Make no mistake, COVID-19 and its worldwide impact dominated the headlines in every way that mattered. To use a sports analogy, COVID-19 is currently on a two-year winning streak, disrupting anything and everything in its path.
However, it didn’t stop the HBCU sports world from making news, and it didn’t stop HBCU Sports from reporting it.
The year 2021 provided us with a unique opportunity to witness not one, but two seasons of college football.
We witnessed coaching chaos at Grambling State, which ultimately resulted in the firing of Broadrick Fobbs and the hiring of former NFL coach Hue Jackson.
North Carolina A&T, known for its football program, made its presence felt nationally and internationally in the sport of track, while Paul Quinn College literally made a statement with its basketball court.
Deion Sanders not only made headlines when he managed to secure one of the nation’s top recruits, but he also led his Jackson State football squad to a record-setting winning season that ultimately ended to MEAC member South Carolina State in the Celebration Bowl.
One could argue that South Carolina State’s Celebration Bowl victory was the ultimate exclamation mark to a statement the MEAC issued earlier in 2021 due to comments Sanders made about the conference’s future.
Using data we’ve retrieved from analytic and social media reports from the past year, below are the 30 most-read stories from 2021.
Happy New Year!
30. ‘Don’t know what they’re missing’: What is it like going to a Jackson State football game? This Ole Miss fan explains
29. North Carolina A&T’s Cambrea Sturgis wins 100m and 200m national titles, makes NCAA history
28. Chris Paul, Jackson State team up with Bleacher Report to launch HBCU apparel line
27. Update: Alcorn State to opt-out of 2021 spring football season
26. Bench-clearing brawl ends Howard-Virginia Lynchburg game before halftime
25. Deion Sanders issues apology to Southern for ‘idiots’ involved in postgame altercation
24. Terry Bowden was the only coach to beat Jackson State in the fall. He explains how South Carolina State can stand a chance
23. Leading the G-men: Here are potential candidates Grambling State could target
22. SWAC newcomer Florida A&M loads up its future schedules with Power 5 opponents
21. Tyrone Wheatley supports Deion Sanders’ HBCU super conference dream scenario
20. ULS president addresses complaint filed by Grambling football team, expresses full support of school president
19. No bands allowed for classic games, SWAC announces band travel restrictions for 2021 spring season
18. Tuskegee marching band threatens boycott: ‘We will no longer allow ourselves to be exploited’
17. Eddie George not pleased Tennessee State is playing home games ‘in front of nobody’
16. Jackson State completes national signing period with top-ranked FCS class, best among HBCUs
15. Meet the recruiting service that helped Jackson State win National Signing Day
14. Former Grambling football assistant reacts to firing of Broderick Fobbs: ‘Good luck trying to fill those shoes’
13. Grambling State removes Kendrick Nord from coaching staff
12. Alabama A&M makes statement on National Signing Day with transfer portal raid
11. Deion Sanders claims an HBCU never recruited him, but a former FAMU coach tells a different story
10. Tennessee State coach Eddie George tells Deion Sanders how he will navigate newfound challenge
9. Grambling football team expresses lack of confidence in school president, files complaint with ULS board
8. Kentucky State, Virginia State considering move up to Division I to join MEAC
7. North Carolina A&T men’s track wins 400m and 4×400 relay championships
6. ‘We’ve got players, too’: Dawson Odums not here to praise Deion Sanders-led Jackson State
5. Former Jackson State quarterback Jalon Jones finds new home
4. Report: Southland Conference targeting Prairie View, Texas Southern, Grambling, and Southern as potential members
3. ‘That’s what happens when you’re an HBCU’: Connell Maynor disappointed after Alabama A&M shut out by FCS voters
2. The best college basketball court in America is at an HBCU
1. MEAC issues statement regarding comments made by Jackson State coach Deion Sanders