sept. 12), Morehead State (13-10 in overtime on Sept. 19), Duke (49-14 on Sept. 26), North Carolina A&T (23-17 in overtime on Oct. 3), #9 Appalachian State (55-21 on Oct. 10) and Old Dominion (42-28 on Nov. 7).  NCCU has earned a pair of victories in 2009 as they defeated Central Methodist (52-7 on Oct. 17) and Central State (53-22 on Oct. 31). 


The Event

Saturday’s game will mark “Senior Day” for the Rams as 13 Winston-Salem State University senior football players will play the final home games of their WSSU careers.  The Rams will see QB Jarrett Dunston, LB Chedrick Marshall, DB Marvin Bohannon, DB Alex Chandler, LB Marcus Coates, DB Thomas Johnson, DB Wayne Noble, Jr., LB Mario Dawson, LB Douglas Coulter, DB James Walker, DL Kevin Dorsey, Jr., WR Johnathon Kinzer and injured linebacker Juan Corders as they all suit up for their final game.    


A Quick Look

The Rams are riding a two-game losing streak following a 24-21 loss to Delaware State University that came last Saturday at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C.  WSSU was unable to complete a furious comeback attempt as the Rams rallied from a 24-7 deficit before coming up just short to the Hornets 24-21 as WSSU fell to 1-8 on the season with the loss.  Like the Rams, the Eagles are coming off of a loss as they are riding a one-game losing streak after falling to Old Dominion University 42-28 last weekend in Norfolk, Va. at Foreman Field.


Television Coverage

There is no local, regional, or national television coverage for the Rams’ contest versus the Eagles.  Highlights of the game will be made available to the local media immediately following the game.  To obtain footage and highlights, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations.


The Rams On TV

Over the past seven seasons (including 2009), the WSSU football team has appeared on television 11 times and the Rams have posted a 6-5 mark while doing so.  The Rams’ have been featured on television twice this season as WSSU dropped a 19-10 decision to North Carolina A&T on Sept. 5 in a contest shown on Time Warner Cable and WSSU dropped a 34-10 decision to Florida A&M on Sept. 10 on ESPNU.


WSSU Radio

The Rams will broadcast the contest versus the Eagles live on the radio and on the Internet with DW Communications producing the broadcast on the Classics Sports Radio Network.  Donal Ware will call all the play-by-play action with Eric Curry providing color analysis.  The game will air live on WELS-AM 1010 in Kinston/Goldsboro, N.C. and WXKL-AM 1290 in Sanford, N.C. in addition to being aired live on WSSU’s flagship station, WSNC 90.5 FM in Winston-Salem, N.C.  The game will also be available online at ClassicSportsRadio.com and online at WSSU.edu by clicking on the “Listen to WSNC” link.


North Carolina Central Radio

The Eagles will air the contest live on the radio on the NCCU Sports Network on 1410 AM WRJD in Durham, N.C. with Chris Hooks calling all the play-by-play action and Sedrick Dickens providing color analysis.  The game will also air online at NCCUEaglePride.



Live Statistical Broadcast

A live statistical broadcast of the game, utilizing CBS College Sport’s Gametracker statistical software will be available on the Official Website of WSSU Athletics at WSSURams.com.  Fans may access the live stats by visiting the WSSU football schedule page and clicking on the Gametracker link.  The Eagles will also air a live statistical broadcast at NCCUEaglePride.com.


Weather Forecast

Saturday’s contest is slated to be played in chilly weather as the forecast calls for high temperatures of 62° with a low of 45° with a 10 percent chance of precipitation under partly cloudy skies.  Humidity is slated to be 63 percent with winds out of the North-Northwest at two miles per hour with a UV index of four (moderate).  Sunrise will take place at 6:51 a.m. EST and will set at 5:18 p.m. EST. 


The Series

The Eagles and Rams have met 42 times in history with the series tied at 21-21.  The two teams met last season as WSSU dropped a 23-16 decision in Durham, N.C. in WSSU’s penultimate game of the 2008 season.


The largest WSSU win in the series came in 2003 as the Rams blanked the Eagles 47-0 in a nationally-televised contest that was shown live on BET.   The largest NCCU victory came in 1969 when they handed the Rams a 57-point loss by the score of 63-6.


The longest win streak held by either team is a 10-game mark that NCCU held over the Rams from 1945-76. 


WSSU has won seven of the last 10 meetings and has won 13 of the two teams’ last 20 head-to-head meetings. 


The Rams have shut out the Eagles five times in the 41 meetings between the two teams as WSSU blanked NCCU in 1987, 1989, 1990, 2001 and 2003.


The Last Meeting

The Rams’ last meeting with the Eagles came on Nov. 15, 2008 in Durham, N.C. where the Rams dropped a difficult 23-16 decision in a contest that saw the two teams face adverse weather conditions and a sloppy field that saw the two teams combine for six total turnovers. 


The Eagles scored 17 third quarter points to erase the Rams’ seven point halftime lead en route to a 23-16 come-from-behind victory over WSSU.


Looking To Snap The Streak

The Rams will head into Saturday’s game looking to snap a cumulative six-game home losing streak that dates back to Oct. 4, 2008 when the Rams earned their last home victory, a 27-12 win over Howard


The Coaches

The Rams are coached by 17th-year man Kermit Blount, the winningest coach in WSSU football history.  Blount has posted an impressive 91-85-3 mark at WSSU and has led the Rams to a pair of conference (CIAA) titles (in 1999 and 2000).  He has posted a 9-6 overall record versus NCCU in his head coaching career and has posted a 1-1 career coaching mark versus Mose Rison.


The Eagles are coached by Mose Rison who is in his third year as North Carolina Central’s head football coach.  Rison has posted a career coaching mark of 12-18 overall and has posted a 1-1 career coaching mark versus the Rams and WSSU head coach Kermit Blount.


Sitting In First Place

With his 27-26 victory over Delaware State on Nov. 8, 2008 Winston-Salem State University head football coach Kermit Blount became the winningest coach in WSSU football history.  Blount, who is in the midst of his 17th season as the Rams’ head coach, has posted an all-time mark of 91-85-3 and with his 90th victory moved into first place atop the WSSU all-time win chart, one victory ahead of legendary WSSU head coach and soon to be Director of Athletics at WSSU, Bill Hayes.


National Rankings

The Rams and Eagles are not ranked in either of the major, national polls.  The MEAC has a pair of ranked teams as South Carolina State is ranked 10th in the Sports Network Poll and is ranked 10th in the Coaches’ Poll and the Rattlers of Florida A&M are ranked 24th in the Sports Network Poll and are 23rd in the Coaches’ Poll. 


Next Up...Following the Rams’ contest versus North Carolina Central University, WSSU will return to the road for their final game of the season as they travel to Norfolk, Va. to face the Norfolk State University Spartans on Nov. 21 at 1:00 p.m.


The meeting will be the 23rd meeting between the two programs all-time in a series that the Spartans lead 11-8-3. 


Norfolk State has won the last three meetings between the two teams (in 2006, 2007 and 2008) as the Rams have not earned a win in the series since a 13-7 win in Winston-Salem, N.C. in 1996.


The largest WSSU win over NSU was by 19 points in a 25-6 victory that came in 1981.  The largest NSU victory in the series was by a 28-point margin in a 42-14 victory that came in the 1975 season. 


WSSU’s longest win streak was a two-game span that came from 1987-88.  The Rams have won back-to-back games over the Spartans only twice.  NSU has the distinction of owning the longest winning streak in the series, a four-game span, that came from 1973-76.


The Spartans have won four of the last six meetings between the two teams as WSSU has posted a 1-4-1 record over the last five head-to-head matchups.


The two teams share common history as both programs were once part of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) before making the transition to the NCAA Division I level and moving into the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.  The Rams and Spartans met as CIAA foes 19 times before NSU moved to the MEAC in 1997.  Over that span of CIAA membership, the Rams and Spartans posted an even 8-8-3 record versus one-another.


First Division I Winning Season

With their convincing 35-10 win over the Eagles of North Carolina Central on Nov. 10, 2007, the Rams earned their first winning season at the Division I level.  WSSU recorded six wins during the 2007 season, the most wins for the Rams since making the jump from NCAA Division II to Division I.


Program History

The 2008 season was the 67th in Winston-Salem State University history.  Through nearly 68 years of play, WSSU owns a 354-284-25 (.533) record.


Injury Update

Players who are listed as OUT for Saturday’s game are:  #71 Nazir Levine (OL/Junior) with a knee injury and #50 Juan Corders (LB/Senior) with a shoulder injury.


There are no players who are listed as DOUBTFUL for Saturday’s game. 


Players who are listed as QUESTIONABLE for Saturday’s game are #89 Austin Higgins (TE/Freshman) with a knee injury.


Players listed as PROBABLE for Saturday’s game are: #23 Cedrick Hickman (RB/Sophomore-rs) with a hip injury.


Understanding The Injury Chart

The Rams use the National Football League’s injury chart model which separates injuries into four categories: (1) “Out” which indicates that a player will not play in the upcoming game and will not be dressed for the contest. (2) “Doutbful” which indicates that a player will have only a 25 percent chance of playing. (3) “Questionable” which indicates that a player will have a 50 percent chance of playing, and (4) “Probable” which indicates that a player has a 75 percent chance of playing.


Injury Information

Winston-Salem State University’s Department of Athletics abides by HIPAA, a federal privacy act with regard to the release of injury information.  WSSU athletes are required to sign a waiver before injury information is released to the media.  If the athlete chooses to withhold that information, WSSU officials will be restricted to informing media members of their playing status (playing, probable, doubtful or out).


On The Shelf

WSSU senior linebacker Juan Corders (Durham, N.C./Northern Durham HS) has announced that he will be sidelined for the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury.  The senior captain will attempt to be granted an NCAA medical redshirt year and hopes to return in 2010.  Corders has appeared in 38 career games with the Rams and has earned 30 starts.


A Quick Look At The Rams

  Winston-Salem State enters the week riding a two-game losing streak after having snapped an eight-game losing streak dating back to last year as they earned a 16-10 victory over Bethune-Cookman on Oct. 24 in Daytona Beach, Fla.


  The Rams are currently riding a six-game losing streak at home and have not won at Bowman Gray Stadium since a 34-10 victory over Howard that came on Oct. 4 of 2008.


  The Rams have not had a 100-yard rusher since Nic Cooper posted 111 yards on 11 carries with a touchdown on Nov. 22, 2008 vs. Norfolk State. 


  The Rams are looking to find consistency this season, averaging just 114.1 rushing ypg., 99.3 passing ypg, and 213.4 yards of offense overall.


  Because of its reclassification status, the Rams are not officially ranked in the NCAA FCS statistics.  However, if ranked (and not including other reclassifying teams), WSSU would be 99th in rushing; 107th in passing and 121st in total offense.


  QB Jarrett Dunston once again re-claimed the Rams’ rushing yardage lead last Saturday with his 46 yard performance.  Dunston now has 293 yards rushing on 102 carries for an average of 2.9 yards per carry and 36.6 yards per game.


  WSSU has struggled with its passing game so far, completing just 41.4 percent of its 194 passes for a total of 894 yards and nine scores.


  The Rams have favored the run in 62.9 percent of their plays.  Despite this propensity for the ground attack, the Rams are averaging marks of 4.6 yards per pass and 3.1 yard per rush.


  The Rams defense has been the more effective unit in the early going of the 2009 season, allowing just 22.0 ppg, 137.9 rushing ypg, 161.1 passing ypg and 299.0 ypg overall.


  If officially ranked among FCS teams, the Rams would be 27th against the rush and 34th in overall total defense. Their scoring defense (39th) and passing defense (47th) would also rank among the top half of teams in Division I FCS.


  Defensive Lineman Akeem Ward paces the Rams’ defense with 59 tackles (46 solo), including a team-high 9.5 TFL’s and a team-best 3.5 sacks.  Ward also has forced two fumbles and recovered another.


  Defensive back Cameron Demps is a player to watch out for on special teams, having already blocked two kicks.  Kicker Landen Thayer has made 8 of 13 field goals, including a long of 46 yards.  He is also 11 of 12 on PAT attempts and leads the team in scoring with 35 points.


  Running back John Harris leads the Rams’ kick returners with a 20.1 yard average on nine kicks, including a team-best 60-yard return.


  The Rams’ 31-yard touchdown from Jarrett Dunston to Lerenzo Barr at UC Davis marks the Rams’ longest scoring play of the season.


  Jarrett Dunston’s 152 yard passing versus UC Davis marked WSSU’s first 100-yard passing game of the season and his third career 100-yard passing game at WSSU.  Dunston followed that performance up with his fourth career 100-yard passing game as he recorded 190 yards on 12 of 16 passing versus Hampton on Oct. 31.


Giving Up The Big One

The 2009 edition of the Rams have given up 39 plays of 20 yards or more this season.  Conversely the Rams have recorded only 34 plays of 20 yards or more.  In comparison WSSU gave up only 29 long plays (20 yards or more) all of last season (11 games).


Yards Per Play Problems

The Rams are gaining only 3.7 yards per offensive play yet are yielding 4.5 yards per offensive play to their opponents.  As a direct result, the Rams have been outscored 198-107 through nine games in 2009.


Penalties Galore

Through nine games this season the Rams have committed 66 penalties for 523 yards.  That equates to 7.3 penalties per game for 58.1 yards per contest.  That is in comparison to last season when the Rams committed only 50 total penalties for 419 yards for an average of 4.54 penalties per game and 38.09 yards per game.


Avoided 0-7

The Rams’ 16-10 victory over Bethune-Cookman on Oct. 24 prevented WSSU from falling to an 0-7 start.  The Rams’ last 0-7 start came during the 1975 season when WSSU started the season 0-9 under head coach Cleo Wallace. 


Growing Up Fast

The Rams’ 2009 roster is comprised of 60 underclassmen and 34 upperclassmen.  42 of those underclassmen are freshmen with the roster being comprised of those 42 newcomers, 18 sophomores, 21 juniors and 13 seniors. 


Shore Up The Offensive Line

The young Rams’ offensive front has given up 27 sacks through nine games this season.  The Rams gave up 36 sacks all of last season.


Kicking Prowess

The Rams have had no problems at kicker this season.  Freshman Landen Thayer, a graduate of West Forsyth High School, is handling both the placekicking and punting duties for the Rams this season.  The 5-10, 185-pound Thayer has been extremely impressive in his seven career games with the Rams as he has made eight of his 13 field goal attempts and has successfully converted 11 of his 12 point after touchdown attempts.  He leads the team in scoring with 35 points.


Career Best Kick

Landed Thayer’s 46-yard field goal in overtime versus Hampton marked the freshman kickers longest career field goal as a Ram.  It also marked WSSU’s longest successful field goal since Chad Oakley’s 48-yarder in a 38-6 victory over Savannah State on Oct. 21, 2006 in a game played in Savannah, Ga.


Lowest Scoring

The Rams’ 7-3 loss to Howard marks the lowest scoring game for WSSU since a 23-0 shutout loss to Florida A&M on Oct. 9, 2008 in a game from Tallahassee, Fla.  The contest was broadcast live on ESPNU-HD. 


Power Back

The Rams got a bit of good news on Sept. 1 as they found out that redshirt sophomore running back Cedrick Hickman, a 6-1, 220-pound bruiser who transferred from North Carolina State would be eligible to play for the Rams this season.  Hickman, the 34th-ranked running back coming out of high school (Rivals.com) spent a season at Hargrave Military Academy following his career at North Forsyth High School and prior to his matriculation to North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C.  He is currently the Rams’ second-leading rusher with 263 net yards on 65 carries for an average of 4.0 yards per rush.  Hickman has two rushing touchdowns this season.


Seeing Time

The Rams are not afraid to go deep into their depth chart of personnel.  44 different players saw playing time in the Rams’ loss to North Carolina A&T; 48 different players saw playing time in the loss to Florida A&M; 44 players saw the field in WSSU’s loss to Morgan State; WSSU saw 45 players take the field versus #14 South Carolina State; 38 players played in WSSU’s loss to Howard; a season-high 52 players saw time at UC Davis; 41 players took to the field at Bethune-Cookman; 48 players stepped onto the field versus Hampton and 49 players saw playing time against Delaware State.


Start Streak Continues

Senior linebacker Chedrick Marshall pushed his consecutive start streak to 31 games last weekend versus Delaware State.  Marshall now owns the longest active start streak on the WSSU roster.


Former Ram Playing Well In NFL

Former WSSU defensive end William Hayes is playing well in his second NFL season.  Hayes, a standout defensive end for the Rams that appeared in 29 games for WSSU was selected by the Tennessee Titans with the 103rd overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.  Hayes finished his rookie campaign in 2008 with 21 tackles, a sack, two quarterback pressures, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a pass defended.  He is currently listed behind former NFL All-Pro Jevon Kearse on the Titans depth chart.  Hayes currently has 27 total tackles in 2009 as he has collected 19 solo tackles, eight assisted tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble in eight appearances with Tennessee this season.  Hayes earned the first start of his NFL career on Sunday, Oct. 11 when the Titans faced the Indianapolis Colts.  Hayes has started the Titans last four games. 


The Courage Of Stephen Young

In 2008 Stephen Young turned in one of the most impressive freshman campaigns in WSSU history.  Young ranked seventh on the team in tackles with 41 total tackles and recorded a team-leading 10 tackles for loss.  As well Young recorded five sacks, forced one fumble and recovered three others.  Despite a shoulder injury that many thought would end his season, Young has returned to the WSSU lineup and in seven appearances this season he has collected 20 solo tackles, 14 assisted tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and one sack as well as a pair of forced fumbles.


Low Scoring

Thus far in 2009 the Rams have scored only 107 points through eight games for an average of 11.6 points per game.  The Rams have scored over 10 points in only four games this season.  The Rams’ 11.6 points per game marks the lowest scoring output for WSSU since the 1975 season when the Rams scored only 6.6 points per game.  WSSU was shut out five times during the 1975 season.  The Rams current scoring output marks the fourth lowest points per game average in the history of the program.  The three worse scoring averages came in 1975 (6.6 ppg); 1940 (3.3 ppg) and 1945 (3.1 ppg). 


Beaten All But Two

Since the Rams’ transition to the NCAA Division I level, WSSU has beaten every team in the MEAC at least once, except for two.  The Rams have never beaten the Spartans of Norfolk State or the Bulldogs of South Carolina State since making the move from Division II to Division I.  Since making the move to NCAA Division I the Rams have posted a 11-21 record versus MEAC opponents.


Division I Transition Decision

Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) announced on Sept. 11 that it would inform the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference (MEAC) that the university intends to remain a Division II institution for intercollegiate athletics. The process to remain in Division II will begin immediately, but the school will continue to compete in the MEAC at the Division I level through the 2009-2010 season.


At a special called meeting, the university’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to support the recommendation of Chancellor Donald J. Reaves to bring to a close the reclassification to Division I process that was begun in 2004. Reaves praised the vision of former WSSU chancellors who had supported the move to Division I, but stated that “in the final analysis the resources to complete the reclassification simply were not available, currently nor prospectively, in sufficient amounts”.


“This decision is probably the hardest one I have ever had to make because I believe that WSSU belongs in Division I,” said Chancellor Reaves. “If there were any reasonable way to complete this transition without diverting resources from competing academic priorities, I would have recommended that we stay the course.


“Over the past two years, we have continued to be concerned that budgetary constraints would not allow us to successfully complete the transition,” Reaves added. “As the athletics deficits continued to mount, there appeared to be no rational way we could continue the process. I believe that this is the right decision for WSSU at this point in time given our resources.


“Our goal now is to complete the move to NCAA Division II and find a conference home for our athletic program before the 2010-2011 season begins. We have been reviewing all of the options in our region and our preference would be to return to the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA). We will, however, have to complete the reclassification process with the NCAA and file a letter of interest with Commissioner Leon Kerry at the CIAA.”


The spending side of the budget for the WSSU athletics program has grown during the three-year period of 2005-2006 through 2008-2009 from approximately $2.88 million to $5.58 million while total revenue grew from $2.07 million to $3.77 million. Just for the fiscal year that ended June 30, the athletic program generated a deficit of approximately $1.8 million. The increase in expenses was directly connected to the transition to Division I which requires that an institution field a minimum of 14 teams and add substantially more resources such as scholarships, coaches and facilities.


“While our expenses have increased as one would reasonably expect, the budget problem that we have encountered is a revenue-side problem” Reaves added. “Currently, nearly 80% of total revenue comes from a single source, student fees. While the university has the second highest athletic fee in the UNC system, our fee is among the lowest in the MEAC where we are competing. With the size of our student body, it became evident that we were always going to be at a financial disadvantage.”


UNC President Erskine Bowles also expressed support for Chancellor Reaves’ recommendation. “I know that Chancellor Reaves explored every viable option before reaching this difficult decision, but in the end WSSU - like every other UNC campus - must operate its athletic department on a fiscally responsible basis. And it cannot put the burden of doing so all on the backs of its students. Particularly in light of current economic conditions, Chancellor Reaves made the hard - but right - choice to put academic priorities ahead of athletic aspirations.”


“Even though the decision has been made to remain at Division II, we will continue to develop options for increasing revenue for our athletic program,” said Reaves. “We have increased our marketing efforts for the 2009 football season and we hope that will support our efforts to increase ticket sales, sponsorships and other fund-raising activities.”


The process of reclassifying the WSSU athletic program to Division II will begin with a letter of intent to the NCAA Division II Membership Services Sub-Committee. The university will also have to reduce the size of its athletic program from the Division I to the Division II level, which includes reducing the number of athletic scholarships. There also may need to be reductions in the size of the athletic staff in order to generate the savings needed to run the program within the parameters of the resources that are available.


“With regard to our students-athletes, some of whom will be affected by this decision, we will be working with each affected-student to ensure that to the extent possible they are held harmless. Those who may be affected by this move, either through loss of scholarship or the move from Division I athletics, will be given as much guidance and assistance as possible,” Reaves explained. “While our athletic program is very important to the university, our number one short-term priority is the well-being of our student-athletes.”


About Winston-Salem State University

Winston-Salem State University (WSSU), a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, is a public university founded in 1892 in Winston-Salem, NC. WSSU is a historically black university that today is a recognized regional institution offering baccalaureate and graduate programs to a diverse student population. U.S. News and World Report has ranked the university among Top Public Comprehensive Colleges in the South -- Bachelor’s Category for the last nine years (2001-2009). WSSU currently offers more than 40 baccalaureate and 10 master’s degree programs to a student population of more than 6,400.


Student Athlete Contact

Home and cellular telephone numbers for student-athletes will not be provided and players have been instructed not to accept calls from media members without prior notice from the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations.  Please do not attempt to make contact with WSSU student-athletes or coaches without scheduling the interview through the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations.


WSSU Football Practices

The WSSU football team practices at the dual-field practice facility located adjacent to the Bowman Gray Stadium Fieldhouse (at the Civitan Park site).  The new state-of-the-art practice facility officially opened in the spring of 2009.  Practices are open to the media and are the opportune time for lengthy print or television interviews.  Practice times vary according to academic schedules, so please contact the Office of Athletic Media Relations and Assistant Director of Athletics, Chris Zona for the specifics.


Weekly Football Press Conference

The Winston-Salem State University football team will hold a weekly press conference/media day every Wednesday during the season at 11:00 a.m. in the Media and Hospitality Lounge of the WSSU Athletic Fieldhouse, located on the upper level of the WSSU Athletic Fieldhouse.  The weekly press conference is open to any member of the working media.  The first press conference of the season will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 2 with the remainder of the weekly press conferences to be held every Wednesday prior to a Saturday game.  The remaining press conferences will occur on September 16, 23 and 30, October 14, 21 and 28, Nov. 4, 11 and Nov. 18.  The only exception to the 2009 weekly press conference schedule will be the week of the Rams’ Sept. 10 contest at Florida A&M.  Due to time constraints imposed by the Thursday evening television contest, the Rams will not hold a weekly press conference the week of Sept. 6-12.  At all weekly press conferences head coach Kermit Blount and select players will be on hand to give general comments and field questions.  Requests for the attendance of specific players must be made no later than Monday at 11:00 am prior to the upcoming press conference.  Following the press conference, a complimentary lunch will be served to all members of the working media.


Mid-Week Interviews

All interviews with Winston-Salem State University football student-athletes and coaches should be arranged through Chris Zona in the Office of Athletic Media Relations.  Please make interview arrangements at least 24 hours in advance.  Most interviews will be arranged to start prior to practice or, with time permitting, will be scheduled to take place on the Rams’ weekly media day (Wednesday).  Players will not do interviews on game day, except for postgame interviews.  Telephone interviews may also be arranged through the Office of Athletic Media Relations.


Official Web Site

Parents, fans, and alumni from around the world can tune into Winston-Salem State University football on the official Internet site of Winston-Salem State University athletics, WSSURAMS.com.  In addition to having all the up-to-date information on WSSU athletics, all games broadcast on WSNC 90.5 FM radio will air live on the Rams’ website as well.


WSSU Athletics On Twitter

Follow all of the latest, breaking news on WSSU athletics on Twitter at twitter.com/WSSUAthletics.  Scoring updates, game analysis and post game wrap-ups will be posted live on the Rams’ and Lady Rams’ Twitter account.  Create an account of your own and follow the WSSU action. 


Post-Game Procedures

The WSSU locker room is closed to the media.  At all home games, the post-game interview format will be as follows: After a 10 minute, NCAA mandated cooling off period the visiting coach will be escorted to the media room/area.  After all visiting interviews are completed, WSSU Head Coach Kermit Blount and all requested WSSU players will report to the media room/area.  The media room is located on the upper level of the WSSU Athletic Fieldhouse which is located in the north end zone of Bowman Gray Stadium (contact a WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations staff member for additional information).  If the visiting team’s locker room is closed to the media, interviews with opposing-team players are generally held outside the locker room in the hallway (contact the opposing team’s SID for additional information).


WSSU Media Services

A media packet including, but not limited to, a game program, game notes, lineups, roster cards and statistics will be available for each media member before the game.  During the game, quickie statistics will be distributed after each quarter of play.  Complete play-by-play, scoring summaries, individual, and team statistics will be distributed following each half and at the conclusion of the game in the postgame package.  A media meal is provided and is usually served 60 minutes prior to kick-off.  Only credentialed media will be allowed in the media dining room.  A fax machine will be provided for media use on a first-come, first-serve basis.  There is no charge for this service.  Statistical monitors will be provided for live TV, both radio stations, the Winston-Salem Journal, and the Associated Press.  High-speed Internet access is available in the media room and in all press areas.