Gene Washington

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How MLK helped LeVias and Fry change SWC

How MLK helped LeVias and Fry change SWC

No singular figure or moment represents the integration of college football, but Jerry LeVias stands out for encompassing so much history in a tumultuous fight for equal opportunity – at least on the playing field. His story also is unique for crossing paths with influential...

The 1967 NFL Draft changed the face of league

The 1967 NFL Draft changed the face of league

A half-century ago the NFL Draft was so simple NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle stood at a chalkboard in a New York hotel ballroom. He scrawled names in chalk as they were called out.The anticipation hovering over the draft was not about who would go where. It was relief players...

Willie Ray Smith left a legacy beyond football

Willie Ray Smith left a legacy beyond football

Part II: Texas royalty turned to uncommon manESPN and The Undefeated credits Michigan State's Underground RailroadMy segment on The Drive with Jack on sports radio in Lansing, Mich., on the influence of Willie Ray Smith-- Willie Ray Smith Sr. was one of the southern black...

My Michigan State history letter to Mel Tucker

My Michigan State history letter to Mel Tucker

To Coach Mel Tucker:Welcome back to Michigan State.Your two seasons as a graduate assistant in the 1997 and 1998 seasons on Nick Saban's football staff provided time to learn more about the school than we know about you upon returning. So I'm wondering how much you learned...

Michigan State hired the best if not first choice

Michigan State hired the best if not first choice

I knew Mel Tucker spent the past year as Colorado’s football coach. I knew he coached with Nick Saban at Alabama. What I didn’t know until Michigan State hired him in Wednesday's surprise announcement was the Saban coaching tree with a Mel Tucker branch sprouted from Michigan...

Forty four Underground Railroad legacy facts

Forty four Underground Railroad legacy facts

--- Why do I write so much debunking the myths and fiction surrounding Bear Bryant and the 1970 USC-Alabam game? The answer is simple: History has failed to properly credit College Football Hall of Fame coach Duffy Daugherty and his Michigan State Underground Railroad teams for...

Dabo insults his team with Alabama history

Dabo insults his team with Alabama history

“Notre Dame was 8-0 and ranked No. 1; the Spartans were 9-0 and ranked No. 2. Despite the fact that Alabama was also undefeated — and, in fact, would end the 1966 season as the only undefeated Division I team in the country — no one doubted that the winner of the Notre...

Black History Month and Underground Railroad

Black History Month and Underground Railroad

Three twitter posts I read in succession were unrelated unless placed in the context of Black History Month. One was from filmmaker Ava DuVernay and the other two about the Texas Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame. In general, they were reminders...

Spartans have Super Bowl link to Sean McVay

Spartans have Super Bowl link to Sean McVay

The coaching DNA linking New England head coach Bill Belichick and his father Steve, a respected 34-year Navy assistant, are retold with every Patriots Super Bowl trip. But the Belichick family has company this week in Atlanta. Sean McVay, who has taken the Los Angeles Rams to...

The State News story on Jimmy Raye

The State News story on Jimmy Raye

Thanks to The State News and Jonathan LeBlanc for a great story on Jimmy Raye's Michigan State Hall of Fame induction and Duffy Daugherty's Underground Railroad teams. As a State News alum (sports editor, 1978) fun to be a part of the story. Great fun back on campus visiting old...