Tuskegee University has a long, storied history that includes the most wins in HBCU football history. One thing that it does not have — lights above Cleve Abbott Stadium. But former head football coach and current Director of Athletics Reginald Ruffin thinks it is time to change that.
In a recent Facebook post, Ruffin addressed the Tuskegee University supporters and alumni asking for feedback on the addition of lights to the historic stadium, which broke ground in 1924.
One of the first reasons listed was one Allen Iverson would love — PRACTICE.
“Coaches have to schedule different practices times to meet the NCAA minimum practice hours,” Ruffin wrote. “Not having full team participation for practices and dividing up practice time to fit in practices each day. Currently we have a few teams practicing at 8:00pm to fit in practice hours.”
Ruffin also says mid-day games are too hot, and a health hazard.
“Not protecting the student athletes, visiting teams, and fans in the stands,” he wrote. “Currently we have limited service in Macon County with EMT’s. The football games cannot continue when the EMT’s are transporting people from the stands to the hospital.”
Perhaps the biggest reason to add the lights — it’s impacting the competitiveness of the team, according to Ruffin.
We have had 6 games between baseball and softball called because of darkness and not be able to finish the series. This is not fair to the coaches and student athletes. I know you remember as Head Football Coach I made the decision to go for it on 4th down at homecoming. It was because the referee had already said the game would be called and continued on Sunday morning because of darkness. Well you know the outcome but I was placed in a tough decision that worked out and it could have went the other way!!!
Ruffin did not give a specific amount needed to raise for the lights, but he asked if supporters would be willing to contribute $75-100 to the effort.