Tennessee State hopes to bring football back to campus

Monday, September 26, 2011 at 2:45pm

Tennessee State University wants to celebrate its centenary by bringing football back to campus.

Interim university president Portia Shields told the Metropolitan Sports Authority Monday that TSU would like to play two games during the 2012 season at Hale Stadium  — affectionately known as "The Hole."

"There's a lot of history there, but it's an eyesore," Shields said. " … Richard Dent played there, Too Tall [Jones] played there. It doesn't look the way it was then; it looks terrible. We want to fix it up. We are getting ready to refurbish, to make it attractive."

TSU has a 30-year agreement to play home games at LP Field. That agreement does include provisions to move games back to Hale Stadium, pending approval by the Sports Authority.

Shields did not ask for formal action by the board — the games and dates for the return to campus have to be finalized first — but the authority appeared open to the proposal.

One member, in particular — legendary TSU track coach Ed Temple — was especially fond of the idea.

Temple said he trained his teams, which included several Olympians, on the cinder track rounding the field.

"I have a lot of blood, sweat and tears in ‘The Hole.’ I think I spent more time there than the football team," he said.

6 Comments on this post:

By: richgoose on 9/26/11 at 4:06

Tennessee State should be abolished and merged into Middle Tennessee State University but retaining the name Tennessee State.

If there continues to be an insistence on keeping this academically and financially bankrupt insitution around they should be given the opportunity to go back to their heritage. If this comes to pass I certainly intend to make a donation on behalf of getting the stadium to reflect the glory that was once on this field .

By: breathofdeath on 9/26/11 at 6:39

I would love to see TSU hosting football games again on campus but it doesn't make financial sense to spend the money needed to bring Hale Stadium up to current standards for just 2 games next year. The only way to justify the expense would be to move all future home games except for the Merritt Classic back to campus.

By: govskeptic on 9/27/11 at 5:54

A school with sinking enrollment and virtually no Endowments for the future
thinks a remodeled football stadium will revive the Institution? Whether one
million or 20 million that is a subject just to appease a few Alumni, but certainly
not an Anchor to avert total failure! Gov. McWherter put most of the total state
Collegiate Capital spending at TSU for at least 4 yrs to improve the facilities.
Leadership, relevant programs, and instructors that insisting on learning
versus just attendance is where the taxpayer money spent needs to
go at this Historic College!

By: DREIFMA on 9/27/11 at 11:42

Its an excellent idea for TSU to spruce up the old stadium for two games to honor the 100 year anniversary. The alumni should come up with the needed capital for paint and new parts, then the students should operate the paint brushes and install the new parts. DO NOT COME TO THE TAXPAYERS FOR THIS FEEL GOOD PROJECT.If ten thousand alumni each donated $100, that one million would buy a lot of paint and parts. I usually donate $100 each year to my university and also to my high school. Why dont they, it will certainly demonstrate commitment to the university if they do, what does it say if they dont?

By: JohnGalt on 9/27/11 at 12:28

If alumni contribute the thousands needed to make the stadium temporarily usable for an anniversary, that should be a go.

Spending $30 million for a complete rehab when that money could probably be better spent on instructional needs, not reasonable.

By: anjnew on 9/28/11 at 12:15

I am a white student who just recently enrolled at TSU as a transfer student from MTSU. I love the idea of sprucing up the stadium. TSU is a beautiful campus with a lot of school pride. I just hope they receive donations to help. Enrollment is up this year, and the new president is doing a terrific job. I am glad I made the switch. MTSU is too big and too far away, and the education I am receiving there is as good as any.