Three Notable Figures in Bethune-Cookman History Headlines Honorees at Annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge Legends Reception

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Three Notable Figures in Bethune-Cookman History Headlines Honorees at Annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge Legends Reception

Three former NFL standouts lead a group of six honorees who will be recognized at the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Legends Reception at Atlantic Dance Hall, Walt Disney World Resort, near Orlando, Fla., on Saturday, Sept. 1, at 6 p.m. ET. The evening will honor Hall of Fame basketball coach John Chaney (Bethune-Cookman), former NFL standouts Jack “Cy” McClairen (Bethune-Cookman), Eddie Robinson (Alabama State) and Steve Wilson (Howard University), along with community leader Rev. Canon Nelson W. Pinder (Bethune-Cookman) and NBA broadcaster Stephanie Ready (Coppin State).

The reception will honor individuals who graduated from a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). Each honoree will receive an HBCU Trailblazer Award in recognition of the impact made in his or her respective career and community. ESPN sportscaster Jay Harris will host the evening’s festivities.

The Legends Reception will precede the eighth annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disneyfeaturing Bethune-Cookman of the MEAC against Alabama State of the SWAC. The game will be played Sunday, Sept. 2, at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando, Fla., at noon on ESPN.

“The weekend surrounding the MEAC/SWAC Challenge provides an opportunity to annually recognize alumni from HBCU institutions who have made wonderful and significant contributions to their schools and communities,” said Pete Derzis, senior vice president and general manager, ESPN Regional Television. “We are again pleased to welcome an outstanding class of Legends and celebrate their many contributions and highlight how each journey was launched at an HBCU school.”

Each year, the game pits a MEAC team against a SWAC opponent at a neutral site located within the footprint of one of the conferences. Several additional events will take place around the game, including a high school career panel, pep rally and the halftime Battle of the Bands.

Tickets for the 2012 MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney are on sale now at all Ticketmaster outlets. Tickets are $30 for reserved seating and $20 for general admission, plus applicable taxes and fees.

The MEAC/SWAC Challenge is owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN. For more information about the MEAC/SWAC Challenge, or to join the event’s following on Facebook and Twitter, please visit the event’s official Web site at or at

Travel options including discounted hotel accommodations, game tickets and specially-priced Theme Park Tickets are available through Anthony Travel, the official travel provider of the MEAC/SWAC Challenge. Please visit or call (888) 632-6951.

The Legends
John Chaney
(Representing: Bethune-Cookman)
Jack “Cy” McClairen (Representing: Bethune-Cookman)
Rev. Canon Nelson W. Pinder (Representing: Bethune-Cookman)
Stephanie Ready (Representing: Coppin State)
Eddie Robinson (Representing: Alabama State)
Steven Wilson (Representing: Howard University)

ESPN Regional Television/Event Ownership
The nation’s largest syndicator of collegiate sports programming, ESPN Regional Television (ERT) annually produces more than 1,200 sporting events. Content includes action from NCAA football, basketball and Olympic sports, NHRA and professional and amateur golf, accounting for more than 3,400 live and/or original hours of programming. ERT’s owned and operated events reach over a million fans a year and provides more than 200 additional hours of programming.

In addition to event ownership, ERT is the production headquarters for ESPNU; syndication rights-holder and producer of national, regional and local shows for college conferences (SEC, BIG EAST, Big 12, Mid-American, WAC) and manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

ESPN Regional Television markets and/or owns several sporting events:
Collegiate Football

BBVA Compass Bowl (Birmingham, Ala.); Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg; Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MAACO Bowl Las Vegas; Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney (Orlando, Fla.); Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas (Houston); Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu) and The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards

Collegiate Basketball
Anaheim Classic (Anaheim, Calif.); Charleston Classic presented by Foster Grant (S.C.); Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Classic (Madison Square Garden); Old Spice Classic (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan); BracketBusters  and State Farm Champions Classic (Georgia Dome, Atlanta)

Collegiate Lacrosse
ESPNU Warrior Classic

Additional Events
ESPN National Golf Challenge

For more information, visit






Rachel Margolis Siegal

As part of the College Sports PR team at ESPN, it has been an exciting adventure for me since I joined the worldwide leader in July 2010, working on college football, college basketball, college lacrosse and WNBA properties. I began my love of sports as the manager of several high school sports teams and continued that hobby into college. While at Quinnipiac, I worked in the Sports Information Department, which led me to a summer internship at the New Haven Ravens, a AA baseball team, and an eventual job with the Athletic Communications Department at the University of Connecticut. After my five-year stint at Connecticut, I spent six years as Director of Communications at the BIG EAST Conference in Providence, R.I. before joining ESPN.
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