Is anybody ready for some HBCU football? Apparently, the UCLA Bruins are. For the first time in the school’s history, UCLA will line up and play football against a historically black college or university. Make that two.
The Bruins announced that they will have the honor of playing host at the Rose Bowl to Alabama State University and to North Carolina Central University. UCLA has scheduled to play Alabama State on Sept 10, 2022. North Carolina Central will travel to Southern California to play the Bruins on Sept. 16, 2023.
Alabama State plays in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), while North Carolina Central hails out of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).
“Adding two HBCUs to our football schedule is special,” said the Alice and Nahum Lainer Family Director of Athletics Martin Jarmond. “It’s exciting to give our student-athletes and fans a new experience and to bring a little bit of the South to Southern California.”
By adding Alabama State and North Carolina Central University to their football slate, the Bruins and the rest of the SoCal will get the HBCU experience live as both schools are expected to bring their highly touted marching bands with them for their west coast trip. This should be a special treat.
Alabama State’s “The Mighty Marching Hornets” picked up nationwide juice when they performed with Beyonce on Netflix’s Homecoming. NCCU will make some noise of their own with “The Sound Machine Marching Band.” The two slots picked up by Alabama State and NCCU was made possible when Michigan cut its contract with the Bruins in 2019.
In addition to playing Alabama State and NCCU, UCLA will take the field against LSU this fall and in 2024 as well as going up against Georgia in 2025 and 2026.