Alabama A&M's John Stallworth and Betty Austin to be Honored - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Alabama A&M's John Stallworth and Betty Austin to be Honored at Annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge Legends Reception

Three Notable NFL Hall of Famers Headline Honorees at Annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge Legends Reception

The class of five honorees – headlined by three former NFL standouts – will be recognized at the sixth annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge Legends Reception at Disney's Contemporary Resort, near Orlando, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 30, at 6 p.m. ET. The evening will honor National Football League (NFL) Hall of Famers Elvin Bethea (North Carolina A&T State University); Harry Carson (South Carolina State University); and John Stallworth (Alabama A&M University); as well as sports media relations veteran Bill Hamilton (South Carolina State) and former athletic director and longtime volleyball coach Betty Austin (Alabama A&M University).

Established in 2009, the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Legends Award pays tribute to those individuals whose achievements have impacted Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). Each honoree will receive an HBCU Trailblazer Award in recognition of the impact made in his or her respective career, community or alma mater. ESPN sportscaster Jay Harris will host the evening's festivities.

"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 Events.

"Our 10th anniversary is obviously special, and we're so pleased to welcome an outstanding class of Legends and celebrate their many contributions and highlight how each journey was launched at an HBCU school."

Tickets to the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Legends Reception are available for $75 at

The Legends Reception will precede the 10th annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney featuring the North Carolina A&T State University Aggies of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the Alabama A&M University Bulldogs of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). The game will be played Sunday, Aug. 31 at 11:45 a.m. ET, and televised on ESPN. This year's matchup will be played at Bright House Networks Stadium on the campus of the University of Central Florida, while the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium undergoes renovations. The game is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN.

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 to the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney can be purchased through Ticketmaster online, by calling 800-745-3000 or by logging on to

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

The 2014 Legends Class

Betty Austin (Representing Alabama A&M University)
Elvin Bethea (Representing: North Carolina A&T State University)
Harry Carson (Representing: South Carolina State University)
Bill Hamilton (Representing: South Carolina State University)
John Stallworth (Representing: Alabama A&M University)

ESPN Events

ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes two Labor Day weekend college football games; 11 college bowl games and eight college basketball events, which accounts for approximately 200 hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over a half a million attendees each year. With satellite offices in Boca Raton, Boise, Birmingham, Dallas-Fort Worth, Albuquerque, St. Petersburg and Las Vegas, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.


ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.


Collegiate Football
AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Hawai'i Bowl (Honolulu); Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney (Orlando, Fla.); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada);  St. Petersburg Bowl (Florida) and The Home Depot College Football Awards (Orlando, Fla.)


Collegiate Basketball

Armed Forces Classic (US Air Station Borinquen, PR); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Wooden Legacy (Orange County, Calif.); Jimmy V Men's & Women's Basketball Classics (New York City & South Bend, Ind.); Orlando Classic (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan, PR) and State Farm Champions Classic (Indianapolis)


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