Morgan State University will kick off it’s 2012 football season with a matchup against Sacred Heart University on Sept. 1. But perhaps the most prominent game Morgan State will play this season doesn’t come until Nov. 17, when they face Hampton University in the 41st annual New York Urban League Classic, which will be played at the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

Morgan State and Hampton have faced each other in the NYUL Classic before, the last time being a Hampton victory in 2006 in the 37th annual event. But this will be the first time the two schools square off in the Yankees’ new ballpark, which opened in 2009.

The NYUL Classic–also known as the Whitney Young Football Classic, named after the former President of the NYUL–was played in the original Yankee Stadium from the 1970s until 1987. The game then moved to the old Giants Stadium at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J., the home of the NFL’s New York Giants and New York Jets. Giants Stadium was demolished in 2010, and replaced by the new MetLife Stadium, which hosted the 2011 N.Y. Urban League Classic before a contract was inked and returned the game to the Bronx in 2012 and 2013.

Morgan State has been selected to play in the Classic eight times in the last 10 years, with four of those meetings against Hampton at the old Giants stadium; Hampton won three of those four meetings. MSU also played in a majority of the annual classic’s games held at the original Yankee Stadium, facing Grambling University 11 times in the event’s first 20 years. But Morgan State won only one of those 11 games again Grambling.

Morgan State, however, is currently on a winning streak at the event after facing Howard in the annual classic in 2010 and 2011 and winning both meetings.

According to reports, over the last 41 years, the NYUL Classic has helped generate more than $20 million in donations to the Whitney Young Educational Scholarship fund, which assisted nearly 4,000 students go to college.

Current NYUL President and CEO Arva Rice stated on the league’s website that the Urban League maintains its 90-plus-year mission of enabling African Americans to secure first class education, economic self-reliance and equal respect of their civil rights through programs, services and advocacy in our highly diversified city.”

“The football classic is made possible through the steadfast support of key supporters and the tireless work of our football committee,” Rice wrote. “We hope that you enjoy the festivities, and stay connected to the education and employment work of the New York Urban League in the years to come.”


Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor