+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Mts. in Tx
    Posts
    881
    My Mood
    Yeehaw

    Question First Black Player in the SWC?

    I saw this on Hayden Fry's bio. I thought the first black player in the SWC was from Baylor??? Maybe he wasn't as big of name. Info please.

    When Fry took the job at SMU, he was promised that he would be allowed to recruit black athletes. Fry and the school wanted to make certain that the player they recruited was not only a good athlete but also a good student and citizen and someone with the mental toughness to be the first black player in conference history. Fry found that player in Jerry LeVias. LeVias was a great player, an exceptional student, and mentally tough. He had never had discipline problems and was deeply religious. LeVias was the perfect player for SMU.
    Jerry LeVias had many other scholarship offers to good integrated schools, but he chose to attend SMU. In 1966, LeVias became the first black player in the Southwest Conference. Fry received abuse for recruiting a black player to SMU in the form of hate mail and threatening phone calls, but he downplayed the treatment, because the harassment of LeVias was much, much worse.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Posts
    26,144
    Blog Entries
    1
    John Hill Westbrook.

  3. #3
    IIRC LeVias made his appearance the week after John Hill Westbrook did.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by D. C. Bear View Post
    John Hill Westbrook.
    Who, btw, was recognized as such in person on the field at a recent home game this year.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Dallas
    Posts
    1,517
    Quote Originally Posted by palindrome View Post
    LeVias was the first black player to receive a scholarship to a SWC school - Westbrook was the first to actually play in a game. He was a walk-on at the time and received a scholarship later, I believe.
    This

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Waco/Houston
    Posts
    134
    In NCAAA Football 2010, it states that Baylor had the first african-american player in all of college football, I guess they meant the SWC?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Mts. in Tx
    Posts
    881
    My Mood
    Yeehaw
    Thanks I had remembered that from the game. It is a huge part of Hayden Fry's bio. That and Iowa. I just remember him bad mouthing him when he pulled NTSU out of the conference and made them an independent.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    Elm Mott, Texas USA
    Posts
    4,327
    My Mood
    Mellow
    Jerry LeVias of Southern Methodist was, indeed, the first black player signed to a Southwest Conference school.

    John Hill Westbrook, of Elgin, was the first black to actually play in a game. Baylor and Syracuse opened the football season for the entire nation on national tv that year (1966). The rest of the conference opened a week later. Baylor won the game against the nationally ranked Orangemen that featured a backfield of Floyd Little and Larry Csonka. Ridley Gibson wore old Floyd Little out that day. Westbrook made a respectable showing.


    He passed away several years ago.
    Last edited by Stranger; 10-17-10 at 08:40 PM.
    "I'm a Bearbacker"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    FtWorth,Texas
    Posts
    131
    John Hill was awarded a scholarship after walking on his freshman year from Elgin, Texas. He was the first black player to play in a varsity game in the swc.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    1 mile N of Thortonville
    Posts
    4,619
    My Mood
    Mellow
    Quote Originally Posted by GrillRat View Post
    Who, btw, was recognized as such in person on the field at a recent home game this year.
    John Westbrook passed away several years ago. Must have been family on the field.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Pflugerville
    Posts
    34,260
    My Mood
    Cynical
    Quote Originally Posted by jumpinjoe View Post
    John Westbrook passed away several years ago. Must have been family on the field.
    it was. they honored him at the Sam Houston game this year. had his widow and kids on the field as a Baylor Legend at the 1st quater break

    he died in 1983, btw.

    http://207.200.58.4/handbook/online/.../WW/fwe60.html

    http://www.baylorbears.com/sports/m-...042110aah.html
    Last edited by caesarscott; 10-17-10 at 09:20 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Dean Bradley's office
    Posts
    11,007
    My Mood
    Paranoid
    Quote Originally Posted by BaylorGreen View Post
    In NCAAA Football 2010, it states that Baylor had the first african-american player in all of college football, I guess they meant the SWC?
    Um yeah. Off the top of my head, Jackie Robinson played football at UCLA in 1940 or so. We're talking about 20+ years later.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    12,227
    My Mood
    Angelic
    Jerry LeVias was much more high-profile than Westbrook, being the first black scholarship player. I saw an excellent documentary on him on Fox Sports SW a few months ago, talking about how badly he was treated - hotels would not let him stay there when SMU traveled, things like that. The documentary* did acknowledge that Westbrook was the first black player to appear in a game for an SWC school.

    A shameful time in the history of college football. Hayden Fry deserves a lot of credit for his determination to break the color barrier, not to mention the courage of people like LeVias and Westbrook.

    *Jerry LeVias - Marked Man
    Last edited by JXL; 10-18-10 at 07:50 AM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    Claremore, Oklahoma
    Posts
    25,583
    It was Levias at SMU and LeVias with the Houston Oilers. John Westbrook played in a day game and I thought LeVias played that night. But regardless, John Westbrook was the first.



Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

     

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts