Letters to the Editor

Julius H. Cromwell: Ripoffs and HBCU obligations

Regarding Barry Saunders’ Feb. 25 column “Charlotte, the CIAA just can’t quit you”: It continues to boggle the mind that thousands of black alumni and the 12 HBCU presidents who participate in this annual ripoff do not realize how they are being co-opted, used and abused by the city of Charlotte.

For the next six years, the CIAA tournament will be held in the Queen City, and black alumni, family and friends will spend approximately $500 per person during the CIAA week.

When we compare the $50 million financial impact the CIAA tournament has over a five-day period with the $1.4 million the CIAA receives annually from the city, it is inconceivable and unconscionable that the 12 HBCUs allow this ripoff to continue. That equals an astounding $10 million per day that black alumni, family and friends shell out to frolic in Charlotte.

The harsh reality is that the principal perpetrators of this annual rip-off are the HBCU alumni whose continued and increasing support of the CIAA basketball tournament is in complete contrast to their give back to their respective colleges or universities, which struggle to remain fiscally viable.

Julius H. Cromwell