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Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Howard University Thread
« Reply #210 on: October 16, 2016, 05:48:05 PM »
On Saturday, October 15, 2016, Lincoln Phillips presented Howard University with a work of art (a collage) in honor of the 1971 team, and its legacy on and off the field.

The handing-over ceremony took place at Cramton Auditorium during "20 Years of Steelpan and The Arts: Instruments of Excellence in Education", an event that honored CAFE (The Cultural Academy for Excellence) and which featured the patronage of the Embassy of Trinidad and Tobago and the (very impressive) Ambassador of Trinidad & Tobago to the United States, His Excellency Brigadier-General Anthony Phillips-Spencer.

« Last Edit: October 16, 2016, 05:50:11 PM by asylumseeker »
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Offline dtool

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Re: Howard University Thread
« Reply #211 on: November 26, 2016, 11:05:59 AM »

Carlton "Squeakie" Hinds inducted into the Howard Athletic Hall of Fame .... 19th November 2016

During his years at HU he was the captain/member of the soccer and the cricket varsity teams; designated member of the Dean’s Honor Roll, member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, the Beta Kappa Chi, Who’s Who  1962, and the Alpha Phi Omega organizations; member of the Caribbean Association and the American Civil Engineering associations.

His 1961 team (as Captain) won Howard University’s first national Championship title (NAIA)
and was the first  HBCU team to win a national title in soccer in the USA.

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Re: Howard University Thread
« Reply #212 on: December 06, 2016, 05:34:02 AM »
Published online today:

Howard's history-making men's soccer champions needed to be twice as good.

When the first HBCU to win a Division I championship was stripped of their title, Howard University’s multi-national barrier-breakers made history all over again

The way coach Lincoln ‘Tiger’ Phillips recalls it, there was not much point in playing one period of overtime to decide the 1974 NCAA men’s soccer championship, let alone four – though, that’s what it eventually took for his Howard University Bison to defeat Saint Louis University Billikens, 2-1, and claim the national championship for the only time in the school’s history. Why? Because fate, Phillips recently told the Guardian, had already decided the outcome of the match long before a ball was even kicked on that freezing cold December day 42 years ago this week, when conditions delayed kickoff and snow had to be piled up behind the goals at Busch Memorial Stadium in St Louis.

Phillips’ belief stemmed from the fact that the “only time in its history” part of his and Howard’s story – which saw the school become the first historically black college or university to win a Division I national championship – was not entirely accurate. Though the record books currently show the university’s men’s soccer team with one title to its name (1974), the school and Phillips had experienced such a success story before; it was the basis for the coach’s fate-based-on-fact approach, paired with a sense of redemption that ran through a squad whose stories stretched from Africa to the Caribbean to Washington DC.

The first first had come in 1971 – one year after a young goalkeeper from Trinidad and Tobago had set foot on the Howard’s campus with a vision of transforming its rather woeful soccer team into a national powerhouse. Phillips, then just 29, had previously worked as a player-coach for the Washington Darts of the North American Soccer League. When he arrived at Howard, the school had not advanced to the NCAA tournament since 1963, when they comfortably lost to Navy, 5-1, in the first round.

In 1970, Phillips’ team qualified for the NCAA’s final four, prompting the school to offer him a full-time contract the following year. In accepting the head coaching role at the university, Phillips would also receive a free education to pursue his undergraduate degree. Despite what may have been perceived as an awkward situation for the Phillips – sitting alongside his equals in the lecture halls, but expected to exert authority on the field – the coach’s personality traits made him the perfect figurehead for Howard at the time. He was young and ambitious; had respect from his time as a NASL player and Trinidadian international; and his calm demeanor and one-on-one approach could also be matched by an intense focus on physical fitness and effort in matches. Phillips had an objective, too. Though seemingly far-off when he arrived, especially given Howard’s past performances, the idea becoming the first black school to win a national title would galvanize the team, he said. There was a sense of pride that extended beyond soccer, he added – his tenure starting just two years after the Civil Rights Act and a decade of bloodshed and riots that had seen the assassinations of Malcolm X, Medgar Evers and Martin Luther King Jr.

Due to Howard’s reputation, the team Phillips was able to build contained a global mix of lineages. Some saw this as a negative – a clash of soccer identities. But Phillips believed the appeal of the talented players at his disposal far outweighed man-management issues. “At the time, Europe was not moving, at least on a professional level, for players in third world countries,” he said. “So, for the African players and the Trinidad players, America was the way out, coming over here to college. … Some of the players were on national teams. These are the [types of] players who are now playing in England and Europe.”

Bison players under Phillips originated from countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Eritrea, Trinidad and Tobago, Ethiopia and Jamaica. After finishing third in 1970, Howard would steamroll the opposition during the 1971 season. Speed was the driving force behind this success – the Bison playing with high, in-your-face intensity, capitalizing on counter-attacks whenever possible. There was also a party atmosphere that year, past players said. A small, easy-going group that essentially picked itself for each game put any egos aside for the collective goal, which, as the season progressed, became ever more believable.

Most of the teams the Bison faced were all-white, and some matches saw fights, red cards, and, according to some players, biased referees and acts of discrimination from opponents and on the touchline. But Howard would better its 1970 performance in 1971, reaching the final, where it would face Saint Louis University, the most dominant soccer program in NCAA history, which had won eight Division I championships over the previous 12 seasons.

Despite being underdogs going into the match at Miami’s Orange Bowl on 30 December 1971, Phillip’s team would come out on top, 3-2, completing what would have been unthinkable before he had taken over. The coach cried; players carried Phillips aloft as Howard basked becoming the first black institution to win a Division I championship. The university’s victory was followed by a congratulatory telegram from President Richard Nixon, and Saint Louis’ all-white team and staff showed the utmost respect for Howard also, Phillips said.

The title also helped to raise the profile of the soccer program, allowing the university to appeal to more talented international soccer players in the years to come. This was a stark contrast to some of the ‘71 team, who, when arriving at Howard years earlier, had been unaware the university even had a soccer team.

“We knew where that program came from,” Trevor Leiba, a Trinidadian goalkeeper who joined the university in 1974, said. “I knew about the situation in Trinidad, but it was like a child trying to understand family life at the age of 10 or 12. I didn’t feel it until I was here and I would hear Lincoln and the older guys talk.”

On 26 January 1972, just over three weeks after the Bison had celebrated their historic victory, the NCAA received an anonymous note, asking them to look into the eligibility of Howard players. What followed was not only a whodunit between coaches and soccer officials, but also a whydunit of sorts. Some speculated that the letter was sent as retaliation, the predominantly white world of college soccer unhappy about Howard’s vast improvement. Others argued that factors such as jealousy over the international players, or the ages of certain players played a part.

After the NCAA’s Committee of Infractions opened an investigation into player eligibility, the 1972 season for Howard saw five individuals removed from the team as questions arose. Interviews were conducted with everyone from players and coaches – both from Howard and their opposition – right up to the United States Soccer Federation. Despite losing key figures, the Bison still managed to reach the semi-finals that year, losing to eventual champions Saint Louis.

Twenty-four hours after that defeat, Phillips and his team attended the NCAA’s final four banquet, where the Howard coach was due to speak to a room full of his peers and the media. Standing at the podium, Phillips congratulated Saint Louis on their victory. He then said: “We played against this entire wretched system of this society. I would say the NCAA is guilty of practicing racism. … Saint Louis did not beat Howard University. They beat the remnants of what was left of Howard University.”

Applause for the coach’s stand rippled around the room. But a month later, in January 1973, despite this show of apparent support from fellow university players and coaches, the NCAA’s investigation concluded that Howard had violated three rules relating to player eligibility: they would be stripped of their third-place finish in 1970; banned from post-season play during 1973; and, most shatteringly, also stripped of their 1971 title, which has since remained vacant.

“In my opinion, the Howard University team was stood knee-deep in the civil rights struggle,” Mori Diane, a member of the 1971 team who would go on to play professional soccer, said. “We played our little part, even unbeknown at the time. Our struggles were pebbles in the sandstorm that brought acceptance of blacks as equals.”

One of the rules Howard was deemed to have broken surrounded freshman eligibility and hinged on athletes achieving a high enough score on certain entry-level examinations to make a predicted grade-point average. For some students – especially those from outside of the United States – Howard’s admission process gave exemptions from these exams, as students could be admitted based on their scores on British Commonwealth or French equivalents. All of the players who were said to have broken this, The 1.6 Rule, achieved GPAs during their freshman year higher that were higher than the entrance requirements. In 1971, the soccer team had the highest GPA of all of the university’s varsity teams, with Phillips, studying alongside some of his players, putting a greater emphasis on education over sport.

The other rules Howard were questioned over surrounded the eligibility of certain foreign students. One player from the ‘71 team, for example, was questioned over the roughly three years he spent playing in a league in his home country, despite the standard being extremely low. NCAA rules deemed foreign students would lose one year of postseason eligibility for every year they participated in athletic competition in their home country after their 19th birthday. A rule that stated students were eligible five years of athletic activity after first registering for a college also hit Howard players, as some had spent periods at colleges in their home countries.

“Did they follow the rules to the tee in terms of what the NCAA requested? I don’t think so – but it was nearly impossible for anyone to at that time,” Justin Tinsley, who has written about race and the Howard teams of the early 70s for ESPN’s The Undefeated, told the Guardian. “But it was never to the extent where head coach Lincoln Phillips was trying to game the system, either. ... It wasn’t until after 1971 season and the questions that arose after it did it only become a problem. They had a bullseye on their back then. So of course powers that be were going to gun for them.”

After the NCAA’s decision, appeals followed. But despite having sympathy for the university over the vagueness of the rules, it was concluded that, though unintentional, Howard had been in violation. The 1973 season rolled on, but with no postseason, the drive of ‘71 had all but evaporated.

“It was terrible,” Richard Davy, a member of the 1973 Howard team, said. “Even the bus broke down a number of times – and it was so cold. We felt like were just playing for the heck of it.”

For Phillips and his remaining players, the 1974 soccer season could not come soon enough. When it did, the Howard team that began the campaign looked a little different to that of ‘71. Some had graduated; others had been suspended. The roster Phillips now oversaw – perhaps boosted by Howard’s growing reputation within collegiate soccer – contained a stronger group of players, according to some on the ‘74 team. “It needed a coach like Lincoln,” Trevor Leiba, the goalkeeper, said, “because even though it was a very talented team, that team was filled with egos.”

Like in ‘71, the Howard team also had an objective: the push for a second first. Some players have since joked that there was more pressure on them than in their exams; others have said the opposite, claiming that history and a sense of purpose made them certain of Howard winning the title. But whatever the drive – nerves, confidence, redemption — the Bison flew through the 1974 season in a style not seen in Division I college soccer before or since. A group that contained internationals, experienced and driven members of ‘71 team, and those, like Leiba, who did not understand the mindset around the NCAA’s decision until they arrived on campus, finished the season 19-0, outscoring their opponents 63-6. Those numbers included the final victory over Saint Louis, where Howard started slow, before a half-time change by Phillips altered the game and gave the Bison the title.

“It was all about black pride,” Richard Davy, who set up the winning goal in the final, said. “They had taken away the ‘71 title, but ‘74 was clean.”

Today, Lincoln Phillips still sees his team as winning two titles, not one – there would not have been a ‘74 team without a ‘71 team, he says. When asked to attend events that recognize the achievements of his‘74 team, Phillips has insisted that the ‘71 team be recognized also; books and documentaries, including Spike Lee’s “Redemption Song”, have been created to discuss the broader impact these Howard teams had. Phillips would go on to coach at the university until 1980, but the Bison would not win another national championship, leaving questions open about the dynasty that could have been built between the years of 1970 and 1974 had not the controversy arose.

It’s a great what if. But no matter what the record books say, or if the rulebook should have come down so hard on Howard, Phillips today says he’s simply comforted by the way his players responded when they could alter the outcome, bolstered by the greater significance their results and attitudes had.

“The remarkable thing was that we did not wear that racism baggage on our shoulders,” Phillips said. “All we were concerned about was not what was done to us, but what must we do to take back what is rightfully ours. And, looking back in retrospect, that’s a great message that can be sent to anyone – black folks in discriminatory situations, or any group that’s discriminated – travel light, don’t wear baggage, and focus on what you have control over.”

« Last Edit: December 06, 2016, 01:16:39 PM by Flex »
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Offline dtool

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Leiba Ranked Among Top Women's Soccer Coaches In The Nation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the 2017 women's soccer campaign on the horizon, head coach Brent Leiba was featured in the NCAA – CoachRank poll by AllWhiteKit.com on Tuesday.

"I am honored to have been recognized as one of the top coaches in the nation," said Leiba. "This recognition is shared with our student-athletes, coaching staff and administration. As a program, we are very excited about what we have built and accomplished! The bar continues to be raised as we look forward to another exciting year!"

Leiba, who led the Bison to their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2015, ranked 24th among NCAA Division I head women's soccer coaches. It is the highest standing for Leiba as he moved up nine spots since last year's poll.

"We want to congratulate Brent on being recognized as one of the premier soccer coaches in the country," stated athletics director Kery Davis. "He represents the true spirit of our mission for Howard athletics, which is to create champions in the classroom, on the field and in life."

In the third year as a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), Leiba led Howard to an undefeated 9-0-1 league mark in 2016. The victories included five shutouts while three games were decided by one point.


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Howard’s legendary athletic trainer Milton Miles dies
« Reply #214 on: February 08, 2018, 06:20:08 PM »
Howard’s legendary athletic trainer Milton Miles dies
By Mark W. Wright (theundefeated.com)

Former Bison coach Lincoln Phillips describes him as ‘the glue’ for the NCAA title team

Lincoln Phillips can chuckle at the thought today, but the task of wrangling the diverse personalities on his star-studded 1970s Howard University soccer teams was no laughing matter at the time. “You’re talking about trying to get Jamaicans and Trinidadians and Africans on the same page at the same time,” recalled Phillips, who coached at Howard from 1970-1980 and led the Bison to its first – and still only – NCAA Division I national championship in 1974.

Phillips’ Bison teams featured players from countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Eritrea, Trinidad and Tobago, Ethiopia and Jamaica. While blessed with talent and a flair never before seen in America, it was Phillips, who was only a few years older than some of his players, who was tasked with bringing them together.

“That was no easy feat, and for a young coach at the time, you had to find creative and sometimes unconventional ways to get them to agree to come together,” said Phillips, who was 29 when he became head coach in ’70. “I couldn’t have been successful without the help and support from some wonderful people.”

Count Milton Miles Jr. among them; Miles, who was African-American, was Howard’s longtime athletic trainer and played a massive role in helping the Bison reach two NCAA Division I championships. He died this week at 87 after a long battle with bladder cancer, having served as Howard’s athletic trainer from 1970 until his in retirement in 2002.

“He was the athletic trainer for all of Howard’s teams,” said Marilyn Miles, his wife of 54 years. “But soccer was his favorite.”

Phillips, a former army sergeant in his native Trinidad and Tobago, was hardly short on discipline, but he soon learned that he needed more than that to create harmony – on and off the pitch.

“Milt helped me to understand and deal with potential chaos situations within our multitalented teams, because the players all loved and confided in ‘Uncle Milty,’ ” the coach recalled.

Ian Bain, who captained Phillips’ all-star 1974 team, agrees: “We spent so much time with him, in the tape room, in the world pool, on road trips – that in many ways he became was our gate-keeper. That made him really important to our existence. His consistence and constancy made him really important to us.”

Howard’s soccer exploits were told in the Spike Lee-executive produced documentary Redemption Song, which recalled the fast-paced and gripping tale of the 1971 and 1974 national championship-winning Bison teams that had to overcome issues – often racial – bigger than themselves to achieve greatness.

“Milt’s uncanny ability to analyze these tense and potentially explosive situations was a great asset to me as a coach,” continued Phillips, who compiled a 116-19 record as Howard’s coach and was enshrined in the Howard Athletic Hall of Fame, along with both teams, in September 2014. “He was the glue in all the Howard soccer teams – the comforter to all the players when they were down. He healed them physically and emotionally. He was a dear and close friend to me and the players and most of all, a consummate gentleman.”

Miles’ death is the third in recent years from that glorified era. Kenneth “Kendo” Ilodigwe, who scored the lone goal in the 1974 quadruple overtime thriller versus soccer power Saint Louis University, died last March. Keith “Bronco” Aqui, Howard’s goal-scoring forward and star on Phillips’ 1971 team, died in late 2016.

Miles is survived by his wife Marilyn; two children, Jenifer and Milton Miles III; and one grandson, Justin.
The Conquering Lion of Judah shall break every chain.

Offline dtool

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Re: Howard University Thread
« Reply #215 on: April 30, 2018, 05:30:19 PM »

"Squeakie" Hinds son, Roger,  receives Distinguished Alumnus Award


The New York Knicks' Head Trainer, Roger Hinds '77, to Receive Distinguished Alumnus Award at Brooklyn College Commencement

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Re: Howard University Thread
« Reply #216 on: April 30, 2018, 07:57:21 PM »
Never knew of him. Congrats!!

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Re: Howard University Thread
« Reply #217 on: May 29, 2018, 01:35:55 PM »
If you haven't seen this--I just looked it up myself--here's a link:


Howard’s 1971 title was cruelly snatched away from them, but they had their day, as Phillips had his, in 1974 when they again won the NCAA Division I trophy, this time for keeps. The thrills and emotions of that memorable triumph are depicted in the ESPN Films Spike Lee Lil Joint documentary, Redemption Song. And surely Aqui played a big part in the events leading to that belated celebration.

Offline Tallman

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Re: Howard University Thread
« Reply #218 on: April 26, 2019, 08:56:38 PM »
'We Got It Back': Howard University’s 1974 season of revenge and justice
By Matthew Stock (wbur.org)

In 1959, St. Louis University won the first-ever NCAA men’s soccer national championship. They also won six of the next 11 titles. Their team was known for being strong and physical. And their roster was all white.

"They just really dominated the sport," says Mark Wright, who works for ESPN's The Undefeated.

Wright loves soccer. And he’s most interested in St. Louis’ premier rival in the early 1970s: the historically black Howard University.

"They had, you know, players from Africa and from the Caribbean," Wright says. "And they were coached by Lincoln Phillips, a Trinidadian, who was young."

In 1971, St. Louis and Howard met in the national championship game. And what happened from there changed Mark’s life — and the lives of countless others.


The cover art of the 1971 Howard University yearbook is a simple image of a black man raising his fist. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated less than three years earlier. And at Howard, the Black Power movement had taken center stage.

"It really is stepping into a cauldron of civil rights," says Ian Bain, who grew up in Trinidad.

Bain's community there was mostly black. Newspapers and TV were his only real exposure to racism and the fight for civil rights. But in 1971, he moved to the United States and joined the Howard soccer team as a freshman midfielder.

"Everything that we saw on our one channel in Trinidad and Tobago television was now unfolding right at our doorstep," Bain says.

Opposing coaches would tell their players to shout racial slurs at Howard players to knock them off their game. Several players remember being called the n-word on the pitch. But even still, Howard was really, really good.

"When we took the field, it gave voice to people in a country that sometimes needed a voice," Bain says.

On Dec. 30, nearly 6,000 spectators showed up at the Orange Bowl in Miami with the potential to witness history: if Howard beat St. Louis, it would become the first historically black college or university to win a NCAA Div. I national championship — in any sport.

Around this time, ESPN’s Mark Wright was a young kid growing up in Jamaica and falling in love with soccer.

"I remember getting a soccer ball for Christmas as one of my early gifts, and it was just, oh, my gosh. It was the best thing ever," Wright says. "Instead of kicking juice boxes and putting newspaper in them and trying to make it a ball, I actually had a real ball. And that made me the coolest kid in the neighborhood."

Meeting 'Señor Bain'

Wright and his family moved to the U.S. on his 12th birthday. He didn’t meet Ian Bain until long after that 1971 championship game.

"The first time I met him was in the lunch room," Wright says. "He was one of the teachers on lunchroom security detail, I guess. Just kind of making sure that kids didn’t walk on tables or throw food at each other."

Wright was a student at Springbrook High School in Maryland. Bain was a 35-year-old Spanish teacher and soccer coach.

"He had pretty much the entire student body thinking that Coach Bain — Señor Bain, is what everybody called him — was just a guy," Wright says. "This is pre-Google, right? I didn’t know him from a can of paint that he was the football, the soccer, legend that he was."

Wright's father was a welder. His mom was a nurse at the Howard University Hospital. And since money was tight, he got a job, too.

"I worked at a dental office," Wright says. "Everything from cleaning the equipment and making sure things are put away. Taking out the garbage."

Wright worked from 5 to 7:30 every night. And this meant no soccer after school. But senior year, Wright quit his job and earned a spot on his high school team.

And it didn’t take long for him to realize that Coach Ian Bain was special.

"He's big on showing you what he wants to do, right?" Wright says. "So he'll put the ball down, and he'll say, ‘Look, I want you to kick it this way.’ And then he would demonstrate. We're teenage boys. We're not super smart. But we're easily impressed. And when a guy like that would demonstrate the way he did, it was like, ‘Wow, this guy is dope.’ And so whenever he said anything, we just kind of did it.

"If you did something nice — you did something impressive, you know — you would hear Coach Bain say, ‘Oh, God, boy. You're nice, boy.’ "

Coach Bain’s opinion meant a lot to Mark. So when Mark decided to go to Howard, he was encouraged to find out that his coach had gone there, too.

"It gave me a sense of, ‘If Coach Bain had this experience that I’m about to embark on, and if he turned out the way he turned out, then there's a good chance that things are probably gonna end well for me,’ " Wright says.

ESPN Films

Things did turn out well. A few years out of school, Wright got a job with ESPN the Magazine. He bounced around in the industry and ended up back at ESPN a few years later. And then one day, in 2015 …

"I kid you not — a voice just said to me, ‘Google Coach Bain,’ " Wright remembers. "It had been probably eight years to that point since we'd spoken."

An article came up about Coach Bain and some of his college teammates. They had just been inducted into the Howard Hall of Fame. Wright got Coach Bain’s phone number.

"When I talked to him, he said, ‘Yeah, it was really good. It was good to see the old guys again,’ " Wright remembers. " ‘By the way, Coach Lincoln just released his autobiography. We had some pretty good times, but you probably want to read the book if you want the full story.’

"So I got Coach Lincoln’s book. And after reading the book, I call Coach back. And I said, ‘Coach, this is an ESPN 30 for 30.’ "

Wright got in touch with a friend from ESPN Films named Kenan Holley. And together, they got approval to make a documentary short. But they were missing something.

"We have no footage," Wright says. "No archive. No video. Just grainy newspaper clippings. We had nothing."

Wright, Holley and their team interviewed Coach Phillips about a dozen former Howard players. They generously let me use excerpts from those interviews in the piece you’re reading and listening to right now.

So let’s go back to Dec. 30, 1971. Howard’s soccer team was set to take on St. Louis for the national championship game and a chance at history.

Sending A Message

"I think that game offered a platform," Bain says. "It was about sending messages and now embracing the role that we had."

Howard netted the go-ahead goal midway through the second half and held on to win, 3–2.

"I felt I would win four NCAA national championships," Bain says. "After ’71, I knew I was winning three more. There was no doubt in my mind."

"It was an unbelievable moment," Phillips says. "I was so proud and so happy, it brought tears. First it was tears of joys, and honest tears of sorrow."

Tears of sorrow because, just three weeks later, the Howard team got some news.

"We heard that the NCAA gonna sanction us and they're gonna take away the ’71 championship from us," Phillips says.

The NCAA alleged that two of Howard’s players hadn’t taken the correct college entrance exams. It alleged that two others had already used up eligibility by playing in their home countries over the summer.

"Really, if the NCAA had put a microscope on every single program, they would find that other programs were doing the same thing," Wright says.

Phillips, the Howard players and the HBCU community all felt that these rules were being selectively enforced.

"And the NCAA, they feel, wanted to send a message to Howard University in particular," Wright says.

Howard made it back to the national semifinal in 1972. But when the NCAA continued its investigation into the team, Howard voluntarily suspended the players in question right before their match. They played shorthanded against St. Louis and lost, 2–1, in overtime.

Phillips was 31 years old. He had just finished his third season as Howard’s head coach. But at an NCAA-sponsored banquet after the game, he stood up to the organization.

"We played against this entire wretched system of this society," Phillips said at the banquet. "Any time they decide to get together to deprive any people of what is due to them, I would say that the NCAA is guilty of practicing racism. St. Louis did not beat Howard University last night. They beat the remnants of what was left of Howard University."

"The place went quiet," Phillips recalls. "And I said to myself, ‘Oh, my god. What are you saying? What are you going to say after this?’ "

For those 1971 infractions, the NCAA also suspended Howard from postseason play in 1973. And without a championship to chase, the team struggled to preserve a common identity.

"They even had a lot of fights that I didn’t know about — fist fights," Phillips says.

"There was a lot of nitpicking and bickering," Bain says. "You have players from all over — each of them different."

Howard was postseason eligible again in 1974. And with the season on the horizon, Phillips brought someone in to help reunite his players.

"Dom Basil Matthews, he was a religious man and educator," Bain says. "And he spoke about this triangle of Blackness."

"A triangle of Blackness," Howard alum Rock Newman says. "And that triangle, he said, started in Africa, went to the Caribbean and then goes, at its furthest point away, in America. And they were that link that would link back to Africa with the kind of excellence. The whole African diaspora could look on this one team, an example of the best that we can be."

"If there was a pivotal moment that led us into 1974, it was that moment," Bain says. "We all started to come together."

"They said, and rallying around Coach Lincoln, ‘All right — they took it from us, we got to get it back,’ " Wright says. "Revenge and justice became their calling card after that."

The 1974 Season

Bain was one of only three players still on the Howard team who had been there in 1971. And under his captainship, the 1974 team put together one of the single greatest seasons in college soccer history.

Despite continuing to face racism from many opposing teams, Howard outscored their competition 63–6 and carried a 19-game win streak into the NCAA championship game — against none other than St. Louis University.

Phillips and members of his team say that the St. Louis players treated them with respect. They knew they could beat Howard by playing the right way.

"There was just so much reward that could come from it," Bain says. "But there was also so much onus that was placed on winning this thing again."

So Wright had this incredible story. He had the funding for an ESPN documentary. But he still didn’t have any footage.

"Not a good place to start," Wright says. "And so in making connections and calling people — ‘Hey we're working on this project’ — two former film students at Howard during that time reached out to me, or I connected with them. And they told me that, ‘Hey, as part of our films class at Howard back in the day, we used to follow the team around. And we used to capture footage of them playing and training. And so I have some footage somewhere on reel-to-reel tape somewhere in my basement. I haven’t seen that stuff in years. It’s probably no good.’

"I’m like, ‘Get it and give it to me and don’t touch it. And I will get it digitized, and we'll see what we've got.’ "

Wright got his hands on the tape and sent it to a digitizing house.

"And I remember getting that call from the man who owned the shop," Wright says. "And he said, ‘Hey, Mark, we've got something here. I said, ‘Turn it up for me.’ He said, ‘It’s not the best quality. It's black and white. It's grainy. I don’t even know if you can use it.’ I’m like, ‘Just please, just turn it up so I can hear.’

"And what I heard was cheerleaders cheering. I heard somebody giving play-by-play. He ended up finding footage of the 1974 national championship game in St. Louis at cold, snowy Busch Stadium.

"That was life changing for me in the moment. I believed everything Coach told me to that point. I read Coach Lincoln's book. Believed it all. But hearing the cheerleaders? And seeing the amateur play-by-play? Man, get outta here. I mean, that was just transformative for me.

"You can see from the grainy footage that there's snow that was shoveled up against the embankment," Wright says. "Remember, now, these are African players, Caribbean players. These are guys who don't like snow and the cold."

"We were on the back foot from early," Bain says. "We couldn’t get control of the midfield at all, at all, at all. I was having the worst game of my career. I mean, worst. I was expecting Lincoln to take me off at any minute."

"We were lucky to have come into the dressing room one goal down," Phillips says.

Phillips kept Bain in the game to start the second half. He also brought in a speedy Jamaican player named Mario McLennan.

With new energy, Howard scored to draw even at 1–1. The two teams played … and played … and played.

"We went into four overtimes," Phillips says. "The overtime period was all ours. The ball hit the upright, the crossbar. It was just a matter of time."

Finally, Bain passed the ball to Richard Davy. He beat his man down the wing and scored the winning goal. Howard was the NCAA champion.

"We got it. We got it back," Phillips says. "We just didn’t win, you know. We took it."

Wright named his documentary “Redemption Song.” It premiered at Howard University in April 2016. Players and coaches from the 1970 through 1974 teams came to watch with their family and friends.

"For 40-some years, these players have been walking around with a chip on their shoulder knowing that they went through hell to do something that had never been done," Wright says. "And their story had never been told. Their grandkids don’t know. Their kids don’t know. They had no link to share. And so this story was redemption. It still means everything to me."

After the screening, Wright had a chance to talk with Bain.

"He just said, ‘You know, Mark, I was looking around the room, and I could see guys from that time looking around with pride and saying, “I never thought I'd live to see the day where I'd see this story told. And my family's here with me.” ’ " Wright says. "I remember him, you know, giving me the nod and saying, ‘Well done.’ And I — in that moment, I felt like I was 17 again. Because, you know, once you're a player and you have a good relationship with a coach, no matter how old you get, he's still coach and you're still the player."

And Wright says since the documentary, he, Bain and Phillips have gotten even closer.

"I now have them in my life on a regular, regular basis," Wright says. "And I think I’m so much better for it. I’m a better person for it. I’m a better dad for it. I’m sure a better coach for it. So, yeah. I’m lucky."

The quotes in this piece from Ian Bain, Lincoln Phillips and Rock Newman come from the documentary short "Redemption Song." Thanks to ESPN Films for sharing their audio with us.
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Offline Peong

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Re: Howard University Thread
« Reply #219 on: April 28, 2019, 09:13:35 AM »

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