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Friday, September 22, 2006

Muddy Waters 1923-2006

Former Michigan State football coach Frank "Muddy" Waters died on Wednesday in Saginaw at the age of 83.

To most Michigan fans old enough to remember him, Waters was the affable looking fellow with a goofy name (and even goofier hats) who presided over the Sparty football program during the brief and undistinguished period that fell between the longer and only slightly more distinguished reigns of Darryl "Haggar Slacks" Rogers and George "Eight Months Pregnant" Perles.

But Waters should be best remembered for something that happened two and a half decades before he became the MSU coach. In 1955, Waters--then the young head coach of NAIA power Hillsdale (MI) College--joined his players in refusing a bid to the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando. The reason for this refusal? Tangerine Bowl officials would not allow Hillsdale's four black players to dress for the game.

The MZone gives a well-deserved salute to Coach Waters. Well done, sir. Well done.

4 comments:

Allaha said...

It is to Waters' great credit that he refused the bowl bid, but he also deserves props for overcoming the hardships of being born into a sharecropper family on the Mississippi Delta and eventually making it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. . . . Say what you will about Waters' coaching skills, but I didn't see no Woody Hayes in the R&R HoF.

Jeremy said...

haha, well played, allaha.

TitleIX said...

Muddy Waters' story and his class make him one of the greats of college football. no doubt about it.

anonymous iv said...

The 1951 University of San Francisco football team also refused to accept a bowl bid that would have required them to leave their two Black teammates behind. As a result the school had to drop football because of a lack of funds. My thanks go out to all the individuals who dared to make a difference and stood against what was then the status quo in out country.