SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Thirty-six years after they quit the team
to protest racial injustice, nine black Syracuse University
football players were given their long-denied letterman jackets at
a halftime ceremony Saturday afternoon.
The university also gave them Chancellor's Medals, one of the
university's highest honors.
Former National Football League star and Syracuse alumnus Art
Monk, who has won three Super Bowls, presented the letterman
jackets. He said the players' accomplishments make a larger
statement than any sports record he ever set.
The players walked out of spring practice in 1970 and said they
would boycott the upcoming season.
That inspired a university investigation that found widespread
racial injustice at Syracuse and led to dramatic changes, including
increased hiring of black assistant coaches and a revised dress
After giving up football, and their scholarships, all became
successful as business executives, teachers and public servants.
One of the men, John Lobon, said, quote, "Sometimes you have to
make a stand for your principles if you want to believe in who and
what you are."