Gotta try again to correct some flawed history.
Don Haskins just died, and he was a pretty good college basketball coach. Still I don't consider him the ultra-noble social engineer that Sports Illustrated and the film "Glory Road" depict him.
Don rode pretty good coat-tails into Valhalla.
Kansas University did more than Haskins for college integration. Many others helped create the foundation for Don's fame. Indulge me here.
The Myth of '66. You know, Haskins' Texas Western team (now UTEP) won the '66 NCAA title by starting five black players and playing only seven, all minorities, to upset all-white Kentucky. That supposedly shattered the glass ceiling for black athletes and reformed UK's irascible Adolph Rupp.
Facts, galore, refute a lot of such baloney.
1951-52 - KU with LaVannes Squires and K-State with Gene Wilson broke the Big Seven color line.
1955-56 - San Francisco featuring Bill Russell, K.C. Jones, Hal Perry and Gene Brown won two straight NCAA titles.
1955-57 - Maurice King debuted as a 1954-55 sophomore as KU's first impact African-American; King and Wilt Chamberlain starred for the '57 KU team that lost the college crown in triple overtime to all-white North Carolina.
1957-58 - The consensus All-America team had Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Bob Boozer, Elgin Baylor and Guy Rodgers. Didn't somebody have a hint that African-Americans had arrived?
1960-61 - KU's nine top men included seven blacks and Delaware Indian Dee Ketchum. The African-Americans were Wayne Hightower, Al Correll, Bill Bridges, Jim Dumas, Nolen Ellison, Butch Ellison and Ralph Heyward. Jerry Gardner was the only white starter; the others of no-color were Carl Deane, Bob Frederick, Marshall Grover, John Matt, Howard Parker, Larry Sterlin, John Williams and Pete Woodward.
1961-1962 - Cincinnati won two NCAA titles featuring Paul Hogue, Tom Thacker, Tony Yates and George Wilson. Cincy almost dumped black-dominated Chicago Loyola in '63 for a title trifecta.
1964 - John Wooden and UCLA began their phenomenal title surge (1964-75) with Fred Slaughter, Walt Hazzard and Kenny Washington as difference-makers. Some indication black guys can play the game?
1966 - KU meets T-Western in the NCAA Regional title game and falls in double overtime, even though KU's Jo Jo White hit a winning shot at the end of the first OT. (Official ruled Jo Jo stepped on the sideline, no bucket. KU was celebrating, didn't regroup, and Western later met the Lexington White Citizens Council for the crown. Talented Kansas could have won except for that crummy call.)
Had Kansas won at Lubbock, it would have advanced with three minority starters - Walt Wesley, Jo Jo White and Al Lopes - Bob Wilson a key reserve; Ron Lang was also on the bench. Would that have been interracial enough for a "legend"?
Then there's the ridiculous notion that Kentucky's Adolph Rupp had a glorious epiphany about black athletes. If Adolph was so overwhelmed by the Texas Western shelling, how come he didn't have a black guy on a Wildcat roster until about 1970?
All this won't change a thing, but I feel better.