"Having an opportunity to play Duke University in football is extremely exciting," said NCCU Director of Athletics Dr. Ingrid Wicker-McCree. "North Carolina Central University is looking forward to continuing the efforts by Chancellor Nelms, President Brodhead, Coach Rison and Coach Cutcliffe on collaborating to bring these two outstanding institutions closer together. This opportunity is great for the City of Durham and I envision a sellout crowd on September 26th."
Terms of the contract will not be released.
"This is a very unique game in that not many schools have an opportunity to play an opponent in such close proximity," said Duke head coach David Cutcliffe. "It will be a great environment for Durham's two college football teams to play against one another. Our players know their players; they took it upon themselves to arrange workouts with each other during the past few summers and they associate together socially. Along with the wives of the respective coaching staffs, the players have united together in community service. We have a very special dynamic here with the connections between the programs. I've been fortunate enough to establish an excellent relationship with Coach Rison. I have a great deal of respect for him and the NCCU program. He is an excellent football coach and, more importantly, a man of great character. It'll be fun to compete against them."
"Anytime you have an opportunity to play against a team that you share the same city with, it's like playing your brother," said NCCU head football coach Mose Rison. "We are extremely excited about the opportunity to play Duke University. This game will help continue to build long-term relationships between the two universities, and will bring this city closer together. A lot of people thought this football meeting would never happen, but it shows you how far these two universities have come."
The Blue Devils return 33 lettermen and 12 starters off of last year's squad that finished 4-8 in Cutcliffe's first season. The Eagles, who are in their second year of reclassification to the Football Championship Subdivision, posted a 4-7 overall mark last season.
Duke's other three non-ACC games include a home date with Richmond (September 5) and away contests against Army (September 12) and Kansas (September 19).