Local college notebook: MEAC gains NCAA bid in football

Delaware State still has to prove that it can challenge for the MEAC title in football.

But if the Hornets can win the championship, they know there’s an NCAA Division I FCS playoff waiting for them.

In signing off on a spring FCS national playoff this week, the NCAA also announced that the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference will have an automatic tournament berth.

The MEAC hasn’t had an automatic bid since 2014, just before it agreed to send its champion to the Celebration Bowl to face the SWAC winner.

DelState’s only appearance in the FCS or I-AA tourney came in 2007.

“I am excited for our student-athletes and coaches to participate in the FCS playoffs,” said MEAC commissioner Dennis E. Thomas.
“Furthermore, the MEAC is primed to make history this spring with its first-ever championship game and it is exciting to make that sort of history in our 50th anniversary.”

After all 13 FCS conferences decided not to play football this fall because of the conronavirus pandemic, the NCAA is permitting teams to play an eight-game schedule in the spring. Most leagues plan to have schools play conference-only schedules.

The first MEAC championship game is planned for the weekend of April 16-18.

The spring NCAA playoff field has been cut from 24 to 16 teams with 11 automatic qualifiers. The tourney is slated to run from April 24 to May 15.

Dover’s Clark commits

Dover High’s Superia Clark has verbally accepted a lacrosse scholarship to Syracuse.

A standout in both lacrosse and field hockey, Clark is just starting her junior year with the Senators.

In a story on SI.com’s Syracuse page, Clark said she liked the New York school because of its biochemistry department. But she also said that Syracuse’s national reputation in athletics didn’t hurt, either.

“Well, big names aren’t supposed to matter, but Syracuse, I mean who wouldn’t want to go there?” Clark was quoted. “Academics of course come first but I also like a good balance and a great challenge also. So I feel like Syracuse would really challenge me lacrosse-wise and academically.”

On the field

Leddie Brown, the former one-year Smyrna High standout running back, ran for 123 yards and a pair of touchdowns on just 10 carries in the West Virginia Mountaineers’ opener against Eastern Kentucky.

A junior, Brown has 936 rushing yards in 22 career games going into West Virginia’s game today at No. 11 Oklahoma State.

Milford High grad Brion Murray is second on the depth chart at one of the cornerback spots for No. 20 Virginia Tech, which opens its schedule against North Carolina State today.

A year ago, in his first season with the Hokies, Murray played in 11 games with one start.

The recent news that the Big 10 is going to play football this fall means that former Smyrna High All-State lineman Sal Wormley should get on the field.

The sophomore came out of spring practice second on the Nittany Lions’ depth chart at left guard. Penn State opens it schedule at Indiana on Oct. 24.