Jerry LeVias, Warren McVea and Leon Burton are major figures in college football history, but their accomplishments aren’t widely celebrated these days, even at their alma maters. The story of college football integration in the 1960s was ignored by sportswriters of the era, and schools saw little upside to trumpet their racial accomplishments.
The stories of these groundbreaking college football pioneers and the coaches who fought for integration—led by Michigan State’s Duffy Daugherty and his coaching tree, featuring the likes of Dan Devine, Chuck Fairbanks and Bill Yeoman—are compiled for the first time in The Right Thing to Do: The True Pioneers of College Football Integration. From award-winning journalist Tom Shanahan, The Right Thing to Do addresses the official racial quota system in the 1960s college football world and the “Conspiracy of Silence” in the sports press, avoiding any mention of racial politics. It also addresses carefully crafted but totally false myths from the era, including the role of Alabama’s Paul “Bear” Bryant in college football integration—a role where Bryant was a laggard, not a leader.