ACC Basketball: The Story of the Rivalries, Traditions, and Scandals of the First Two Decades of the Atlantic Coast Conference

By J. Samuel Walker | Go to book overview

7
THE INTEGRATION
OF ACC BASKETBALL

On December 1, 1965, twelve years after the first ACC basketball game, another milestone event took place. Billy Jones, a 6′1″ guard from Towson, Maryland, became the league’s first black varsity basketball player by appearing briefly for the University of Maryland in a road game against Penn State. Three days later, when Jones came off the bench and scored two points in a rout of Wake Forest at Cole Field House, he became the first black player to participate in a varsity game between two conference schools. In retrospect, Jones’s pioneering performances were critical steps toward shattering the racial barriers that had prevailed in ACC basketball since the founding of the league. At the time, however, the Washington and Baltimore newspapers that covered Maryland athletics and the university’s student paper, The Diamondback, gave Jones’s signal contribution to ACC basketball history almost no attention. The only mention of his appearance was in the account of the Wake game in the Baltimore Sun, and it merely noted in passing that he was the “first Negro to play basketball in the A.C.C.”1

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ACC Basketball: The Story of the Rivalries, Traditions, and Scandals of the First Two Decades of the Atlantic Coast Conference
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations viii
  • Preface xi
  • Prologue 1
  • 1 - The Crisis in College Sports, 1951 10
  • 2 - The Founding of the Acc 30
  • 3 - The Man Who Made Acc Basketball 63
  • 4 - A Championship Won, a Classic Lost 100
  • 5 - The Big Four 135
  • 6 - The Revolt of the Also-Rans 181
  • 7 - The Integration of Acc Basketball 224
  • 8 - "College Basketball’s Strongest League" 255
  • 9 - The 800 Rule & The Departure of South Carolina 309
  • Notes 331
  • Essay on Sources 379
  • Index 381
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