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Selma U. considers basketball rebirth

Selma University, which has rekindled its baseball program, hopes to eventually bring back basketball, school President Dr. Alvin A. Cleveland said Friday.

The Selma Bulldogs will return to play baseball in February 2010 after the program was dropped in 1997. Cleveland said recent changes made the rebirth possible.

“Selma University has always had basketball and baseball,” he said. “While we were going through bankruptcy, we had to drop baseball. … When we received accreditation in February, it made us more competitive.

“We plan eventually to bring back basketball,” Cleveland said.

Cleveland lamented the years without baseball when no outside activities were going on.

“During that time of year, all there was to do for the students was come to class,” he said. “This would give them an extracurricular activity during the spring.”

Cleveland has a family history involving baseball.

“Personally, I love baseball,” he said. “My daddy played in what would have been the minor league for the Negro Leagues. My son, Alvin Jr., played at Selma and went on to Tuskegee.”

The next major project is to prepare the field.

“We are now developing the field so we can have our own games at home,” Cleveland said.

Assistant baseball coach Terrence Jackson said work has started.

“We’ve cut out the diamond and we’ll get the clay down for the infield,” Jackson said. “There’s a shed out there already that we can use for hitting practice when we get finished with it.”

“It will be exciting to be on campus. Playing on campus will generate more school spirit,” he said.

The student makeup also will change, Cleveland said.

“The athletes will increase enrollment. They will bring more athletes to campus and that will bring more students,” he said. “There are some students who don’t want to go to a school without athletics.”

Behind the recruiting stands academics.

“We are recruiting people who can operate in a Bible college,” he said.