Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

USF Football Team Honored for Stand against Racism

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

USF Football Team Honored for Stand against Racism

Article excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO

Some have called it the best college football team ever. Nine of its players were drafted, five played in the National Football League's Pro Bowl and three are enshired in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

But this University of San Francisco squad never got the chance to cap off its 1951 undefeated season with a postseason bowl game win because it refused to leave behind its two Black players. In honor of the team's bold stand against racism, the university awarded an honorary degree to that 1951 team during the school's commencement last month.

"The team member exemplify the values that remain at the core of USF's identify as a Jesuit Catholic university: dedication to a common good, rather than the interests of any one individual; respect for the dignity and worth of every human being; and an unwavering commitment to excellence on the field, in the classroom, and in one's personal and professional life," says Bill Hogan, the university's athletic director.

USF President Stephen Privett awarded the degree to the 10 phyers from the team who were in attendance, including Burl Toler, the fist African-American to become an NFL official.

The other Black team member was All-American Ollie Matson, a 1952 Olympic medalist in track. …

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