Bowled Over: Big-Time College Football from the Sixties to the BCS Era by Michael Oriard.
All deal with in varied ways with discussing the integration of college football programs in the Southeastern Conference (SEC), Atlanta Coast Conference (ACC) and the amazing cultural changes that were sweeping the nation in the late 1960s resulting in the capitulation by white America into each and every demand made by Black radicals and
They also describe the specific challenges of integrating white college football teams with Black athletes, and the special problems that such changes brought to the university, such as the extreme difficulties of maintaining discipline across racial lines when any attempt to punish Black athletes who strayed from the rules was greeted with cries of racism.
It was written here in an article on Michael Vick, the Black Quarterback and Black-Run America from 2010 that White America capitulated in 1969 - ironically the year of some of mankind's greatest accomplishments - and that that was the genesis of the entitlement culture that Black people have preyed upon since (and have had it prey upon them):
At Oregon State in February 1969, a black linebacker named Fred Milton was suspended from the team after an assistant coach spotted him on campus with a moustache and goatee, in violation of the team's ban on facial hair. Black students on campus responded with a boycott of classes, many of them left the university, and both the football team and the institution struggled for years afterward against a reputation for racial intolerance. Two months later, 16 black players at the University of Iowa boycotted a spring practice and were suspended; seven were reinstated in August. That summer, John Underwood wrote a three-part series forSports Illustrated titled "The Desperate Coach," describing the incidents at Oregon State and Iowa, along with dozens of lesser ones in athletic programs throughout the country, as a full-scale assault on coaches' authority. "In the privacy of their offices," Underwood wrote, "over breakfast in strange towns, wherever two or three coaches get together, they talk about The Problem."
Then came the season itself. At the University of Wyoming, coach Lloyd Eaton suspended a group—what became known as the "Black 14"—that pushed to wear armbands at a home game against BYU to protest the Mormon Church's racial doctrines. Next, at the University of Washington, Jim Owens suspended four black players for a lack of commitment to him and his program. Finally, at Indiana University, coach John Pont, with considerably more reluctance, suspended 16 black players (eventually reinstating four) after they boycotted a practice.The demands by militant Black leaders, radical white leftists, and professional agitators would have the country on edge in the late-1960s. Interestingly, with most college football rosters only sporting a handful of Black players, these ebony athletes could use solidarity to force the Predominately White Institutions (PWI) administration and the white football coaches to give in to their demands if they hoped to keep from being called a "racist" institution of higher learning.
As you learn in War as They Knew It, radical Black protests on the campus of the University of Michigan forced (page 60):
... the administration capitulating to almost every major BAM [Black Action Movement] demand. Fleming [the president of Michigan at the time] promised that black enrollment would increase to 10 percent by the fall of 1973. He also promised to increase student aid to blacks and to recruit more black faculty members. The vice president of the United States, Spiro Agnew, immediately ripped into the school's "surrender," calling it"a callous retreat from reality."Agnew is right. The move was "surrender" on the part of the University of Michigan, and because the university had a substantial number of Black football players many alumni and members of the student body were worried what would happen to the school's reputation (and ability to keep and continue recruiting Black athlete-students) if the demands weren't met.
Since academically qualified Black students can't be found in sufficient numbers, Michigan's Black enrollment has never reached 10 percent; since distinguished Black faculty members outside of the African-American studies discipline can't be found in sufficient numbers, few members of the Michigan faculty are Black.
Ohio State would be hit with a huge Black protest in the same year that would force the cancellation of classes for two weeks. According to War as They Knew It (page 61-64):
Many people at Ohio State would forget, even a month later, what started it all. It was a list of black demands. Afro-Am, a black student organization at Ohio State, wanted increased black enrollment; a black cultural center on campus; a spot in the School of Journalism building for their publication, Our Chocking Times; and assorted other requests for better representation and access to university resources.
Eventually riots would break out and the National Guard would be brought in to restore order to Ohio State's campus:
In the wake of the riots, Ohio State would establish a minority affairs office, a Department of Black Studies, and a Black Cultural Center. The protestors accomplished their initial goal: to earn a place in the school's power structure riots began. But the school's administration never bought into the notion that the protests had been started in good faith. Administrators also pointed out that many of the protesters were not students at all - they were radicals from other places arrived on campus after theWoody Hayes did play Black athletes and recruit them to Ohio State in large numbers, before other universities even considered integrating their programs. See this article from The New York Times that discusses Hayes using a Black quarterback in 1973, especially this quote:
In an attempt to clear racial tension, Ohio State professor Art Adams, one of [Ohio State Football coach Woody] Hayes's friends, invited the most important campus leaders (naturally, that included Woody) to a dinner to discuss how each would deal with race relations. And when one black activist recited a list of white sins - and started telling everybody what had to change - the Old Man [Hayes] cut him off: "I was putting black kids through college before you were born!"
His name is Cornelius Greene, and he had a lot in common with [disgraced OSU Black quarterback Terrelle Pryor.Woody Hayes had Black players on Ohio State's football team as early as 1954, and one only has to use simple economics to understand that when the demand at PWIs for Black athletes was low, the supply of quality Black student-athletes would be high. Judging by Ohio State's recent problems with Black athlete-students on the football program (which brought down coach Jim Tressel), it's obvious that when all universities try and recruit Black athletes from the limited number of academically eligible Black males who graduate high school, the supply of quality, high character Black athletes is extremely low.
Like Pryor, Greene was a flashy black quarterback who supplanted a successful older starter. Last year, Pryor unseated Todd Boeckman, who had led Ohio State to the 2008 B.C.S. championship game. In 1973, Greene got the job over the senior co-captain Greg Hare, who had led the Buckeyes to the 1972 Big Ten title. But while Pryor’s rise was expected – he might have been the most hyped college football recruit ever – Greene’s was shocking. In 1973, major-college football coaches rarely played any black quarterbacks. The University of Alabama did not even have a black player until 1970. And here was Woody Hayes, one of the most outspoken conservatives anywhere, playing Greene over his established senior.
Greene was not simply black by color; he was a product of 1970s black culture. In high school, he and his teammates attached tassels to the knees of their game pants so the tassels shook when they ran. He also stuck a piece of tape on his helmet with his nickname, Flamboyant, in capital letters.
Greene celebrated his first collegiate touchdown by dancing in the end zone. Hayes’s players did not dance in the end zone. The coach often told his players, “these days everybody wants to do their own thing. (Expletive) doing your own thing.”
Yet Hayes kept Greene in the lineup. He loathed the look-at-me antics of the younger generation, but he was determined to help the first black quarterback in school history succeed.
Before Greene’s second game, against Texas Christian, Hayes held up a T.C.U. team picture and asked his team: “Does anybody know why we’re going to win this game?” The Buckeyes tried to answer: they had better coaches, better players, a better team.
Hayes said, “They don’t have enough black players.”
The high character of the initial Black recruits to the college campuses of Ohio State, Michigan, and eventually SEC schools like Auburn, Alabama, Florida and ACC schools like Florida State and Miami have been completely drowned out by Black athletes who have no business attending anything called an institution for higher learning.
|The 1969 Wyoming Football Team|
Located in Laramie, Wyoming, the university has a picturesque campus and feels like what 1950s America probably felt like when you visit the town. The university has few Black students now, but in the 1960s (when Wyoming was a national power in football) Black students were even rarer. Because so few big-time college football programs in America recruited Black athletes, Wyoming decided to utilize their labor.
An undefeated and integrated Wyoming team played an all-white LSU squad in the 1968 Sugar Bowl, losing 20-13 (wait, how could an all-white team beat a team with Blacks?). Sure Coach Lloyd Eaton, like Woody Hayes, was able to recruit high quality Black student-athletes to play football at Wyoming. But that was because there wasn't a scarcity of Black student- athletes like there is now, with every school competing for the top talent and most schools relying on academically inept Black athletes to get by. Take Florida State:
According to the ESPN Show "Outside the Lines," the Florida State Seminoles appear to be about everything except education.
In order to win games and make millions, football players are having their majors chosen for them, and many athletes are being conveniently misdiagnosed as learning disabled. One recent episode stated that one-half of all Florida State University football players and three-fourths of their African-American athletes are Social Science majors (indicative of major clustering). One of the academic counselors said that when she started her tenure, there were 15 football players tagged as learning disabled. That number has since spiked to 65.
Black people are overrepresented in special education, because they lack the intellectual ability to compete on the same level of whites, Asians and Hispanics. They have to be classified as something, right? Former FSU coach Bobby Bowden came to rely on these learning disabled Black athlete-students to field a football program, admitting in his book Winning is Only Part of the Game that he began to capitulate to the demands and playing style of his predominately learning disabled Black team. Bowden told Sports Illustrated in 1997:
"An athlete is an athlete, but, dang it, there just seem to be more black athletes than white," says Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden. "We've got a [white] phenomenon on our team, a quarterback named Danny Kendra, whose vertical jump is 39½ inches—more than anybody else we've got. He bench-presses 425 pounds, and his leg press broke the school record. He runs a 4.5 40. But there ain't many like him. And my thinking is that there's a whole lot more blacks who can do that than white guys."
In an article in the Orlando Sentinel, Bowden actually laughed at the thought of white running backs:
There are plenty of white running backs, but Bowden and most of college football's elite head coaches are too busy going after Black athletes that will require "special admissions" to get into school and will be classified as learning impaired in the process. In a two year time span, Auburn University had two Florida high school white running back studs on its roster, Heath Evans and Tre Smith (more on these guys on Friday).When Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden was asked to explain the decline of the white running back, he laughed so hard, he actually grabbed on to the reporter posing the question.
But back to 1969, the year of great turmoil in not only America, but college football. The Black 14 incident at Wyoming showed how Organized Blackness and the demands of DWLs should have been met. Sadly, it was just one school standing up for what was right against of sea, a veritable onslaught of capitulation by other white institutions.
Let's let Sports Illustrated describe what happened:
Oh, it was a beautiful homecoming. The weather was as pretty as the queen, cool and crisp, and nobody minded a little wind. As people strolled from the stadium last Saturday they laughed and talked about how their unbeaten Wyoming had just manhandled San Jose State 16-7, which made it hard to get up a real working anger against those 14 black athletes Coach Lloyd Eaton threw off the team two weeks ago. Coach Eaton had shown those protesters he could win without them. Good riddance, and never mind a lot of talk about civil rights, because this is Wyoming, and out here we do things our way. Like Coach Eaton told those athletes: Boys, if you don't like the way we run things around here then you better go play at Grambling or Morgan State. Yes sir, and wasn't that victory over San Jose State just glorious?
"Yes, it was a glorious victory," said Bill Waterman, smiling thinly, "and now we shall see about the rest." Waterman is an NAACP lawyer out of Detroit, a short, rather round, quiet-spoken man, and he arrived in Laramie, Wyo. last week with the belief that the rights of a student should not be limited just because he is an athlete. His first move will be to seek an injunction against the University of Wyoming in federal court this week. "First we want to get the players reinstated," he said. "Then we'll go from there."
Eaton abruptly dropped the 14 black athletes from the team on Oct. 17, after, he says, they took part in a demonstration against Mormon racial policies, which exclude Negroes from the priesthood of the Mormon Church. Wyoming was to play Brigham Young University, which is run by the Mormons, the following afternoon. Eaton insists that his players act as individuals and not as factions, which he feels splits the team, and he became incensed when the Negro players appeared before him that morning as a group. "They came in together and they came wearing black armbands," he said. "It was simply a matter of discipline. Black or white, it didn't matter to me. They broke the rule and I told them they were no longer members of the team."
All his life Eaton has lived by the rules. He is a stern disciplinarian who can neither understand nor forgive a breakdown in team unity. As a boy he had to help his father scratch a living from a tiny ranch in the Black Hills of South Dakota. During the Depression he worked his way through college by sweeping floors for 25 cents an hour. Nobody gave him anything. Nothing came easy for him and he feels that nothing should come easy for those who play under him. Until now his iron discipline has worked and worked well. The last three years Wyoming has been the Western Athletic Conference champion; this year it has won six games, leads the nation in rushing defense and is ranked 16th. Next to two national parks, football—University of Wyoming football—is about the biggest thing in the state. And so, at the university, Eaton has perhaps more influence than Dr. William D. Carlson, the president. He certainly is more popular than Stanley K. Hathaway, the governor. And now he is convinced that he is the target of a Black Power plot.
"We've played Brigham Young for many years," Eaton said one day last week. "Why haven't we had a demonstration before? And we've had Negro players here since 1960. I'll tell you why. This is the first year the Black Student Alliance has been on campus. Now they're organized and ready to act. The WAC was picked because of Brigham Young. And we were picked as the trigger because of our rule against demonstrations. It all fits."
"The whole problem is that no one understands us," said Joe Williams, the Wyoming tailback and one of the team's three captains before he became one of the exiled 14. "If Eaton had, none of this would have happened. His story of a racial plot is ridiculous. We knew about the rule against protest and we went to him on that Friday morning only to see if we couldn't work something out. We felt very deeply about this, but we just wanted to talk to him. We wanted to see if we could wear black armbands in the game, or black socks, or black X's on our helmets. And if he had said no we had already agreed that we would be willing to protest with nothing but our black skins."
Both sides agree they met first in Eaton's office and that the coach took them into the field house. There they stop agreeing. Eaton claims he listened to them for 10 minutes and then told them that they were out.
"Like hell he gave us 10 minutes," said Williams. "He came in, sneered at us and yelled that we were off the squad. He said our very presence defied him. He said he has had some good Neeegro boys. Just like that."
"Then he said it was stupid for us to be protesting against a faith and a religion none of us knew about," said Willie Hysaw, an ex-receiver. "Talk about stupid! Do you know that Ted Williams [another of the 14] is a Mormon?"
When University President Carlson learned of the dismissals, he called the governor, who drove over from Cheyenne in a snowstorm. A board of trustees meeting was called hastily, and 18 hours later, early Saturday morning, the trustees announced that they were backing Eaton all the way.
Across the state support for Eaton poured in. The cowboy element was angry. When seven members of the faculty said they would resign unless the 14 were reinstated, the Touchdown Club in Casper said it was raising money to get the seven out of the state. The student senate came out in favor of a hearing on the issue—which caused the rest of the students to call for an impeachment of the senate. A faculty-student ad hoc committee was formed to investigate, and then was never heard from again. The school paper came out for the 14, and then Phil White, the editor, resigned. Carlson called a press conference, was backed into admitting, unintentionally, that at Wyoming football came first and civil rights second. When he realized what he had said, the press conference was over. One member of the state legislature said that if Eaton backed down, there would be trouble with the university budget next year. Eaton wasn't about to back down.
Meanwhile, at San Jose State the team voted to wear multicolored armbands against Wyoming in support of the 14, and groups at other WAC schools demanded that Wyoming be dropped from their schedules.
"It's building," said Bill Waterman. "All across the country. Building and building. This will be a new day for the college athlete, both black and white."
At Wyoming the Black Student Alliance said it would set up picket lines at the San Jose game. Governor Hathaway said he was ready to call out the National Guard. Everyone was in a panic. The university, in an official letter, which Waterman has, said it understood on good authority that 2,000 Black Panthers were headed for Laramie. "That's not only a lie," said Waterman, "it's criminal."
On Saturday, an hour before the game, Vernon Breazeale, the chief of the Laramie police force, watched as an orderly group of 134 pickets circled 200 feet from the stadium gate. "One thing I want these kids to understand," Breazeale said, "is that we are here to protect them, not to fight with them. Their fight is with the university, not with us. All the football players on the football team are good kids, both the black and white ones. Real gentlemen. I remember another coach we had here. He used to bring in ex-convicts to play. Real hoodlums. Always drunk, always in trouble. We used to club them over the head until the blood ran down the side of their mouths. I'm glad these kids today are different."
He watched as a black girl silently carried a sign that said: "Something is happening here, but you don't understand what it is, do you?"
"I guess that sign says it all," someone said.
"Yeah, I guess so," said Chief Breazeale.
|College coaches today are represented by FSU's Bobby Bowden, who relied on learning disabled Black athletes for bling|
Forty years ago, BYU and Wyoming met at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie, Wyo., for a football game that turned out to be much more than a game.In a sane world, Coach Eaton (who was a strict authoritarian) would have a statue built for his principled stand for decency. In our world, the Black 14 have a statue in Laramie dedicated to them; Bobby Bowden, who enjoyed a career exploiting academically unfit Black athletes (who were learning impaired and required cheating just to pass classes and stay eligible), most having no business attending college, has had his recruiting methodology and coaching tactics replicated by hundreds of white coaches across the nation.
It was October, 1969 — a turbulent time in American history, with demonstrations and protests abounding around the country, sparked by the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War.
So when 14 black Wyoming football players decided to wear black armbands for the game against BYU — to protest what they considered to be "racist practices" of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns and operates BYU — and when then-Cowboys coach Lloyd Eaton decided to boot those 14 players, which included seven starters, from the team for that decision, it touched off a maelstrom of controversy and it immediately became a national story. The following week, reporters from media outlets like the New York Times and Sports Illustrated descended upon Laramie to chronicle the episode.
And the ramifications of the "Black 14" incident have since resonated for decades.
During the week of the 1969 BYU-Wyoming game, the Black Student Alliance at Wyoming announced it was planning to stage a demonstration outside the stadium against the LDS Church because it did not allow blacks to hold the priesthood (it wasn't until 1978 that blacks were granted that opportunity). The Black 14 insisted on being part of that protest by wearing black armbands as a symbolic gesture, but Eaton rejected that plan and meted out a severe punishment against those players for violating team rules prohibiting players' involvement in protests.
Marc Lyons, who was BYU's starting quarterback in 1969, remembers staying at the Holiday Inn in Laramie the night before the game and hearing people throw bottles at the hotel. On game day, the Cougars encountered protestors as they arrived at War Memorial Stadium.
"It was definitely a strange atmosphere," said Lyons, a longtime color analyst for KSL Radio who will be in Laramie when BYU visits Wyoming on Saturday (noon, The mtn.). "It was hard to understand. A lot of our players weren't LDS. It was odd that this was happening at a football game.
"We were the news. ... It was the first time we encountered protesters. People were holding signs as we got to the stadium to play. We walked through those people and they were badgering us a little bit.
"There was a girl who had a sign, something about the Mormons, and she misspelled the word 'Mormon.' It was a little bit unnerving, a little bit comical," Lyons said. "The strangest part was that it didn't seem at all like a game that day. There was a lot of other stuff going on. It was a different atmosphere, that's for sure."
At that time, Wyoming was a dominant team in the Western Athletic Conference while the Cougars were perennial also-rans. Yet going into that contest, BYU was confident about its chances for victory because it knew the Cowboys had lost seven starters.
"We were kind of excited. We thought, 'Man, we're going to beat those guys,' " Lyons recalled.
Instead, the incident, at least on that day, galvanized the rest of Wyoming's team.
"Once the game started, man, they got all over us," Lyons said. "I was surprised about that. They beat us pretty good."
Indeed, the Cowboys, who were unbeaten and ranked in the top 10, crushed the Cougars, 40-7.
From there, however, the two programs started courses in opposite directions and Wyoming football was never the same. From 1966-1968, the Cowboys had won 27 games, but over the next seven seasons, they won only 24 times and suffered six consecutive losing campaigns. After playing in the 1968 Sugar Bowl, Wyoming didn't play in another bowl game until 1987.
BYU, on the other hand, went on to become the WAC's dominant team from the late 1970s through the 1990s. Through the years, many Wyoming fans saw BYU as being responsible for the Cowboys' demise.
Kevin McKinney, a Cheyenne native and Wyoming graduate, is the senior associate athletic director at Wyoming. He's also the longtime color analyst for Cowboy radio broadcasts. McKinney, who was on the school's sports information staff in 1969, said the Black 14 incident had a long-lasting influence that went far beyond football.
"It had an incredible impact on the football program and it had an incredible impact on those kids (who were kicked off the team)," McKinney said. "They had a terrible time going to school anywhere. It was a tragic thing, really. It impacted a program, but it impacted a lot of young men, too. That was the sad thing. The wins and losses were the shallow part of it. The real crux of it was the impact it had on those kids and their teammates."
Like many Wyoming fans, McKinney had a difficult time coming to terms with the incident.
"I live and die Wyoming. I was born there, I was raised there, I went to school there," he said. "It's hard for me. It was amazingly bitter because Wyoming football was everything to the fans and the students."
It wasn't until years after the incident that McKinney met up with one of those Black 14 players and they talked about what happened in 1969 and its aftermath.
"He told me how he couldn't go to college anywhere because nobody would take him," McKinney said. "I got a real perspective on what courage it took to stand up for what he believed in. Those kids loved the game. They gave that all up. So I kind of changed my mind about it."
Just this week, a symposium was held on the Wyoming campus about the Black 14 incident. McKinney was among those on the panel. The auditorium was packed with students eager to learn about that painful time in the school's history.
"People need to know about it," McKinney said. "It was 40 years ago. That's a long time. But I was amazed at the turnout at this (symposium). It was very interesting to be part of that. I didn't know that, 40 years later, we'd still be talking about it. But it was as big as anything."
Like Bowden, they laugh at the idea of recruiting a white running back or white skilled player, believing that Black athletes with abysmal academic qualifications - a large percentage having character issues as well - are what is needed to win.
America is forever in the shadow of its perceived racist past. Nothing we do to amend real or imagined injustices against Black people will ever be good enough. We can never make up for the past, and "the Blacks" will continue to proclaim discrimination is transpiring in the present.
In 1969, white football coaches got a taste of that; only one, Wyoming coach Lloyd Eaton, dared say "fuck off."
For the sake of this great nation, let's hope we reach a point where some statesmen has the audacity to say just that. If not, statues will keep going up to men like Bobby Bowden.