Give Now

2011 Archives

Fox Sports Southwest forum to feature SMU legend Jerry LeVias

First black scholarship athlete in SWC to lead discussion on significance of breaking color barrier

In Honor of the Mustangs bookcover
SMU is marking 100 years of achievements in athletics through a recently released book, In Honor of the Mustangs. Jerry LeVias is part of that distinguished history. Read more.

February 25, 2011

FOX Sports Southwest celebrates Black History Month at 7 p.m. (CST) Monday, February 28, with a live webcast of a town hall forum at SMU commemorating the 45th anniversary of legendary SMU wide receiver Jerry LeVias breaking the color barrier in the Southwest Conference.

Jerry LeViasThe “Black History Month Town Hall Forum with Jerry LeVias presented by McDonald’s” will include a special showing of FOX Sports Southwest’s award-winning “Jerry LeVias: A Marked Man” documentary and will be followed with a panel discussion featuring LeVias and several of his SMU teammates, coaches, civic leaders and local sports media.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in SMU’s Umphrey Lee Center Mack Ballroom, where an audience of SMU students, athletes and local community leaders will gather to participate in the interactive forum webcast live on FoxSportsSouthwest.com. An edited television special recapping the forum will premiere at 10 p.m. (CST) March 14 on FOX Sports Southwest.

Emmy-award winning FOX Sports Southwest sportscaster and SMU alumna Dana Larson will moderate the panel discussion. The distinguished panel includes:

  • Jerry LeVias, the first black scholarship athlete in the SWC who was inducted into the  College Football Hall of Fame in 2002 with his SMU coach Hayden Fry.  
        
  • Mac White, SMU quarterback who teamed with LeVias in 1966 to lead the Mustangs to their first SWC title in 18 years in LeVias’ first year on the field as a sophomore.
        
  • Chuck Hixson, SMU quarterback who in 1968 led the nation in passing and combined with LeVias to guide the Mustangs to an upset victory over Oklahoma in the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl.
        
  • Randy Fry, oldest son of SMU coach Hayden Fry who broke the recruiting color line in the SWC by signing LeVias to a scholarship.
        
  • Jeff Reinebold, current SMU wide receivers coach.
        
  • Roland Parrish, Chairman and CEO of the National Black McDonald’s Operators Association, former track and field team captain at Purdue University, and prominent Dallas civic leader.
        
  • Jean-Jacques Taylor, award-winning Dallas Morning News sports columnist.

Jerry LeVias at SMUThe forum will feature LeVias talking about his ground-breaking yet turbulent struggle in the late 1960s to integrate college football in the Southwest and the overt racism he faced on and off the football field. Panel members will relate changes that have occurred in race relations since then.

A fleet-footed wide receiver out of Beaumont, Texas, LeVias has been called the “Jackie Robinson of the Southwest” for blazing a trail in 1966 during an era of racial turbulence.

Recognized for his remarkable speed, LeVias was a three-time, first team All-SWC selection and held most of the league’s receiving records for nearly two decades. He emerged as one of the great receivers of his day with 155 receptions for 2,275 yards and 22 touchdowns in his collegiate career and went on to enjoy a six-year NFL career with the Houston Oilers and San Diego Chargers.


NOTE TO NEWS MEDIA: Media wishing to cover the Black History Month Forum with Jerry LeVias should contact FOX Sports Southwest Public Relations Director Ramon Alvarez at 972/868-1834 or ralvarez@foxsports.net

# # #