Campus Life / Education / Local / National

NSU struggles at Honda Campus All-Star Challenge


Photo from, the official website of the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge.

by Barry Campbell

Can you finish this famous Muhammad Ali quote? “Float like a _________, sting like a ________.” This question was asked in the championship round of the 2014 Honda Campus All-Star Challenge. 28 years ago, the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge was put together by Honda for HBCU students to compete and showcase their vast knowledge. Since its origin, over 125,000 students have competed in the event.

The HCASC is a four-round fast-paced knowledge quiz. The first three rounds have four categories and a round lasts four minutes. Ten points per question and every correct answer leads to two bonus questions. In the fourth round, each team chooses one category and has 60 seconds to answer ten questions with 25 points per question at risk.

Dozens of HBCU schools participate yearly in the HCASC. In February, the qualifying tournament is held to cut down the field to 48. The 48 qualifying schools go to California in April for the National Championship tournament. By qualifying, students earn prizes and win money for their school, increasing their grant winnings by getting deeper into the tournament.

Norfolk State University has found consistent success in the HCASC. Since 1991, Norfolk State has qualified every year for the tournament in California. In 1992, coached by Professor Anne Perkins, Norfolk State won the HCASC championship.

Unfortunately, Norfolk State’s streak of qualifying came to an end. Despite winning a round, the performance wasn’t good enough to qualify for nationals. Norfolk State’s lone victory came against the winless Virginia Union University, 275 to 265. Norfolk State lost every other game in their group by at least 115 points.

Norfolk State University looks forward to coming back as strong as ever with the potential of new students that swarm the campus. With Professor Gwendolyn Pharr and Michael Cotter leading the way, the days of prominence will return swiftly as Norfolk State strives for another opportunity at glory.

For more information on NSU’s history at the HCASC, go to