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Mike Ebbing, "Dropped Black Athletes Would Like to Play Ball," Daily Iowan (University of Iowa), 22 Apr. 1969, p. 1.


The 16 black football players who were dropped from the team Friday indicated Monday afternoon that they would like to play ball for the Hawkeyes next fall.

The athletes, however, contend that they have no intentions of playing football at Iowa unless their demands are met.

A boycott of the first spring practice by the 16 in support of their demands led to their dismissal from the team, an action termed by Coach Ray Nagel as "automatic self-dismissal," . . . and he added that the players in question were aware of the consequences beforehand.

Several members of BAU ["the newly formed Black Athletes Union"] met Monday with William Hubbard, dean of academic affairs, to discuss the demands and the situation at the University for the black athlete.  Hubbard, who is black, and the players attending were drawing up a letter that will be presented to the Board in Control of Athletics today. . . .

The BAU members maintain that their intention was never really to withdraw themselves from the school's athletic program, but instead, they said, "Our primary concern is to demonstrate through our protest that there is an intolerable situation at the University for all black people. . . .

The Hawkeye coach remained firm in his reply to the question of whether the 16 athletes might play again next fall.  "They're off the squad and you can take that anyway you wish."

The group was unhappy with the way Nagel had dismissed Allison and Bolden from spring drills this season and were also not satisfied with an apology he made to the two players last week.  Both players were dismissed from spring practice because of what Nagel has called "personal reasons."

It is believed that another point in question is that the black athlete is not given the right to openly display what he believes.  Specifically, the 16 are unhappy with the way Ken Price was reprimanded after he did not stand up for the playing of the national anthem at an Iowa basketball game.



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This article is one that students in His234 "Studies in American Cultural History" selected to illustrate race relations at predominantly white colleges and universities in the Midwest. It is an excerpt transcription of the text as it appears in the digital version of the Daily Iowan. For more on race relations at the University of Iowa, see A Proud Tradition.



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