1. Desegregation Was The Worst Thing That Ever Happened To SWAC Basketball. The only losers in the great push to desegregate SEC basketball in the wake of the 1966 title game (won by the all-black Texas Western team against Adolph Rupp's all-white Kentucky team) were the Historically Black Colleges, where talented southern black players had taken refuge. Harold Blevins, a star in the 1960s at, and later coach of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, told The New York Times last week that "they didn't have a choice. But the era of big money basketball has stripped Southern and other HBCs of their basketball talent just as even bigger money football stole away the generation of football talent that would have followed in the footsteps of Walter Payton and Deacon Jones.
2. Southern Plays In the "Bayou Classic" Just For The Battle of The Bands. Southern's football team has battled Grambling every Thanskgiving Sunday in the Superdome since 1974 (um, except for last year). But the real action is at halftime, when the two schools' marching bands go at it in march-off so spectacular that they even made a movie about it. Southern takes its marching band so seriously, in fact, that it's not even part of the Department of Athletics. The school has a separate Department of Bands for members of the "Human Jukebox." Alas, they don't perform at basketball games.
3. Southern Is The Forgotten Kent State Of The South. In November 1972, during an on-campus protest by the student group "Students United," Louisiana State Police confronted the demonstrators near the school's auditorium, firing tear gas into the angry crowd. At least one patrolman was also carrying live ammunitition. As an inquiry by the state's Attorney General's office would later conclude, "Leonard Brown and Denver Smith were shot as they were running away from the entrance of the Administration Building. They were not under arrest and were not armed. They were shot as they ran along the escape route which the law enforcement agencies had planned in the event gas was used. There was no justification." The students' killer was never identified, and today a modest Smith & Brown Monument rests on the spot where they were murdered. — Greg Lindsay