What Had Happened Was Trending stories on the intersections of race, sports & culture

QB Caylin Newton transferring from Howard

He plans to get degree from university before leaving in May

6:55 PMHoward University quarterback Caylin Newton has officially made his decision to leave the university.

In late September, a source told The Undefeated that Newton was “weighing his options about his future” and “hadn’t officially made up his mind yet,” but on Tuesday, the 21-year-old junior took to Twitter to offer a statement regarding his transfer.

“Making the decision to attend Howard University has been the best decision I’ve made and has caused me to not only grow as an athlete but as a man,” the statement read. “However, after speaking with my family and some of the greats who have played at this prestigious university, they have all contributed to giving me the clarity and guidance to make the decision I think is best for my future. I will finish what I started academically by graduating this May. As of my athletic career, I have officially declared to be put into the NCAA Transfer Portal with two years left of eligibility.”

Newton played well from the start at Howard, earning the 2017 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year award in 2017 after leading the Bison to one of the biggest upsets in college football history when they beat UNLV 43-40. The quarterback continued with an impressive sophomore year, ending last season with 3,133 total yards (2,629 passing and 504 rushing) and 26 total touchdowns and winning the MEAC Offensive Player of the Year award.

Newton played the first four games of this season, losing all but one with a 24-9 win over Delaware State on Sept. 21. Shortly thereafter, it was announced that the quarterback would not be playing the following Saturday, Sept. 28, against Bethune-Cookman University, which beat Howard 37-29.

The Bison will be without Newton as the team travels to Harvard Stadium in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for a historic contest versus Harvard, the first time an Ivy League school has played against the historically black university.

Howard QB Caylin Newton won’t play Saturday, may redshirt

Source says he’s ‘weighing his options about his future’

5:07 PMCaylin Newton arrived at Howard University as Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton’s little brother, but he quickly established his own identity in leading the Bison to the biggest point-spread upset in the history of college football.

Now it appears the Caylin Newton era at Howard might be over.

Quarterback Newton, according to a source, “is weighing his options about his future” after informing the university Friday that he would not be playing in Saturday’s home game against Bethune-Cookman. That the decision comes after four games — which is the maximum number of games a college football player can participate in and still qualify for a redshirt season — indicates the strong possibility that Newton won’t play again this season.

“He hasn’t officially made up his mind yet,” the source said of Newton. “This has caught everyone by surprise. All we know is that he’s not playing this weekend.”

The Undefeated reached out to Howard University athletic director Kery Davis, who said he didn’t know anything other than the fact that Newton wasn’t playing Saturday. Derek Bryant, the school’s assistant athletic director for media relations and sports information, said he didn’t know anything about the news and that Ron Prince, Howard’s football coach, was unavailable.

Howard is 1-3 going into Saturday’s game, coming off a 24-9 win at Delaware State during which Newton completed 21 of 35 passes, including two touchdowns, in what was his best game of the season. But the three losses this season have been one-sided, including the opening-game blowout at Maryland (79-0) and a loss against Hampton (41-20) in the Chicago Football Classic two weeks ago.

Newton entered this season as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) preseason Player of the Year after a sophomore season in which he totaled 3,133 yards (2,629 passing and 504 rushing) and 26 touchdowns and was named the MEAC’s Offensive Player of the Year.

His career at Howard began with great promise in 2017 after Newton rushed for 190 yards and passed for 140 while accounting for three touchdowns in a season-opening 43-40 win over UNLV. The Bison entered that game as a 45-point underdog, which made that game the biggest point-spread upset in college football history.

With Newton winning the MEAC Rookie of the Year Award, that Howard team finished the season with a 7-4 record. Even as Newton continued to shine as a sophomore, Howard won only four games last season.

Newton, if he decides to redshirt, will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Reaction on campus was mixed Friday afternoon. Michael Burgess, a junior journalism major, agrees with Newton’s move.

“Caylin isn’t going to be starting tomorrow, so it doesn’t surprise me. He wants to win, but more importantly, he wants to play, so redshirting now means he still gets to keep his year of eligibility since he hasn’t played in more than the necessary number of games for Howard,” said Burgess. “Since he’s redshirting, wherever he transfers to, he will be eligible to play immediately instead of having to sit out a year. I have no choice but to agree with him.”

Sheila Brown is a junior TV and film major who attended Grady High School in Atlanta with Newton.

“Since Caylin is a junior now, I am a bit surprised that he’s planning to leave, if it is true. I’m not sure what his exact plans are, but if he still wants to play football at another school, it can be tough, considering the NCAA’s rules on athletes transferring,” said Brown. “He is a student-athlete, but being a student comes first. It seems as if now he’s following the path that he thinks is best for him.”

“If it’s true, that’s crazy,” said Cameron Franklin, a senior music business major and member of the marching band. “I’ve known him since high school since we played against him. He’s very talented, but he shouldn’t just stop. He’s not playing well, just like his brother isn’t performing well, but at the end of the day, it’s football.”

Five African Americans named ‘genius’ grant winners by MacArthur Foundation

In their own way, each is working toward increasing understanding of black histories and communities

10:02 AMThe MacArthur Foundation announced its “genius” grant winners Sept. 25. Formally known as MacArthur Fellows, this year’s recipients are artists, writers, scientists and academics who have demonstrated “extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.” Out of the 26 fellows in the 2019 class, five are African American:

  • Emmanuel Pratt, 42, is an urban designer who lives and works in Chicago. He uses a resident-driven approach to community development that incorporates agriculture, education and design. His goal is to turn neglected urban neighborhoods into places of growth and vitality.
  • Saidiya Hartman, 58, works as a literary scholar and cultural historian at Columbia University. She studies the way slavery impacts modern American life and works to document the lives of individuals who were systemically left out of historical archives.
  • Walter Hood, 61, is an Oakland-based landscape and public artist at the University of California, Berkeley. He infuses black history, ecological sustainability and social justice into his work, which includes Nauck Town Square in Arlington County, Virginia, and the upcoming International African American Museum (2020) in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • Cameron Rowland, 30, lives in Queens, New York. His work highlights the institutions, systems and policies that contribute to systemic racism and economic inequality. Rowland focuses on the display of objects and documents that underscore the legacies of racial capitalism and forms of exploitation that are part of many aspects of daily life.
  • Kelly Lytle Hernandez, 45, is based in Los Angeles. The historian works at the University of California, where she teaches African American studies. Her book, Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol, has been called the “first significant academic history” of the agency. Her work connects racialized incarceration and immigrant detention practices with the U.S. labor system.

The work of each of these fellows, though in different fields, is geared toward increasing understanding of black histories and communities. MacArthur Fellows receive $625,000 over five years. This award is considered “no strings attached.” They may use the money to advance their current work, start a new project or change the direction of their careers.

MacArthur Foundation president John Palfrey said in a statement: “From addressing the consequences of climate change to furthering our understanding of human behavior to fusing forms of artistic expression, this year’s 26 extraordinary MacArthur Fellows demonstrate the power of individual creativity to reframe old problems, spur reflection, create new knowledge, and better the world for everyone. They give us reason for hope and they inspire us all to follow our own creative instincts.”

The foundation, which John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur established in 1970, has dispersed nearly $7 billion in the United States and 40 countries around the world. The grants are awarded annually to 20 to 30 people.

More than 1,000 people have received this prestigious award since 1981. Previous recipients included poets Natalie Diaz and Claudia Rankine, journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and writer Ta-Nehisi Coates.