Timing right to reexamine Bryant folklore, 1970 USC-Alabama fiction and dispossessed true 1960s pioneers

Cover photo (L-R): Kentucky's Walter Hackett, Tennessee's Lester McClain, Michigan State's Jimmy Raye, SMU's Jerry LeVias, and Auburn's James Owens. PHOTO GRAPHIC: Ashley S. Creative Visit my home page, TomShanahanReport EIGHTH OF AN EIGHT-PART SERIES. The first seven parts are listed at the end of the story. Although no one in the documentary says it, there seems to be a feeling that Southern Cal’s rout of Alabama was the shock that the University and a majority of the…

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Jerry LeVias saw nooses on his path to desegregating Southwest Conference

By TOM SHANAHAN Jerry LeVias knows how it feels to see nooses directed at him. The College Football Hall of Famer and six-year NFL veteran spoke from experience on Bubba Wallace’s NASCAR crew finding a noose at his Talladega Speedway garage In 1966, a cluster of Texas football fans held nooses aloft to greet LeVias as the Southern Methodist receiver/return man took the field for a game Oct. 29 at Memorial Stadium on the state’s flagship campus. Many…

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MLK helped Jerry LeVias and Hayden Fry change the Southwest Conference

By TOM SHANAHAN Martin Luther King Jr. initially hesitated to accept an invitation to speak at Southern Methodist University in 1966, a time and place where resistance to integration persisted. The Civil Rights icon explained to an SMU student senate leader that the Dallas school had rescinded an invitation a couple years earlier. Bert Moore, who won election as student senate vice-president despite opposition campaign posters labeling him an “integrationist,” appealed to SMU president Willis Tate. Tate assured…

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