Duke-N.C. Central to Celebrate Partnership

DURHAM, N.C. – Duke and N.C. Central have never met on the football field. That ends this week as the Blue Devils and Eagles will play on Saturday, Sept. 26, at 7:00 PM, culminating several days of planned activities between the two Durham neighbors as part of the Bull City Gridiron Classic.

On Monday, Sept. 21, at the scheduled City Council meeting, Durham Mayor William V. Bell will introduce a proclamation that Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009, will be known as Bull City Gridiron Classic Day. Representatives from both universities, including Duke Vice President & Director of Athletics Kevin White and Deputy Director of Athletics Stan Wilcox, will be present for the announcement at City Hall.

The Bull City Football Fest will be held at Durham Athletic Ballpark on Thursday, Sept. 24, from 5:30 – 11:00 PM. Free to all Durham residents, visitors and students, the festival will feature food vendors, local artists, and performances by local bands and student groups from both schools. Highlighting the night will be a pep rally for Saturday's game that will include coaches, players, bands and cheerleaders from Duke and N.C. Central. Organized jointly by both universities' student unions, there will be a carnival-like atmosphere for this family friendly event.

On Saturday, Sept. 26, Duke and N.C. Central students will participate in two community service projects – a Habitat for Humanity house sponsored by the Duke / Durham Neighborhood Partnership and working at the Durham Rescue Mission. Also on Saturday, former Duke All-America and two-time National Player of the Year Jason "Jay" Williams will host two sessions of the Jay Williams Rising Stars Basketball Clinic at the Emily Krzyzewski Family Life Center in Durham. Representatives from the Duke and N.C. Central men's and women's basketball teams will help conduct the skills clinic, slated for boys and girls from grades 5-8. The youngsters will learn basic basketball skills and how to connect the game of basketball with academics, sportsmanship, teamwork, conditioning, community involvement and self-discipline.

Blue Devil Alley, Duke's pregame festivities area outside the North Gate of Wallace Wade Stadium, will be bustling on Saturday as well. In addition to regularly scheduled happenings such as the Blue Devil Team Walk, a live band, inflatable games, concession vendors and more, Duke will host separate tailgates for the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce and the N.C. Central Alumni Association. Both bands will perform in the area prior to entering the stadium.

All of these events were a direct collaboration between Durham's two universities.

At the game, which serves as Duke's Homecoming contest, two Blue Devil ACC Championship teams are scheduled to be honored. During the second timeout of the first quarter, Duke's 2009 ACC Champion men's basketball team will be recognized on the field. Led ACC Tournament MVP Jon Scheyer, the Blue Devils defeated Florida State, 79-69, last March in Atlanta to earn their 17th overall league title and eighth in the past 11 seasons. Additionally, the 1989 Blue Devil ACC Championship football team that posted an 8-4 (6-1 ACC) record will be honored between the first and second quarters. Former Duke and current South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier and ACC Player of the Year Clarkston Hines are among those scheduled to be in attendance on Saturday to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Duke's 1989 ACC Championship.

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