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Spartans Will Host Colorado State in 1998 Football Opener

April 23, 1998

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State will face Colorado State in the second annual Black Coaches Association Football Classic Saturday, Aug. 29 at 4 p.m. EDT in Spartan Stadium. The first-ever meeting between these schools will be televised live by ESPN2.

A portion of the proceeds from the game will go to the Black Coaches Association, a non-profit organization, to help fund 12 postgraduate scholarships for ethnic minorities, who want to pursue careers in athletics administration.

"We're happy that the NCAA Executive Committee voted to reevaluate its current bylaws and permit Michigan State and Colorado State to play in the second annual BCA Classic," Michigan State Athletics Director Merritt Norvell Jr. said.

"We're excited about hosting the first college football game of the 1998 season. Spartan Stadium will be the main stage and we're pleased to be able to showcase our University on national television. Aside from the exposure, this game is positive because it helps generate revenue for postgraduate scholarships and raise money for various charities."

Spartan head football coach Nick Saban welcomes back 15 starters, including nine on defense from last year's 7-5 team.

"This extra game will be important in the development of a young football team," Saban said. "Our early-season schedule is very demanding with Colorado State, Oregon and Notre Dame but a home game to start the season should be beneficial. Colorado State won 11 games last season and it should be the preseason favorite to win the Western Athletic Conference title again this fall.

"It's great to play in a game with a good cause while helping to promote the Black Coaches Association."

Colorado State won a school-record 11 games in 1997 and finished ranked No. 16 in the final USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll, thanks to its 35-24 victory over Missouri in the Holiday Bowl. The Rams won the WAC Pacific Division title last year with a 7-1 record and finished 11-2 overall, including nine-straight wins to end the season. Seventeen starters, including 10 on the defensive side of the football, return for sixth-year head coach Sonny Lubick.

"We're delighted to have a Michigan State-Colorado State matchup for the second Black Coaches Association Football Classic," BCA executive director Rudy Washington said. "Both of these teams were ranked last year and played in bowl games. This is the perfect game to kick-off the 1998 college football season.

"The Black Coaches Association is proud to put on a game that continues to raise money for our postgraduate scholarship program."

Ohio State defeated Wyoming, 24-10, in the inaugural BCA Football Classic played in Columbus last August.



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