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ASU AD: Bigger schools ‘scared’ to play Rams on football field

Albany State athletic director Richard Williams believes football teams are afraid to play the Rams.

Albany State athletic director Richard Williams believes football teams are afraid to play the Rams.

ALBANY — Albany State’s 2012 football schedule is one of the toughest in recent years.

Before the Rams enter their grueling conference schedule, they will be battle tested with a trio of non-conference games against three teams that are no strangers to postseason success.

On Friday, ASU interim Director of Athletics Richard Williams said he has tried to make that schedule even tougher.

During the annual Quarterback Club Football Kickoff Reception, Williams said he has tried to add several larger schools — such as Division I Alabama State — to ASU’s schedule.

The only problem, Williams said to a room full of supporters, is that those larger programs are scared.

“I’ve been approached often with the (question), ‘Why don’t we play the FAMUs, the Bethune-Cookmans and the Norfolk States?’ ” Williams said. “If you can understand, because we have had such a rich tradition and rich history of Golden Ram football, to be honest they are scared. They are scared that someone from Albany, a smaller program but mighty in force, to come down and run the gamut on them.”

Williams later added: “We have called Alabama State. ... For these schools, it’s a travesty for a D-II to beat a D-I school. So again, that fear factor plays a part in it.”

ASU coach Mike White added that there are other issues to consider when playing a Division I team.

“Playoff-wise, when we play the D-I teams, it counts as a loss,” White said. “You can beat Savannah (St.) all you want and play any team, but they are going to punish you when it comes to playoffs. It’s just like you lost to a team.”

That scenario arose last year when the Rams were on the playoff bubble and could have used another win to improve their chances to make the postseason.

And even though they beat Savannah State in the season opener, 37-34, it counted as a loss in the eyes of the Division II playoff selection committee.

“I know you want to see different competition, like Alabama State and other teams. We would like it also, but that is kind of how that works out,” White said. “Even though we beat Savannah last year, it was like a loss for us when the playoffs came up.”

The Rams have made recent attempts to strengthen their schedule, adding Division II powerhouses Valdosta State and Wingate last year and North Greenville, Wingate and Elizabeth City State this season.

But still, the fans in attendance at Friday’s reception wanted more.

“It’s not just a matter of picking up the phone and saying, ‘I want to play,’ ” Williams explained. “A lot of times it’s a lot of background noise and information that we have to iron out prior to.”

Williams indicated that larger schools aren’t the only programs scared to add Albany State to their schedule.

With ASU’s conference divided into two divisions, this season will be the second in a row that the East Division’s Rams won’t meet up with West Division’s Tuskegee in the regular season.

The rivalry between ASU and Tuskegee goes back to 1970, and the teams share 19-19-1 records against each other in 39 career meetings.

One question Williams addressed Friday was if the two teams could schedule a game at the beginning of the season that would count as a non-conference game.

“It’s not forbidden,” Williams said about playing a conference team before the seven-game conference season begins. “Actually I made that call. Again, being the mighty Golden Rams that we are, even schools within the (conference), if they don’t have to play us, they don’t want to. To be honest, they don’t want to. We would love to have a Tuskegee game. We wanted that game, but the love that we want for that game is not shared.”

Valdosta State, another ASU rival, was left off the Rams’ schedule this season, but Williams implied that the in-state rivalry could be renewed in the near future.

“We are looking forward to meet soon. I can’t speak on that as of yet, but it’s something that we really, really want to do because you are asking for it. And we want it,” Williams said. “Again, this year was just a matter of schedules. The Gulf South Conference schedules differently than how we schedule it.”

Valdosta State coach David Dean told The Herald last month at the Peach State Pigskin Preview at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in Macon that he sees the two rivals meeting on the field again soon.

“One day we will get (ASU) back on our schedule,” Dean said. “We would love to play them because of the proximity, but there are underlying issues of when you have to schedule and what you have to do.”

The two South Georgia teams renewed their 30-year-old rivalry last season for the first time since 2007, but it was just a one-year contract that didn’t carry over to this season.

Comments

Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

They's prolly a reason but I don't think "scared" is it.

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Shinedownfan 2 years, 2 months ago

Maybe they are scared for their safety "off the field". I'm sure it has nothing to do with the "Golden Rams Rich Tradition".

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bubbasmithredneck 2 years, 2 months ago

they are scared........RAMS ARE TUFF

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hotdog 2 years, 2 months ago

Then move up....perhaps ASU is scared of that.....

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TRUTH101 2 years, 2 months ago

If you know nothing about HBCU football please keep your mouth shut. Williams is correct. Most FCS HBCUs will not play ASU because they know it is a good chance they will lose. As much as I hate to say it, FCS HBCUs are FCS only in name. They can not compete with the GaSoutherns and App State. Most playoff D2 football programs would drag FAMU, SCSU, Bama State, Jackson State, BCU, etc through the mud.

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dominiquedamac 2 years, 2 months ago

You are so wrong. Couple years ago, Jackson State had blowed out Delta State. Most of every FCS's school has alot of major Division 1 transfers. Div 2 has some but not like FCS schools. ASU can barely win in the playoffs. ASU has won 3 playoff games in their whole playoff history.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

But....! They was recently the Black National Champion! Or was it National Black Champion? I forget. But they lost the following week, I do remember that!

But they still got rings.

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dominiquedamac 2 years, 2 months ago

Keyword is Black! National Champions. That is for only black colleges. That has nothing to do with the playoffs or anything.

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TRUTH101 2 years, 2 months ago

Hmmmmm I could have sworn that was the year we had a bye and beat Wingate in the playoffs... shrugs.......

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TRUTH101 2 years, 2 months ago

They did not blow out Delta and keep in mind that Delta beat JSU 2 years prior to the game you are talking about. As for the games ASU has won yothe sad part is that we still have more playoff victories than any other HBCU in recent times ( 1994-present).

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dominiquedamac 2 years, 2 months ago

The score was 32 to 17. The game wasn't close at all. Winning 3 playoff games isn't nothing to brag about. LOL!

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hotdog 2 years, 2 months ago

What do they have to gain by playing ASU? ASU should move up play in the SWAC or MEAC.....more money to be made taking that route....playing miles CAU, Lane,etc is a waste... As is playing VSU...NOT BEATING THEM ANYWAY....

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VSU 2 years, 2 months ago

This coming from a school that was scared to put VSU on their schedule because they were tired of getting their butts kicked by VSU. VSU is what 16-1 against ASU?

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TRUTH101 2 years, 2 months ago

“We are looking forward to meet soon. I can’t speak on that as of yet, but it’s something that we really, really want to do because you are asking for it. And we want it,” Williams said. “Again, this year was just a matter of schedules. The Gulf South Conference schedules differently than how we schedule it.”

Put that VSU education to use and read..........its fundamental

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VSU 2 years, 2 months ago

Put a sock in it truth, I heard that tough talk before and it was proved that talk is cheap. The only thing that is fundamental is that VSU has dominated the series. For two years I ragged ASU for not playing VSU and ASU fans said just wait until we play VSU, we will show you whose the best team. So ASU put VSU on the schedule and the results was another VSU victory. Face it, VSU beats ASU at everything..Football, Basketball, Baseball, Softball, you name it. If they had a marbles contest, VSU would probably win that as well.

A matter of schedules indeed! A matter of being afraid of putting VSU on the schedule. I remember that year that ASU got their one win against VSU. They met again in the playoffs that same year and ASU had a 24-0 halftime lead and then totally choked in the second half and VSU came back and won the game. Of course ASU fans blamed it on the rain, but VSU had to play in the rain as well and didn't stop them from coming back to win. If anything the rain should have made it harder for VSU to come back, but unlike ASU, VSU didn't quit.

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TRUTH101 2 years, 2 months ago

SMH....This article is about Albany State..... NO ONE CARES ABOUT VSU!!!!! Not even your own fans/students!!!!!!!

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VSU 2 years, 2 months ago

This article says schools are afraid of playing ASU, so this article is about every school out there. Nobody cares about ASU, but you're just upset because ASU can't beat VSU.

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TRUTH101 2 years, 2 months ago

It is more than obvious that you care about ASU. We stay on your mind. If you want the herald to write more about vsu then ask them to. There is no need to hijack every ASU article with your rants about the great vsu that no one goes to see. SMH The team has a National Championship and still cant get more than 2,000 fans to come out......Well unless they are playing ASU or FVSU.

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VSU 2 years, 2 months ago

Don't hate me because VSU kicks ASU Butts in every sport.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

......cricket......cricket.......chirrrppp.......chiiirrrrrppppppp........ZZZZZzzzzzzz.....

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tywebb 2 years, 2 months ago

There's a reason williams is just the interim! what a moron! scared? are you kidding me? sounds like they need to have coach white as the AD.....or we can just give 'em murphree back

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hornets 2 years, 2 months ago

Mr. Athletic Director, The notion that Alabama State would be "scared" to play Albany State is downright laughable and borders on insanity. The Hornets play a 9 game conference schedule and with a standing Turkey Day Classic game, that leaves only 1 out of conference game for ASU (the REAL one LOL ) to play. Last year, we played FBS Eastern Michigan. This year, we will play in the MEAC/SWAC challenge against Bethune (on ESPN, make sure you watch). Next year, I hear we play Kentucky (not Ky State, but Kentucky Wildcats). I'm sure you would love for your Rams to step up and play a mighty team like the Hornets, but please know that we can't schedule every school who wants to play us and the fact that we can't doesn't mean we're "scared". However, seeing that we are opening our new 30K seat stadium this year, perhaps we'll be looking to schedule some schools to come play us in Montgomery. Who knows, maybe our AD will look your way then.

Until then, peace

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