Greg Cote wrote a nice piece about Ray Bellamy which was featured in today's Herald
. You may not remember Bellamy, but he was the first black college football player at a major football program in the South.
Bellamy received his historic scholarship in December of 1966. Since then the landscape of college football - in the South and throughout the country - has changed significantly.
While the University of Miami seldom receives credit for these types of things, today's article reminded me of three significant events in collegiate sports that Miami blazed the trail in: one is Bellamy's scholarship; second is that Miami was the first school to award an athletic scholarship to a woman; third is that Miami was the first to sign an apparel/marketing contract with a sporting goods company (Nike).
The third event may not be the most positive of things - at least in many people's eyes, but it's still significant and has changed the face and the shape of college athletics over the past few decades. Awarding the first football scholarship to a black player in the South and the first athletic scholarship to a woman are signifcant though, no matter how you look at it. Just thought I'd point it out that each of those things happened in the same place. Go Canes!