Posted: Aug 8, 2012 5:22 PM
JEFFERSON CITY -- The Lincoln football team will play Grambling State, one of the most successful historically black Division I universities, at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri on September 14, 2013. Betty Kemna, Lincoln's Director of Athletics, made the announcement on Wednesday.
The game, which will be called the Kansas City Classic, was made possible when Truman State announced it was leaving the MIAA. The current football scheduling structure of the MIAA requires all conference teams to play an entirely league schedule. When Truman State, one of LU's scheduled opponents for the 2013 season, announced it was leaving the league, the MIAA made the decision to let teams fill the open date with an opponent of their choosing, allowing the Blue Tigers to schedule a contest against another HBCU.
"The opportunity to add an HBCU institution to the schedule was appealing, and then having the opponent be Grambling State was an even greater draw for us to participate," Kemna said. "I am looking forward to working with the (Lincoln) Alumni Association and the Greater Kansas City Alumni Chapter in having this Classic be a huge success."
Grambling State, which plays in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, an NCAA Division I FCS conference, has won 14 Black College National Football Championships since 1955. The Tigers rose to prominence under legendary head coach Eddie Robinson, who compiled a 408-165-15 record in 56 years at Grambling State. The Tigers have sent over 100 former players to the NFL, including current head coach Doug Williams, who, as the quarterback for the Washington Redskins, was the MVP of Super Bowl XXII.
"I think this is a great opportunity on several levels," said Mike Jones, the head coach of the Lincoln football team. "I think this will be a great tribute to Eddie Robinson. It's always nice when we can play other historically black institutions, and this will be a chance for our players to play in an NFL stadium."
The Kansas City Classic will be played at Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs. The game will mark the first game between the Blue Tigers and another HBCU program since October 30, 2010, when Lincoln played at Langston.