Samuel L. Jackson keeps it 100 about the decline of HBCU football

When you think of Samuel L. Jackson and HBCUs, you probably think of School Daze. And for good reason, Jackson’s portrayal of Leeds — everyone’s least favorite local — was one of his early memorable roles.

It turns out that Jackson doesn’t hate college kids. Even better, he actually loves black college football.

The Morehouse alum told The Undefeated’s Kelley L. Carter that his favorite team of all-time is none other than Tennessee State. He also fondly remembered being a fan of Florida A&M’s band growing up.

“I love going to [historically black colleges and universities] HBCU games. When we had time to kill, I used to go to Jackson State games, which was awesome because it was always the battle of the bands at halftime. It’s just one of those HBCU things — I love going to those games.”

He said he watches HBCU games on TV, even though they are “horrible.”

But Jackson kept it real about why that is:

“All the good brothers go to the other schools now. Back in the day, you know, Grambling, Tennessee State, FAMU, all those schools, that’s where people like Bob Hayes [played] … and I remember Joe Gilliam playing football at Tennessee State. That’s when all the guys … before they could get into those schools … or white schools discovered, ‘Hey, we need these brothers.’ So, now, you know, the football programs have been slightly diluted, but the bands are still great.”

He didn’t say anything readers of this blog don’t know, but any fan of HBCU sports and culture is needed, especially a mega-star like Jackson.



  1. Darion Hall

    June 28, 2016 at 3:14 am

    TSU! “Jefferson Street Joe” Gilliam!

  2. Dude

    June 28, 2016 at 4:05 am

    I don't know why you guy seem to insist on blogging about some celeb or former hbcu player repeating the same ole tired line about how bad hbcu football is.

  3. Julius Coxswain

    June 28, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    I would not describe all HBCU football as horrible, but it is hard to argue that present-day HBCU football is better than pre-integration HBCU football. I hope Sam cuts a few checks to help out some HBCU football programs. Raising awareness is nice, raising money is even better.

  4. HBCU Gameday

    June 28, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Let's use some perspective here about Sam and what he said. He grew up watching Tennessee State when they were consistently producing first-second round draft picks. None of those players would even look at TSU or any other HBCU today. So when he says its horrible, he's looking at the product he grew up with.

  5. Fred Aldridge

    June 28, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Good stuff

  6. Jss Pss

    June 28, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    He's right most HBCU football teams are horrible but I still find the atmosphere of the HBCU football games just as entertaining (if not more fun) than the “bigger schools”. I rather go to the Bayou Classic then the Sugar Bowl anyday.

  7. Dr Jay Ash

    June 30, 2016 at 1:19 am

    No need to get sensitive. He's telling the truth. Until the revolution reaches all of us we will continue to strive for acceptance in White spaces. The NFL, Nike, Adidas, etc. would come look at the next Jerry Rice even if he played in Ita Bena sp Mississippi. But Blacks have continued to aspire to be in a White space because they want colder ice, greener grass and Massas love and promise to feed us.

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