Auburn’s James Owens and overshadowed history as state of Alabama’s first Black player

By TOM SHANAHAN The old adage “History is written by the victors” validates any thoughts to add an epilogue to the James Owens story. Owens, who died in 2016, was Auburn’s first Black football player, signing in 1969 before the NCAA permitted freshmen eligibility and playing on the varsity, 1970-72. He arrived at Auburn a year prior to Alabama’s first black player, Wilbur Jackson (1971-73), but try explaining that to those in the state and beyond that believe…

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