In southern US colleges, the policy of segregation was deeply ingrained. Universities and colleges refused to admit Black students. Thus, it was natural for their teams to be White with no African-Americans. After the Second World War, university in northern states desegregated and they admitted numerous African-American players to their respective teams. In spite of this, southern schools remained fully segregated. These colleges went as far as refusing to play desegregated teams from universities from the North even if the games were played in the North2.
The Southeastern Conference is a college athletic conference which operates in the southeast of the United States. It has its headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama. It participates in the National collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I. Currently, it sponsors team championship in nine mens sports and twelve womens sports. This makes it one of the largest in the world.
As a sports institution located in the South, it was plagued with the issue of segregation for many years. It was part of a larger effort to prevent mixing of Blacks and Whites in America. This trend changed when the changes of the Civil Rights Movement hit the institutions of the United States.
The aim of this paper is to examine the process of integration into the Southeastern Conference (SEC) football. It would examine the various stages that the integration went through and some of the challenges that came with it. In doing this, the following objectives would be met:
The integration of African-American footballers into the SEC can best be described in the wider context of the SEC and its unique position in American history. This is because SEC football is just a subset of the SEC which went through several changes as a unit rather than in individual sports. Thus, the approach that can best be used would be to examine the SEC as a whole with the emphasis on football.
In simple terms, segregation means to ...