Jarvoo Edwards approached the totem pole with grave poise. Elated to have succumb thus far, the Morehouse interim athletic director began to introduce Morehouse’s newest initiative.
“I am proud to announce that in the school year of 2020, Morehouse College will field a NCAA, SIAC, Division II men’s volleyball team.”
The college is among six HBCUs to get a grant from USA Volleyball and First Point Volleyball Foundation to add the non-traditional sport. Other HBCUs include Central State University, Benedict University, Paine College, Fort Valley State University and Kentucky State University.
During the school year of 2020-2021, Morehouse will enlist 18 student athletes, 3 having full-ride scholarships. The mission is to populate student body, engage student involvement and reveal more leadership opportunities, according to statements from Morehouse’s president.
While Savannah State University is not in the first six to join the initiative, it recently joined the SIAC. Many students at the university said they would support a men’s volleyball team if one were added.
Mass communication major Toddassia Mcclendon said, “The addition of a male volleyball team to Savannah State University would give students more exposure.”
Jaylyn Roberson, member of Savannah State women’s volleyball team said, “Having a male’s volleyball team would not only stop stereotypes but also bring incentives for the athletic department.”
Roberson said she thinks adding a male equivalent to the traditionally female sport could help the women’s team, as well. “This would open everyone's mind since volleyball is looked at as a ‘female’ sport. There are countless benefits acquired through volleyball. For example, being present to every game, practice teaches you responsibility. Volleyball builds character, it brings you out.”
According to the USAV, volleyball is America’s fastest-growing sport for males. In the past five years, the popularity of men’s volleyball has increased by 22 percent.