A pair of HBCU football teams will meet in the backyard of an FBS power in less than 80 days.
Ohio Stadium, home of the Ohio State Buckeyes will host Central State and Kentucky State in the Classic for Columbus on Aug.28.
While the matchup certainly isn’t unusual, the location is.
HBCU classics often are routinely played in NFL stadiums or in venues that act as bowl sites.
The Columbus Classic, according to the Columbus Dispatch, was originally scheduled to be played at Historic Crew Stadium, home of the MLS Columbus Crew.
But those plans changed with COVID-19 protocols significantly limiting attendance.
That left The Shoe as the only arena that could accommodate the game.
“This is a wonderful venue,” CSU athletic director Tara A. Owens, told The Dispatch. “Where else in the state of Ohio would you want to play other than here? So this is a great experience for us as an institution as well as our student-athletes, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to play on this level. For these entities to come together and create such a diverse environment for an HBCU Classic is super exciting.”
Current Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith touted “scholarship dollars” that would be generated for the participating programs.
Columbus Classic organizers anticipate that more than $300,000 to be raised for scholarships.
The last time two HBCUs played in Ohio Stadium was in 1995 when Central State met Langston.
CSU leads the all-time series against Kentucky State with a 36-23-1 record.