Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Remembering the Boycott of 1969

The late 1960s was marked by unrest on college campuses. The Vietnam War was in full bloom and civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. The frustration eventually made its way to the gridiron. Sixteen black members of Iowa's team boycotted spring practice in 1969, including running back Dennis Green, left, who went on to successful career as a coach. The players were protesting a decision by coach Ray Nagel to suspended two black players — both starters from the previous season — for undisclosed reasons. As the '69 season grew near, the players, including Green, asked to be reinstated. Nagel had the squad vote on the players individually at a team meeting. Seven were reinstated, including Green, but five were rejected. In observance of Black History Month, the Iowa City Press-Citizen is looking back at the university's legacy of equality for the black athlete. Other features include the Hawkeyes' landmark 1950 game against Miami in the Orange Bowl and the story behind the Floyd of Rosedale trophy.

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