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Sports Illustrated May 23, 2011 Letters RE: Accidental Hero Beryl Shipley by John Ed Bradley

Sports Illustrated May 23, 2011 Letters RE: Accidental Hero Beryl Shipley by John Ed Bradley

Athletic Network Footnote:  Go to www.athleticnetwork.net  , click Photo Gallery, Men's Basketball, Tribute to Coach Beryl Shipley.  The tribute page is under construction. However, some of the links in red print have been finalized, whereas others are incomplete at this time. 

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Letters published by Sports Illustrated, May 23, 2011 * * * * * * * * * *

Growing up in Louisiana, I remember how Beryl Shipley began the path that broke down the racial barriers that still existed in sports during the 1960s and '70s and how my father, a staunch Southern conservative, admired his achievements on and off the court. Shipley's life shows how our most flawed heroes can shine the brightest.

Kevin Bihm, Eunice, La.

I was Southwestern Louisiana's sports information director from 1971 to '73 and had the privilege of working with Coach Shipley (An Accidental Hero, May 2) during his final three years at the school. He was an unassuming leader of basketball integration, choosing to recruit the best talent regardless of race, even though he knew his actions would create controversy. Shipley's friendship enriched my life, and I am happy that I had the privilege to know him.

Jim Paul, El Paso

Shortly before he was forced to resign, Shipley was suspended by the Southland Conference for calling it a Mickey Mouse league. While announcing his resignation, Shipley was asked if he would apologize for anything he'd said. He said he would apologize—to Mickey Mouse.

Rob Durkee

North Hollywood, Calif.

Source: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1185980/1/index.htm
May 20, 2011

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