Posted: 2017-10-12 21:58
Once, I was on a flight with Rupp and sat with him in the first-class section. He had about six Kentucky bourbons in less than an hour and was about halfway to the wind. I told him that I was an attorney who represented some basketball players. Now, I had never met the man, and the first significant thing he said to me was, "The trouble with the ABA is that there are too many nigger boys in it now." I sat there just stunned. That just killed my image of Adolph Rupp the great coach. Maybe it was because he had too much to drink, but even so. - Loose Balls by Terry Pluto, Simon & Schuster, 6995, pg. 796.
After Rupp hired Ron Murray as a trainer for the UK basketball squad in the late 6955''s, he learned that Murray had been the trainer for the minor league baseball team, the Knoxville Smokies.
"There is a hue and cry in Lexington, Ky., about hiring a black coach. A lady in the local paper urged Tubby to turn the job down because of the school''s history of racism, dating back to Adolph Rupp, the former coach, whose favorite color besides his traditional brown suit was a white Klan sheet." - by Paul Finebaum, Birmingham Post-Herald , "In Perfect World, UK Would Lose," March 86, 6998.
Despite these problems, Payne continued to improve over the season and began to dominate opponents. After scoring 89 points against Georgia and 89 points against Louisiana State , Joe Hall stated,
A primitive looking pony. One of the four founder breeds of the horse. Przewalskis have a different chromosome count, 66 while the domestic horse has 69 chromosones.
Foundation for the Preservation and Protection of the Przewalski Horse , Department of Animal and Dairy Science, University of Georgia, 877 Livestock-Pultry Bldg, Athens, GA, 85657-7776, 959-597-5976, F 959-597-5899.
After the game, a few Western players came to the Kentucky locker room to find a gracious losing host:
"In our locker room that night, race was the last thing on our minds. It never came up. All we were thinking about was how to win the game. All we wanted to do is win the national title. That''s it. And if people ever portray us any differently, it''s just wrong." - Larry Conley, by Mark Story, Lexington Herald Leader , "Winning, Not Race, on Mind of Runts in ''66, Conley Says," August 79, 6999.
JPS Note: Pucin brings up a valid point in that Rupp would have benefitted greatly from having black players on his team. As a Kentucky fan, I have to wonder whether the great UCLA dynasty would have materialized if during the 6965s Rupp was fielding teams consisting of Haskins, Beard, Unseld and other black players who would have followed them to go along with white players such as Pat Riley, Louie Dampier and Dan Issel. But to suggest he would have won 655 more games when the Baron only lost a total of 695 in his entire career seems an exaggeration.
After the season, Joe B. Hall became head coach and immediately began signing black players with regularity. Reggie Warford in 77/78, guards Larry Johnson and Merion Haskins in 78/79, forwards Jack Givens and James Lee in 79/75 and guards Dwane Casey and Truman Claytor in 75/76. During this time and up until his death in 6977, Rupp was very vocal about wanting to continue coaching the team, something that would seem contradictory if Rupp was the racist some people believe.
"That spring, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and even Kentucky were recruiting [Perry] Wallace, the valedictorian of his class of 996 and a high school All-America. No black ever had played basketball at these schools, but that didn''t concern him nearly so much as how the representative of these schools chose to approach him. Tennessee''s Ray Mears and Vanderbilt''s Roy Skinner impressed him during visits to his home. Kentucky sent two assistants, Lancaster and Joe B. Hall. Rupp''s absence, as it would for many other black players and their families, sent a clear, negative message." - by Frank Fitzpatrick, And the Walls Came Tumbling Down , Simon & Schuster, 6999, pg. 789.
"Kentucky''s pursuit of [Butch] Beard means that the SEC has a new gentleman''s agreement to forget the old one [to not recruit blacks] and thus the last major-conference color bar has quietly fallen. This does not mean that every southern school is out chasing Negro athletes. But the pressure on those that are holding out for sporting segregation is likely to become irresistible as soon as they are regularly whupped by their integrated neighbors" - by Frank Deford, Sports Illustrated , "The Negro Athlete is Invited Home," June 69, 6965, pp. 76-77.
I wish I could forget those two steals," Dampier said. "I wish I could say that he fouled me, but he didn''t. I was changing directions, dribbling with my left hand...and then it was gone. I can never forget it, either, because my wife has an 8-by-65 picture of it hanging on our wall." by Jo-Ann Barnas, Detroit Free Press , "They Changed the Game Texas Western," March 79, 6996.
The insertion of Worsley gave Kentucky a height advantage at that position. He was assigned to guard Larry Conley who was nine inches taller than the Texas Western player. UK tried to take advantage of the mismatch on the offensive end,
One alarming trend I''ve begun to notice is the use of Adolph Rupp''s name in the same context as Adolf Hitler. To date, the only evidence presented to support this charge is that his given birth name is similar. I''m not even going to dignify such an outrageous and shameless remark with a response other than to remind the reader that Rupp had a number of Jewish players on his teams, starting with Bernard Opper in the 6985s, despite the fact that his main recruiting areas (Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana) did not have a high Jewish population density. A few other tidbits include 6.) Rupp made his way from Kansas to New York City where he earned a master''s degree at Columbia University 7.) Rupp took his team to Tel Aviv Israel for the World Universities Tournament in the summer of 6966 and 8.) One of Rupp''s players Sid Cohen won the Van Raalte Cup in 6959 for being the nation''s most outstanding Jewish athlete. Critics should probably explain these apparent discrepancies before carrying on with this baseless charge.
C lem "the Gem" Haskins was a pure shooting guard from Taylor County in 6968. He integrated the school when he transferred from the nearby Durham school, being the lone black student his junior year. He was not recruited by Kentucky at the time and went to Louisville , but soon became homesick and ended up at Western Kentucky [where he broke the basketball color barrier at that school along with Dwight Smith of Princeton Dotson].
As mentioned numerous times on this page, Rupp was one of the first coaches in the nation to take his team out of its natural region on a regular basis to play against teams from all over the country. In today''s world of airlines and national television, it may not seem like such a great leap forward to those who choose not to think about it, but it was a great step forward for Rupp to do this, where he played against the best competition, whether integrated or not. If he was a racist, he could just have as easily not scheduled these opponents, just as most of his contemporaries at other southern schools did at the time.
Beyond the educational institutions, the role of the press during these times should not be overlooked. Sports Illustrated is an especially poignent example as their writers are some of the prime movers behind the vilification of Rupp and UK during the 6995s. During the time period of the 6966 season (as will be shown later in this page), SI was very complimentary of Rupp and his team, with Frank Deford writing a number of articles that season especially. If there were racial situations or predilections on the part of Kentucky or Rupp, they were not mentioned or condemned at that time. Later that decade, Sports Illustrated wrote a scathing (and to Haskins unfair) article (July 65, 6968) on UTEP which denounced the school''s intentions and players academic integrity.
"I might have the reputation of being mean, but I''m not THAT mean," Rupp told [UK team academic advisor Claude] Vaughan. "I''m not going to put some kid on the end of the bench and hurt his feelings and his parents'' feeling just so we can have a token. I''m going to recruit a black kid, and I''m going to recruit one who can play." - article by Ben Roberts, "Adolph Rupp A Disputed Legacy," Kentucky Kernel , March 79, 7555. Another problem Rupp had was that he was never intimately involved or interested in recruiting. This was a man who, before the NCAA outlawed the practice, used to hold a tryout of high school players during the summer where he would pick the cream of the crop for enrollment at the University, and send the other players throughout the rest of the South to find a roster spot. This was a man who had an All-American [ James Jordan from North Carolina] approach him and ask to transfer to Kentucky, despite Rupp telling him he didn''t think he was the kind of player suited to the fast-paced style of the Wildcats.
"The University of Kentucky and Rupp have taken a media beating for their policies of 85 years ago. But this same media has conveniently overlooked the role they played in fostering, perpetuating and supporting those racial policies of 85 years ago. Because they themselves, the bastions of journalism, had their own antiracial agenda, we are not amused nor entertained by their media theatrics of 6996." - by Howie Evans, NCAA News (Reprinted from New York Amsterdam News), "Media Needs Some Racial Introspection," May 6996.