Historically Black Colleges' Contributions to the NFL with Dr. Derrick E. White


On this week's program historically black colleges and universities and the NFL with Doctor Derrick white in black America in their celebration of the hundred year. It was not as historical as we would like right. I think the for better for worse college football who celebrate the One hundred fiftieth year and in conjunction with ESPN primarily. Done these series of documentaries. That kind of documenting the game so they did a great set of talking about the early game when the Ivy Leagues Dominated College Football. Right you get that kind of Astaldi. Nfl is not so much right. In their part of Wigan's law says that the integration the reintegration of the. Nfl in part is done. Because you know teams WanNa move to the West Coast Right. They WanNa play in Los Angeles And that the black community the La said no in particular forced the L. A. Don's to say if you WANNA come in you. GotTa you gotTa desegregate Your Team. So woody strode gets an opportunity to play and Kenny Washington gets a chance to try out for these teams and they make these teams in the NFL so we were talking about the kind of reintegration of of professional football as the National Football League celebrated. Its first one hundred seasons unbeknownst to many sports fans the NFL didn't have any African American players for decade from Nineteen thirty four to nineteen forty-six. There was an unspoken agreement between owners to ban African American players today. They are two African American general managers for minority head coaches and one chief operating officer for the first time the crew for sue both fifty four had a record number of minority officials of the seven on the field five for African Americans the contribution of historical black colleges and universities. Acc use to the NFL has changed the game forever undrafted by an NFL team. Paul tank younger was the first African American player from grambling State University to play in the NFL when he signed with the Los Angeles Rams in nineteen forty nine the first African American drafted in the NFL draft was jaws rooks. I running back out of Morgan state in the Eleventh Round. One hundred and twenty fifth overall by the Green Bay packers in nineteen fifty one doing super bowl fifty four week in south Florida Group of area high school athletes had an opportunity to learn about the rich history of black college football and his contributions to the NFL and Black America spoke with doctor. Derrick wide associate professor at the University of Kentucky. When I was teaching a class on sports history I found that the students knew nothing about historically black college role. They were as part of their assignment. They had researched The histories of sports history at various institutions and students had cookman in Florida. And I knew that those are really successful. Athletic programs and students came back with nothing. And so I've you know I just thought chalked up. Initially students being students that they just didn't do enough but when we both begin system. I realized there was a huge gap in the scholarship. And there's a Lotta work on sports. History is a lot of work on college sports especially college football but there was very little nearly nothing on historically black colleges And so at the time I was at Florida Atlantic in so I was like Bam. You is like right up the road. Well you know eight hours away from my house but I and I knew Jay. Gator was dominant. I'd heard these stories from my uncles and I knew he was a fantastic program so I did a research trip and I went up there and they have the archivists there. And the the library's at up in Florida were amazing and they gave me these materials in there. All these letters documents and so I had budgets and letters of professional teams and I begin to understand how he organized his football program because the issue is discussed our Pamela Day. That there wasn't a lot of research money. A lot of research recruiting money not money budgets. Within Coach Gate. There was the ad coach basketball at one point. And those things. I thought those kinds of stories and that the greatness that the success that he was able to produce was Willie Gallimore Kim. Rowley Bob Hayes. I wanted to understand how that was done. I didn't WANNA chalk it up to that. These were just natural athletes that there was something being done happening on these institutions in some coaches Were better than others and so I wanted to tell that story talk about. Integration Immigration had a positive effect but it also had a devastating effect on also African Americans going to the NFL right so an integration was boom for professional football. Right then you know one of the reasons that Jake was so able to be so successful especially early on in the forties and early fifties that many of his former players gather degrees and became teachers in the high schools. All across the State of Florida and North Georgia. And so he would. They would just send him letters. Like hey coach gay. Got This really. Good kid this Willie Gallimore guys pretty good right. Like this is how he got recruiting information was from his former players but those players were talented but there was no professional football opportunities and so when those opportunities really begin to open up a specially after nineteen sixty when the AFL comes in then professional football now creates a new opportunity for black colleges in small colleges in general and so that becomes this boom and on the backside that the course the civil rights movement is happening at this exact same time right so brown. V Board of Education. This is entire push to desegregate schools Whether the high school level colleges etc and so so many ways why colleges Kinda caught between their own. Their success right. They're producing these great players in the NFL. Minium all pros as we talked about earlier. Thirty two or in the NFL Hall of fame at the same time. There are new opportunities at Florida. Miami or Georgia and that these schools especially in the deep south are slowly trying to recruit them when you look back at the history of ACC using his contribution to to the NFL. I found it amazing and the one hundred year the League. There's very little that has been articulated about a SPEC- US or the early African American players and they and their celebration of the hundredth year. It was not as historical as we would like right. I think the you know for better for Worse College Football who celebrated his Hundred Fiftieth Year and in conjunction with ESPN primarily. Done these series of documentaries that kind of documenting the game so they did a great set of documentaries talking about the early game when the Ivy League dominated college football. Right you get that kind of Nfl is not so much

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