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Full Court PressMississippi State University, the Press, and the Battle to Integrate College Basketball$
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Jason A. Peterson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781496808202

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496808202.001.0001

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Sometimes, Even College Administrators Act like Freshmen

Sometimes, Even College Administrators Act like Freshmen

(p.17) Chapter 1 Sometimes, Even College Administrators Act like Freshmen
Full Court Press

Jason A. Peterson

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter focuses on Mississippi’s first colligate venture into integrated competition, the creation of the unwritten law, and the first challenges to the gentlemen’s agreement. Jones County Junior College played against the integrated Tartars of Compton Junior College in 1955 only to be met with a barrage of racially based verbal attacks from Mississippi’s journalistic elite. In response, state politicians and college presidents banded together to create the unwritten law in an effort to preserve segregation on the playing field. The chapter also examines the coverage of the first challenges to the unwritten law, which were brought forth from the then-Mississippi State College and The University of Mississippi in December 1956. Scribes across Mississippi united in their criticism of the attempted violations of the gentleman’s agreement. Despite the varying amounts of journalistic attention paid to the occurrences, the paths taken in each instance by the press in the Magnolia State contributed to the enforcement of the principles and ideals of the Closed Society

Keywords:   Jones County Junior College, Unwritten law, Mississippi State, Journalism, Integration

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