You are currently viewing From Kirkus, The Right Thing To Do: “Fascinating read” … “unexpected subplots” … “A work of sports history that fill gaps” … “prose is breezy”

From Kirkus, The Right Thing To Do: “Fascinating read” … “unexpected subplots” … “A work of sports history that fill gaps” … “prose is breezy”

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Here is the Kirkus Book reviews link on THE RIGHT THING TO DO


THE RIGHT THING TO DO, The True Pioneers of College Football Integration in the 1960s

Tom Shanahan

August Publications

Purchase link for THE RIGHT THING TO DO Visit my website homepage, TomShanahan.Report

(400 pp.) $22.95 paperback, $8.99 e-book ISBN: 9781938532733 January 1, 2024


A work of sports history that fills in the gaps in the integration story of college football.

The racial integration of college football was not a moment, but a decade-long process. It happened in fits and starts, tempered by unspoken quotas that kept programs from recruiting more than a couple of Black players at a time.

“The dominoes started falling separately,” observes Shanahan, a sportswriter, in his preface, “but undercurrents connected them. By the end of the decade the tributaries flowed together with [the] force of the mighty Mississippi spilling into modern football’s predominantly Black rosters.”

A key figure in the author’s telling is Michigan State’s head coach, Duffy Daugherty, who not only recruited numerous Black players for his team but also helped launch the careers of Black coaches such as Sherman Lewis and Jimmy Raye.

Shanahan also profiles several groundbreaking players from across the country, including “Wonderous Warren” McVea, the running back who, while at the University of Houston, became the first Black player for any major university in Texas, and Jerry LeVias, the diminutive wide receiver who, by playing for Southern Methodist University, integrated the Southwest Conference.

The author also dismantles some of the folk history surrounding integration. For example, he argues that the 1970 season opener between the integrated University of Southern California team and the all-white University of Alabama squad, which has since been held up as a watershed moment for integration, was not considered one at the time, and that USC was not even a particularly progressive program on that front.

Shanahan’s prose is breezy, and his account is full of unexpected subplots, such as Daugherty’s commitment to incorporating Hawaiian and Samoan players as well: “Daugherty and [Tom] Kaulukukui struck up a friendship when Michigan State played at Hawaii, in 1947. Once Daugherty was named head coach, he told Kaulukukui anytime there was a player in Hawaii with Big Ten talent, he’d save a scholarship for him.”

It’s a fascinating read that helps contextualize college football within the wider Civil Rights Movement, demonstrating the often-sporadic nature of institutional change. A compelling and essential story of one of the most significant evolutions in sports.


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Below are links to click on to purchase my books focused.

My books tell the true story of college football integration in the 1960s and address the myths and fiction that allowed a false narrative surrounding the 1970 USC-Alabama game to usurp the credit from the true pioneers. As I said when I spoke at the National Sports Media Association book festival, no two books provide an accurate portrayal more than RAYE OF LIGHT and THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

I’ll put my facts up against anybody, anytime, anywhere. Watch here.

Click here for my story on the 1962 Rose Bowl and Segregation awarded first place by the Football Writers Association of America. I tell untold stories on Michigan State’s leading role and the true pioneers of college football integration. Click here to read the summary as a first-place story.


Click here to purchase The Right Thing To Do


The True Pioneers of College Football Integration in the 1960s

Foreword by Ruffin McNeill


Click here to purchase Raye of Light.


Jimmy Raye, Duffy Daugherty, the 1ntegration of College Football and the 1965-66 Michigan State Spartans

Foreword by Tony Dungy


Click here to purchase my children’s book, Bubba’s Dad, Duffy and College Football’s Underground Railroad

The book for now is only a Kindle version on Amazon. Print and audio platforms available soon.


My next children’s book coming soon: How Duffy Put Hawaii on the Football Map

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