View Full Version : Does Anyone Remember This?
12-29-2004, 12:20 AM
This event seems to have gone down the system's Memory Hole. In the late '70s or early '80s Arkansas had a very good team which was going to a bowl game. The black players on the team were upset about something and boycotted the game. Instead of backing out of the game, Arkansas went with only its white players -- and won. I'm pretty sure Lou Holz (who later became a fervent Caste System advocate) was coaching the team at the time. I remember seeing the Razorback players running onto the field with three fingers held aloft, making a "W" for "White."
I can't find anything about this on the Internet, though it's understandable given how the game went down. Anyone else remember this?
12-29-2004, 11:09 AM
I remember this game. It was the 1978 Orange Bowl between Arkansas and Oklahoma. Some 5 or 6 black players (the team's stars) were suspended by Holtz, one of them was Ben Cowins, the teams leading rusher. The Little Rock NAACP demanded their immediate reinstatement. Holtz didn't back down and was under a lot of pressure. I believe the suspended players had a woman in a dormitory room.
However, most of the black players on the Arkansas team went ahead and played. A black 3rd or 4th teamer played tailback in place of Cowins and gained over 200 yards and was Orange Bowl MVP. The game was no contest, Arkansas won by some 3TDs if I remember correctly. The Arkansas starting quarterback was white andplayed, of course, and was the key player. Arkansas also had a good white WR and Dan Hampton in the DL.
On the Sooner sidelines, Barry Switzer looked absolutely bewildered. He had Billy Sims, Thomas Lott, Elvis Pea******* in the backfield and was being clobbered by a team he seemed to have outmanned. You can probably find the exact details, although the subtext may be down the memory hole. It was the Orange Bowl game played on New Year's 1978.
12-30-2004, 12:05 AM
Good memory, Sport Historian. Thanks!
12-30-2004, 02:51 PM
Lou Holtz coached at Arkansas through the 1982 season, going to minor bowls the rest of his tenure. However, Holtz got in trouble at Arkansas when it became known that he was a supporter of "ultraconservative" North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms. Holtz had known Helms when he coached at NC State. There was a little bit in the press about this. When Holtz left Arkansas around 1983, I heard PFW analyst Joel Buschbaum remark on a radio show that Holtz's "political endorsements" were considered wrong for a football coach. I believe Holtz was for liberal Republican John McCain in 2000.
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