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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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The Less Said, the Better

The Less Said, the Better

Chapter:
(p.65) Chapter 3 The Less Said, the Better
Source:
Full Court Press
Author(s):

Jason A. Peterson

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496808202.003.0003

This chapter details the press coverage of the 1960-61 Mississippi State basketball team, which won its second SEC championship and spurred another press-based argument over integrated athletic competition. As detailed in this chapter, during the final month of the 1960-61 college basketball season for the SEC champion Maroons, Mississippi’s journalists supported and enforced the unwritten law and the Closed Society. While a similar argument existed for journalists in the Magnolia State in terms of the merits of the unwritten law, in total, the passion and commentary from Mississippi State’s 1958-59 season was lacking as only a select few argued for the Maroons to participate in the postseason, much less acknowledge the opportunity lost. Despite this level of neglect from the majority of Mississippi’s reporters, a degree of social progress could be found in Mississippi’s sports sections Vicksburg Daily News' Billy Ray and Dick Lightsey of the Biloxi-based Daily Herald, who joined the crusade of Jackson State Times’ Jimmie McDowell’s against the unwritten law, albeit for the chance at postseason glory.

Keywords:   Mississippi State, Jimmie McDowell, Closed Society, Journalism, Unwritten law

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