Scott and Smith gave new look to Tobacco Road
I remember talking to Dean Smith about Charlie Scott nearly 25 years after Scott became the first African-American scholarship athlete at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Coach Smith had called me after he read that the Center for the Study of Sport in Society, which I had founded at Northeastern University, had started a program that was using former athletes to train young people to deal more effectively with racial tensions and conflict. It was called Project Teamwork and went on to be called "America's most successful violence prevention program." Coach Smith was inquiring about it because he thought Scott would be a perfect leader for Project Teamwork. Amazingly, Smith made the call during the week that UNC was about to play in the Sweet 16 at the 1990 NCAA Tournament. What coach calls someone during that week to talk about a player who had left his program decades before?
Richard Lapchick's new book, "100 Pioneers: African-Americans Who Broke Color Barriers in Sport," includes profiles of Charlie Scott and many other barrier breakers in the world of sports. Pre-order the paperback edition here.
Richard E. Lapchick is the Chair of the DeVos Sport Business Management Graduate Program in the College of Business Administration at the University of Central Florida. The author of 13 books, Lapchick also directs UCF's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, is the author of the annual Racial and Gender Report Card, and is the Director of the National Consortium for Academics and Sport. He has joined ESPN.com as a regular commentator on issues of diversity in sport. Horacio Ruiz, a DeVos graduate, contributed to this article which is an adaptation of a chapter of Lapchick's new book, "100 Pioneers: African-Americans who Broke Color Barriers in Sport" (Fitness Information Technology Press, West Virginia University, 2008).
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