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Changing the PlaybookHow Power, Profit, and Politics Transformed College Sports$
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Howard P. Chudacoff

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039782

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039782.001.0001

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Integrating the Team

Integrating the Team

(p.26) 2 Integrating the Team
Changing the Playbook

Howard P. Chudacoff

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses the racial integration of college sports starting in the 1950s. The racial integration of teams, accelerating in the North and beginning in the South, altered the quality of games as well as the composition of rosters. By the 1970s, football and track squads contained two dozen or more black athletes, and on some basketball teams blacks constituted a majority. To a considerable extent, the opening up of these rosters spelled the decline—or at least inability to compete at the highest levels—of historically black college teams. Meanwhile, coaches, though they lost some of the battles against assertive black athletes, and though their sensitivities on race matters were raised, most often emerged with their authority not only intact but enhanced by control of scholarships and by increasingly independent athletic departments. The college athletic enterprise was opening a new playbook in which money and media would be involved as never before.

Keywords:   American college sports, racial integration, race, college football, college basketball, athletic scholarships, black college teams

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