Former N.C. Central University athletes, professors and supporters come together for one purpose: men’s basketball.
The N2 Eagles Hoops Club, which is three years old, is the newest addition to the NCCU booster club family.
Other booster clubs are the Eagles Club, the Quarterback Club, and the Lady Hoopsters.
The purpose of N2 Eagles is to support the men’s basketball team as both athletes and students.
They do this through membership dues and other contributions.
N2 Eagles held a special meeting Monday evening in the McLendon-McDougald gym’s conference room.
Fifteen people attended. Some came in their NCCU paraphernalia, some in three-piece suits, and others in khakis, button-downs and polos.
All attendees were as focused and attentive as soldiers.
Henry Dickerson, head basketball coach, discussed
basketball’s positive impact on many of the athletes, as well as its negative impact on academics.
“The students are missing a lot of classes because we have been on the road a lot,” said Dickerson.
Dickerson hopes the team will have more home games next year so that student-athletes will not miss as many classes.
Ingrid Wicker-McCree, NCCU’s director of compliance, who educates and advises sports booster clubs, also spoke.
“My job is to make sure that boosters know the rules of NCAA,” said Wicker-McCree.
Wicker-McCree discussing booster club do’s and don’ts, one of which concerns prospects and recruiting.
A prospect, according to the pamphlet, is someone who has started high school.
“Boosters cannot contact prospects off campus or provide refreshments at the football recruiting weekend in January, unlike in Division 2,” said Wicker-McCree.
“The same rules apply for transfers,” she said. “You can forward the prospect’s information to the coaches.”
Boosters can talk to the prospects about NCCU but once he or she mentions a specific sports team, the booster must direct the athlete to the coach.
There are other restrictions.
“Boosters cannot provide transportation, loans, financial assistance or gifts to student athletes,” said Wicker-McCree.
“Exchanges have to be through a third party.”
For example, if an alumni group wants to sponsor a meal for the basketball team, the group cannot give the money directly to the basketball team.
Instead, it must first go through the NCCU Foundation, then to athletics, and finally to the basketball team.
Finally, Wicker-McCree briefly addressed the financial side of NCAA.
She said that all funds collected by the club are subject to audits every year.
These audits, she said, should be handled by an external auditing firm.
Afterwards, David Fitts, an N2 Eagles member, said N2 Eagles has raised more than $2,900 through membership dues and other contributions.
The club’s goal is to raise $15,000 by next year for textbook scholarships for men’s basketball players and recruits.
The club also is trying to increase involvement with the alumni associations and game attendance.
“We need folks in the seats.
“It’s no fun playing with empty seats,” said Fitts.
“We’re also trying to get former NCCU basketball players back for reunion weekends.”
The club meets on the first Thursday of every month.
Membership dues are $100 per year.