Secret Football Agreement Not to play Negro, Hinted.


“Half the Team” Says One Sports Writer

October 26, 1929

NEW YORK. (Special) — Announcement that Dave Myers, New York University football  star, would be benched because of his color when his school plays the University of Georgia here, November 9, has brought a demand from writers and fans that the game should be canceled if Myers does not play.

Upon the request of the Georgia athletic officials that the only Negro member of the team be barred from that game, it is understood that the athletic authorities at the local institution have secretly agreed to do so, and publicly declared that “Myers is out because of injury.”


Myers, who gained intercollegiate fame as a javelin thrower and as a football player, was shifted last saturday from his regular position at guard to quarterback. His brilliant play and unerring generalship enabled New York University to defeat Penn State, 7-0. While 30,000 looked on at the Yankee Stadium last Saturday Myers, carrying the ball for frequent gains, drove the violet in to victory.

Called “Half the Team”

So powerful was Myers that one white writer referred to him as “Half of the N.Y.U. team.” Another spoke of him as a “human catapult, who flung himself recklessly at the white-shirted Penn State line, and who reaped all the N.Y.U. glory.”

Chick Meehan, N.Y.U. coach, said an inmpied agreement existed between the two colleges not to use colored players.

Mrs. Myers is not eager for her son to play. She fears Southerners would intentionally seek to cripple him. Meehan admitted that Georgia “would try to put Dave out.”

Writing of Myers, Ed. Sullivan says in the Graphic:

“If a New York City university allows the Mason-Dixon line to be erected in the center of its playing field, then that New York City university should disband its football team for all time.”

Myers Praised

“Dave Myers is a fine type of colored boy. The fact that he has served as president of the student council at Stuyvesant High School, the highest elective honor in the school, proves his caliber. If the University of Georgia cannot see its way clear to allow Myers to play against the Southern team, the N.Y.U. should cancel the game. Regardless of how Myers may feel about it and no matter how willing he may be to subordinate his claims to the unfair demands of his school, New York University should not deliberately cruelly affront this colored lad.”

“Last Saturday it was this Dave Myers who single-handed beat Penn State for N.Y.U. It was Myers pulled out of the line to become an offensive back, who supplied the scoring punch that the Violets lacked against Fordham the week previous.”

“Playing clearly and well, Myers has covered himself with glory at New York University, risking his neck for a school that will now turn around and bench him because University of Georgia asks that the colored line be drawn.”

“What a shameful state of affairs this is. And I believe the colleagues call it sportsmanship. “

Has Precedents

Demands of Southern white schools that race athletes be barred from games in which they play is not new. Last year Ray Vaughn, Colgate star, now coaching at Morehouse College, felt the sting of prejudice he was dropped from the lineup when Colgate played Vanderbilt and Virginia Polytechnic.

The previous year Vaughn did not make the trip when Colgate played the Naval academy, because it was felt that he “would not be welcome at Annapolis.”

Transcribed by Terrance Smith