Basketball Rosters, Shipley Era, Crash and Burn
These stories originally appeared in "The Daily Advertiser's History of Acadiana by Jim Bradshaw: Beginning Traditions," published May 26, 1998.
Early rosters and records of the university's sports teams can be compiled from a handwritten ledger book and other notes in the files of coach and athletic director J.C. (Dutch) Reinhardt now in the USL Archives. These are the rosters of the early basketball teams as reflected in those files. In some of the early rosters it is unclear whether these are the complete rosters or only the names of lettermen. Reinhardt's papers do not list the early rosters for women's basketball.
1911-1912: U. Bourque (Captain, G. Bourque, G. Singleton, G. Goldo, R. Dalferes.
1912-1913: George Singleton, Joe Bay, C. Rordam, Asie Bordelon, Rene Manuel, S. Aleman (sic), A. Miller, D. Verat (sic).
1914: C. Rordaw (Captain), R. Pregeart, G. Singleton, E. Daigle, S. Aleman, O. Peck, C. Thomas, R. Heliner.
1914-1915: Claude Rordaw (Manager), Russell Pregeant (Captain), Edward Daigle, Slattery Aleman, Richard Heliner, Clay Thomas, Robert Moncla, Christian Schultz.
1915-1916: E. Daigle (Captain), L. Fauntleroy, R. Helmer (Manager), C. Thomas, T.H. Vidrine.
1916-1917: R. Helmer (Captain), L. Fauntleroy (Manager), T. Vidrine, E. Iles, F. Moncla, E. Daigle, E. Deshotels.
1917-1918: F.M. Carson (Captain), A.E. McGee, Herbert Christian, W.J. Richard, S.J. Lacy.
1919-1920: W. Todd (Captain), E. Menetre, G. Trahan, W. Gabbert, D. Foreman, H. Jones (Manager)
1920-1921: E. Guillory, C. Breaux, F. M. (Kit) Carson, C. Perkins, D. Lyons, G. Trahan (Captain), H. Jones (Manager), C. Lowell.
1922: C. Perkins, G.D. Mahoney, A. Bressie, E. Richardson, G. Trahan, H. Trahan, C. Lovell, Dewey Lyons (Captain), Lionel Montalbano (Manager)
1922-1923: A. Bressie (Captain), E. Richardson, R. Cambre, T. Daspit, R. Bressie, B. Lange, G. Bordelon, G. Trahan, H. Iles, G. Buie, K. Cagle.
1923: A. Bressie, R. Bressie, G. Buie, A. Bujard, K. Cagle, R. Cambre, H. Iles, B. Lange, E. Richardson (Captain), Fred Smith, C. Theriot.
1924: F. Smith (Captain), R.J. Cambre, C.K. Cagle, C.J. Theriot, R. Bressie, B.F. Hockey, E.J. Richardson, Clinton Hanchey.
1925: R. Bressie, R.A. Broussard, A.M. Bujard, C.K. Cagle, R.J. Cambre, D. Foley, C. Hanchey, G. Hanchey, B.F. Hockey.
1926: Roy Broussard (Captain), Albert Abramson, John Cormier, Gladu Dupuis, Clinton Hanchey, James Holloway, Levi Jordan (Captain Elect), E.C. Thomas, Clifton Theriot, Nat Manuel, Edward Terrell (Manager).
1927: Roy Broussard, Albert Abramson, John Cormier, Gladu Dupuis, Clinton Hanchey, James Holloway, E.C. Thomas (Captain), Clifton Theriot, Nat Manuel, Edward Terrell.
1928: John W. Morriss, Morris Kloor (Captain), Elvin Brand, James Holloway, Phelias Bordelon, Stacey Gooch, Jack Hayes, Morgan Rodemacher, E.C. Terrell.
1929: Stacey Gooch, Morgan Rodemacher, Phelias Bordelon, Claude Hamic, Richard Vincent, Morris Kloor, Elvin Brand, Boyd Faulk.
1930: Claude Hamic (Captain), Morgan Rodemacher, P.W. Bordelon, T.L. Levy, Boyd Faulk, Giles Pennington, L.F. Wilbanks, Sidney Naquin, Otto Broussard, Walter Philips (Manager).
1931: Boyd Faulk, Giles Pennington, Luther Perrin, Sidney Naquin, Elmore Sonnier, T.L. Levy, Sam Fertitta.
1932: Sam Fertitta, Thurman McMurray, Jules Maire, Engle May, Arthur Naquin, Giles Pennington, Eloi Primeaux, Willis Roy, Raymond Rupert.
1933-1934: Engle May, Luther Perrin, LaRue Donald, Raymond Rupert, Thurman McMurray, Eloi Primeaux, Mosby Lindsay, Herman Sigler, Arthur Hair.
1934-1935: Luther Perrin, LaRue Donald, Raymond Rupert, Mosby Lindsay, Thurman McMurray, Herman Sigler, Raoul Landry, Leon Smith, Bert Terrell.
1935-1936: Merritt Beadle, Vernon Bell, Fred Cowart, J.Y. Duncan, Raoul Landry, Mosby Lindsay, James Richard, Harry Saucier, Albert Zoch.
1936-1937: Fred Cowart, Jerry Young Duncan, Leslie Gaudet, Andrus Martinez, Harry Saucier, Leigh Steward, Diamond Young, Earl Evans.
1937-1938: Aubrey Bacon, James Bergeaux, Otis C. Hurst, Gay Knighten, Earnest McMillan, Andrus Martinez, Blanchard Sanders, Leigh Stewart, Diamond Young.
1938-1939: Aubrey Bacon, James Bergeaux, Carl Hurst, Andrus Martinez (Honorary Captain), Earnest McMillan (Captain Elect), Blanchard Sanders, Leigh Stewart, Dempsey Young, Diamond Young.
1939-1940: James Bergeaux, Richard Breen, Earl Close, Graydon Hanchey, Carl Hurst, Ernest McMillan, Harold Reed, Blanchard Sanders, Demp Young.
1940-1941: Richard Breen, Earl Close, LeRoy Glaze, Jack Gordon, Grayden Hanchey, Carl Hurst, Joe LaBauve, Grady Mullins, Harold Reed, Dempsey (probably Dempsey Young).
1941-1942: Richard Breen, Earl Close, Jack Gordon, Grayden Hanchey, Joe LaBauve, Harold Reed, Leroy Glaze, Sam Foreman, Raukman Browning.
1942-1943: No team during these war years.
1943-1944: Carl Benton, David Cook, T.L. Davis, B.F. Jones, F.M. Lampkin, W.F. McCarthy, T.E.. Orr, Robert Smith, Warren Switzer.
1944-1945: W. Click, M. Robinson, R. Espenan, J. Kanas, S. Carson, F. Bogran, J. Romo.
1945-1946: Denneth Chapman, Hoyt Clark, C.D. Johnson, Howard LeBlanc, Roy Young, Glen Powell, Harold Snatic, S.M. Steele, Lloyd Verrett.
Shipley put USL basketball on the map
Only once in 16 years of coaching basketball at USL did Beryl Shipley post a losing season. He was at the helm when the USL basketball program soared as high as it ever would. And, he was there when it hit rock bottom.
The high-profile coach brought the up-tempo modern game to USL basketball, and to do it, he was the first coach in Louisiana to recruit and provide scholarships to black athletes.
Shipley's teams brought the national spotlight to USL, and his recruiting in those less-tolerant days of the 1960s brought him the scorn of other coaches. The attention and the scorn caused NCAA investigators to take a hard look at the USL basketball program, and that brought big trouble.
But, oh, it was fun while it lasted, when Blackham Coliseum rocked to the rafters during a USL game.
USL basketball, particularly the Bayou Classic basketball tournament then hosted by the Cajuns, was the subject of a Sports Illustrated article in December 1971. The article was called “Good Times Come to the Cajun Country."
“The Cajuns operate out of Lafayette, La., the capital of the Bayou country, and for their mad followers they are a sort of Mardi Gras in sneakers," Sports Illustrated reported, “for the people who have to play them, another word with local flavor might be more descriptive: the word is pirates. The Cajuns throw up an intimidating front line, then send smallish Guard Dwight Lamar running around it with the ball. He fires at will and, as the good folks say ... ‘Let the good times roll.'
“The good times rolled plenty last week when three other big, bad dudes — Long Beach State, Texas - El Paso, and Pan American — made the mistake of joining Southwestern in the 11th annual Bayou Classic. ... Going into the tournament the three visiting clubs had one thing in common. They were unbeaten. Southwestern, unaccountably, had lost its opener to Eastern Kentucky, 105-99 on the road. But that was only a small oversight. The Cajuns, playing as a major college for the first time this season, redeemed themselves on the Monday before the classic, ripping highly regarded Houston 97-88 at home. They led by as many as 18 points and Lamar gunned in 41. ‘Yeah,' he said, ‘it was a bad night.' Lamar, it seems, was not hitting the long, looping jumpers that he customarily makes from somewhere deep in the bleachers. ...
“... (O)n Friday against Pan American (Lamar) came out with all guns blazing. Southwestern's first half offense, in fact, consisted of two plays: Lamar firing and, lamentably, missing from 30 feet while Roy Ebron, the Cajuns' superlative 6' 9" sophomore center, quietly policed up the scene with his neat rebounds; and, play No. 2, one of the Cajuns' three big men — Ebron, 6'8" Wilbert Loftin or 6'7" Fred Saunders — getting a rebound and firing a half-court pass to Lamar, who then soared off one of his sky-hanging, dispy-doodle moves that end in easy baskets. ... He almost never heads straight for the basket if there is a chance to double-pump or put the ball between his legs before letting fly. Every Cajun fan remembers the time last season when he went up, pirouetted in the air and hit a 20-foot jumper. The defensive man, according to the legend, ran off the floor and straight into the locker room."
USL won the tournament, but that was what was expected. Those were the years when a basketball game meant Showtime at Blackham Coliseum, and maniacal crowds rocked the old building with every Lamar shot. His sophomore, junior, and senior years, he would lead USL to season records of 25-4, 25-4, and 24-5, ending his career with 3,493 career points, a 36.3 average, in a time when the long shots that he made counted for only two points, not the three points that they would count for today.
That was the height of it, but Shipley had already had a measure of success. His 1960-61 team went 18-5, won its own Bayou Classic, and was ranked 10th in the nation in the final College Division basketball poll. That team featured players such as Larry Simon (1,433 career points), Bill McHorris (1,355 career points), and a freshman named Dean Church (1,546 career points), who would earn All-American honors before his career was done. In 1964-1965, Church led the Cajuns to a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) District 27 championship.
In 1966-1967, Jerry Flake (2,058 career points) and Elvin Ivory (1,028 career points, 768 career rebounds) led a team that took champion Oklahoma Baptist to the limit in the 30th annual NAIA National Basketball Championship before falling 66-65 in the championship contest.
Marvin Winkler (2,128 career points) was the team leader in the 1969-1970 season, when USL shared the Gulf States Conference championship. It was during Winkler's senior year that Lamar joined the team as a freshman. They clicked. Their shooting and ball-handling wizardry left opponents befuddled. The climb to the heights began.
NCAA shut down program
The high-flying USL basketball program crashed and burned on Aug. 4, 1973. That was the day the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) handed down an edict that has become known in Acadiana as The Death Penalty. It said: “For a period of two years from this date, the University of Southwestern Louisiana shall not permit its intercollegiate basketball teams to participate against outside competition."
There were other sanctions too:
• USL “shall be reprimanded and censured and placed on indefinite probation...."
• USL can participate in no post season play in any sport for four years.
• USL can have no representation at the NCAA for four years.
• USL can play in no televised contest in any sport for four years.
The sanctions were imposed after a long investigation by the NCAA of the NCAA basketball program. When the investigation was completed, it took more than 40 single-spaced typewritten pages to detail the charges against the university.
The NCAA accused the university of violating NCAA rules regarding financial aid to athletes, allowing athletes to play when they were academically ineligible, recruiting violations, and other rule violations. Making matters worse, the school had been placed on a two-year probation in January 1968, for “unintentional" violations of NCAA rules in the basketball program. That probation had been lifted at the end of 1970.
The university had known about the latest NCAA investigation, and had done an earlier internal investigation itself, hoping to mitigate the latest charges. In October 1972, then-president Clyde Rougeou had announced that Athletic Director A.G. (Whitey) Urban, and coaches Beryl Shiply and Tom Cox would be placed on indefinite probation, and that there would be stricter supervision by the university of recruiting, scholarship, and financial arrangements within the athletic department.
In 1973, Ray Authement, who had just become university president, and Dean Sammie Cosper flew to Chicago to meet with NCAA officials to plead the university's case. The NCAA didn't accept the arguments.
Two days after the meeting, Authement issued this statement: “On Saturday, Aug. 4, at 2:30 p.m., Dean Sammie Cosper and I appeared before the NCAA Council to discuss the findings of the NCAA Committee on Infractions. Dean Cosper and I were provided opportunity to discuss both specific findings and internal actions already taken by the University in regard to its athletic program.
“Penalties imposed by the NCAA Council, of which I was informed by telephone yesterday morning, are in my opinion severe in view of the personnel changes already made in the Athletic Department.
“After considerable deliberation with members of my staff, I believe that the best interest of the University will be served by pursuing the following course of action:
“1. The University, through its actions in the next few months, will attempt to convince the NCAA membership that the University should remain an active member of (the) NCAA. We believe this is necessary if we are to aspire to a program of excellence in athletics — a goal to which we are committed.
“2. If successful in retaining membership in the organization, the University will make every attempt to remove all athletic programs of the University from probationary status as soon as possible. In these efforts the University will rely on appeal proceders available to all members of NCAA.
“As the newly elected president of the University, I am reminded of the title of a song which is currently popular — ‘This Time, Lord, You Gave Me A Mountain.' Together, the University and the people of Acadiana can, through diligent work and loyal support, scale this mountain and bring the University's athletic program to a position of excellence."
Authement was able to wring some small concessions from the NCAA, but The Death Penalty stayed in effect. The lights were dark at Blackham Coliseum until the 1975-1976 season, when Coach Jim Hatfield began rebuilding the basketball program.
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