For Greene County News
Central State University and Kentucky State University will continue their longstanding rivalry at the 33rd Circle City Classic this September. This year’s game will take place at 3 p.m. on Sept. 24 in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind.
“It is truly an honor to be playing in one of the premier HBCU football classics. This will be our third year playing on this stage and we can’t wait for another opportunity to showcase our talent,” CSU head coach Cedric Pearl said. “We continue to show our appreciation to the Indiana Black Expo and the city of Indianapolis for allowing Central State to continue to be a part of this great event.”
The game will be the third straight year the Circle City Classic has played host to the CSU-KSU rivalry, which dates back to 1947. CSU currently owns a 35-20-1 advantage in the all-time series with the only tie coming in 1957. KSU has found recent success in the series, including last year’s 21-14 win. CSU senior defensive back Clim Robbins talked about the team’s mindset about the 2016 rematch.
“KSU edged us last season on the final drive of the game and we are determined to come back to Lucas Oil Stadium and deliver our best performance and hopefully we can come out on top.” Robbins said. “It is truly a blessing to be a part of this game and our team is working extremely hard this offseason to get better and build on last season’s 5-5 record. We all believe that the harder we work, the harder it is to lose.”
With CSU joining the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 2013, the game has also held significant implications in the SIAC West Division standings. SIAC Commissioner Greg Moore expressed the conference’s excitement about two of its teams playing on a great stage.
“The SIAC is very proud to once again have two of our member institutions participating in the Circle City Classic — a game I consider to be one of the premier events of its kind in the country,” Moore said. “Last year, the Circle City Classic was one of the top attended NCAA Division II football games and was a great experience for our student-athletes, fans, SIAC member institutions and the conference.”
The Marauders have a long history competing in the Circle City Classic dating back to 1986. CSU has a 3-3 all-time record in the Classic with wins coming in 1986, ‘87 and ‘92.
The Circle City Classic is a joint collaboration between Indiana Black Expo, Inc. and the Indiana Sports Corporation. The net proceeds from the Classic help support youth initiatives for each organization. Additionally, each year the Classic’s educational partner, the Indianapolis Black Alumni Council, hosts an educational college fair that exposes over 2,500 youths to colleges and universities throughout the country.
CSU Vice President of Athletics & Institutional Advancement Jahan Culbreath expressed gratitude and excitement about Central State’s continued partnership with IBE.
“The Circle City Classic is a fixture not only in Indianapolis but throughout the country as one of the premier classics. It gives the opportunity to showcase the talent of our students and helps promote awareness of two tremendous HBCU institutions in the Midwest region. Central State is pleased to continue to work alongside the administration at KSU as well as the leaders and tremendous support staff who organize the Circle City Classic. Committing to be part of the Circle City Classic shows our dedication to enhance our brand and broaden our fan base. Most importantly, our presence in Indianapolis continues to help grow the quality collegiate experience for all members of the CSU community,” Culbreath said.
In addition to playing in a great venue, ESPN and the NCAA have announced that fans can watch the Circle City Classic on ESPN3. It will be the second-straight season a Marauder athletic event has been featured on ESPN3.
Central State and Kentucky State are entering the second year of a three-year deal with the Circle City Classic. The date for the 2017 contest will be Saturday, Sept. 23.
Tickets for this year’s event will go on sale on July 18. Ticket prices range from $10 to $50. For further information on tickets, please visit http://www.maraudersports.com or call 937-376-6345.
Story provided by Central State University Sports Information Director Nick Novy.