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Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Documentary will offer insight into Croom

By Paul Kuharsky

Jaguars running back coach Sylvester Croom is in the early stages of getting to know Maurice Jones-Drew. But Croom’s visibility is about to expand based on a previous job, not his current one.

Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU will debut “Croom,” the latest installment of the SEC documentary series “Storied.”

Sylvester Croom
Sylvester Croom, now with the Jaguars, was the first black head coach in the SEC.
The film chronicles Croom’s rise to become head coach at Mississippi State University, where he was the first black head coach in the SEC.

From ESPN: “ESPN Films’ Croom will tell the story of a coach who has been tested by some of the most difficult circumstances society has to offer but, through his conviction and character, has impacted countless lives.”

I’ve only met Croom once, and when I talked to him it was mostly about Rashad Jennings at training camp.

It was clear even from that brief conversation that he’s a principled man. He wasn’t a success at Mississippi State, but he took an approach we all should be able to appreciate.

Croom, on his methods at MSU, via the documentary: “When I went into a player’s home and told Mom and Daddy that I was going to treat their son like he was mine, that was the truth. If you send your boy to me, if you send him to our program, four years from now you’ll get a grown man back. He’ll be prepared to provide for himself and his family. He will have his degree. Because if he comes here, I will not play him if he won’t go to class. I’m not going to exploit his athletic talents and he leave here with nothing. That was a promise I made to every one of their parents.”