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Harvey Martin Classic to be played in October


By Scott Harvey

Commerce – Texas A&M University-Commerce has announced the contest between A&M-Commerce and East Central at the Cotton Bowl this season will be named the "Harvey Martin Classic."

Harvey Martin attended South Oak Cliff High School in Dallas before playing as a defensive lineman for East Texas State from 1969 to 1972. He was inducted into the university's Hall of Fame in 1987. Martin played professional football for the Dallas Cowboys from 1973 to 1983, was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 1977 and Co-Super Bowl MVP in 1978. He and was also selected to the Pro Bowl four times. Martin died in 2001.

During a press conference Thursday in Dallas, A&M-Commerce Athletic Director Carlton Cooper addressed why the game will be played at the Cotton Bowl, and its ties to Harvey Martin.

''When I took this job, I knew in order for us to be successful, we had to reconnect with our alumni as we build our future,'' says Cooper. ''This game gives us the opportunity to celebrate a man that was so connected with A&M-Commerce, the Dallas Independent School District, the City of Dallas, and also the Dallas Cowboys.''

Attending the press conference were members of the Harvey Martin family, including Martin's mother. Also in attendance were former and current members of the Dallas Cowboys.

The Harvey Martin Classic at the Cotton Bowl will be played for the next three years, as A&M-Commerce takes on East Central, next year's opponent Texas A&M Kingsville, and an opponent to be named for 2010.

The 2008 Harvey Martin Classic matchup will be played October 18, at 2 p.m. at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Ticket information is available by calling the A&M-Commerce athletic department at (903) 886-5558.

Bio on Harvey Martin

Harvey Martin, a defensive lineman for East Texas State from 1969 to 1972, was inducted into the university's Hall of Fame in 1987. He was selected an Associated Press Little, Football News and NAIA All-American en route to leading the Lions to a national title as a senior in 1972.

In 2007, Martin was selected to the Lone Star Conference 75th Anniversary Football Team and was named LSC Defensive Player of the Decade for the 1970's. In addition, he earned first team defensive lineman honors for the LSC Football Team of the 1970's and was selected to the LSC All 25-Year Team, where he was recognized as the Best Defensive Player and a first team defensive lineman. Martin was a first team all-Lone Star Conference selection as a junior in 1971 and as a senior in 1972.

Martin went on to become a third round selection by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1973 NFL Draft. He was a four-time Pro Bowl selection (1976, 1977, 1978, 1979) and four-time all-pro selection (1976, 1977, 1979, 1982). He was named to the NFL All-Decade Team for the 1970's and was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1977. In Super Bowl XII, he was named the game's MVP along with teammate Randy White.

Texas A&M University-Commerce at the Cotton Bowl

A&M-Commerce has played six games at the Cotton Bowl with the first dating back to 1948 when the Lions defeated West Texas A&M, 13-7. The Lions are 6-0 all-time and have outscored their opponents 194-78 during that span.

1948 vs. West Texas A&M: W, 13-7
1950 vs. Austin College: W, 40-15
1974 vs. Prairie View A&M: W, 26-0
1975 vs. Prairie View A&M: W, 42-19
1976 vs. Prairie View A&M: W, 35-27
1977 vs. Prairie View A&M: W, 38-10