Local official inducted into the CIAA Hall of Fame

Published 3:09 pm Thursday, March 5, 2015

MEAC Supervisor of Officiating and Courtland resident Larry Rose surrounded by family after being named to the CIAA Hall of Fame. -- FRANK DAVIS | TIDEWATER NEWS

MEAC Supervisor of Officiating and Courtland resident Larry Rose surrounded by family after being named to the CIAA Hall of Fame. — FRANK DAVIS | TIDEWATER NEWS

By Almeta Davis/Contributing Writer

A Courtland man recently received a special honor from the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association for his role as a basketball official.

Included in the 2015 Hall of Fame Class this year was Larry “Chuck” Rose of Courtland.

This was at the annual John B. Mclendon Jr. Hall of Fame induction ceremony at a breakfast on Friday, Feb. 27, in the ballroom of the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Held each year during the CIAA basketball tournament, the purpose is to recognize persons who have supported the conference through their own accomplishments that have lead to the advancement and growth of the CIAA.

Rose, an alumnus of then Hampton Institute, now Hampton University, played collegiate football and baseball for the Hampton Pirates. But he was noted more so for his role as a basketball official. After graduating from Hampton, he began his career working for the City of Franklin as the Director of Parks and Recreation and the Union Camp Corporation as a sales representative. During those years he continued to work in the field of his first love, basketball officiating.

In 1976, Rose started his collegiate officiating career in the CIAA, which continued for 16 years. During those years, he officiated 11 CIAA basketball tournaments and 19 NCAA Division I tournaments. In 1982, he became an official for the Atlantic Coast Conference. After his retirement from the ACC in 1993, he became the supervisor of basketball officials for the CIAA. He serves in that same role for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

During the induction ceremony, program chairman Charlie Neal interviewed Rose. When asked by Neal about how he got into calling basketball games, Rose gave this answer:

“While attending Hampton, I was involved with work study. One day I was called into the work study office, I was told the by the director, Dr. Issac T. Morehead [deceased], a former Franklin resident who also served as a professor of Physical Education, that my job would be to call intramural basketball,” he said. “I told him that I had never called a basketball game in my life. His response was, ‘I don’t care. You have to get out there and call those games.’”

Rose was asked by Neal to respond to the question on pressures he felt being the first African-American to call games in the ACC.

“The CIAA had prepared me for it,” he said. “To get by former great CIAA coaches as Big House Gaines [Winston-Salem University], Charles Christian [Norfolk State], and Bobby Vaughn [Elizabeth City], you are ready for any coach in the ACC.”

Rose was asked about the toughest part of his job now as the supervisor of officials for MEAC. He stated training is the most important part of the job.

“The student athletes and their coaches are very serious about their games,” he said. “I don’t believe that an official can walk off the floor in March and not have any involvement with the game until they come back on the floor in November. My staff has training camps in April and May to prepare our officials to be prepared to stay on the cutting edge of the game.”

When asked about what it takes to become an official, Rose said, “It takes a special person to officiate basketball. One cannot just put a whistle around your neck and expect to be a good official. Young people that come to our camps that want to officiate basketball, I first want to see their attitude, dedication and loyalty toward the game. When I see that they have those qualities, it lets me know that they are able to move on to becoming prepared to officiate.”

At the close of the ceremony, Rose was presented with a plaque solidifying his induction. He was surrounded by is wife Yvonne, his daughters Dion, Jackie, LaKisha, Traci, their daughter-in-law NaTasha, along with their grandchildren and numerous other family members and friends.

Noticeably absent was their only son Michael, who passed away on Feb. 19 and was eulogized on Feb. 25.

“Although it is a devastating loss for us of our dear son, brother, husband and father, it is our faith that has kept us strong as a family and it will continue to keep us through our grieving process because we know that through sorrow comes joy,” Rose’s wife, Yvonne, said. “We celebrate his life on this day as well as Larry’s accomplishments.”