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Record books question

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by JayFarrar, May 5, 2011.

  1. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    I think this mostly applies to high schools but should sports records set before integration count?

    Particularly because the state associations then didn't allow for black school membership and any records set by those schools weren't kept. In my town, a black school in the 50s sent something like three of its starters to professional basketball but that school is never given its due.

    And this question is fading with time, but I was thinking about this earlier and I was wondering what others thought
  2. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Well, maybe I'm looking at this wrong, but here's the thing:

    You had a record set before integration.

    Post integration, that record has stood the test of time, with the playing field open to everybody.

    I suppose you could make the case that, "Yeah, but he set the (rushing, whatever) record against inferior competition." But still, if somebody hasn't come along in an open sport and broken it, seems to me it could be considered at least as legitimate as if it were set today.

    That's my two cents, which might set something off if I missed the point.
  3. Now if you referenced as a record two players from a HS team going to the NBA and said it was the most for a local school, you've clearly missed the boat if a pre-integration black school put three players in the NBA.

    A tougher question that we face a lot is state championships. Context is definitely needed then.
  4. smith_kb

    smith_kb New Member

    If the record has stood, or has survived, this long I think it is probably better to let it stand as it.

    I hate to compare everything to MLB, but all the Negro League records have been secluded from their record books.

    It be a touch close minded, but I don't think your really benefit by taking up this fight.

    You might look into a special interest piece on that particular school you mentioned. Could make for an interesting read.
  5. Clerk Typist

    Clerk Typist Guest

    Compile your own set of school-best records by asking each school what their records are (in whatever sport you're discussing here). Make sure they include pre-and-post-integration years. Then write a story about the record(s) that is yet to be broken. And if it's better than the state record, note that prominently. Say, in the first graf: "All-Black High's John Smith set the school record in the 100-yard dash in 1952, but the state association has never recognized it, because the school wasn't allowed to compete in the then-all-white state track meet before 1964."

    And take it from there.
  6. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    The one big issue I have with this question is, it assumes there were no bad teams among the black schools and everyone the white schools played against were total chumps. There were great teams, mediocre teams and craptastic teams in both leagues.
    If you can verify the record set by the player at the all-black school, count it. If you can verify the record set by the player at the all-white school, count it.

    The hard part, as Jay pointed out, is verifying it. The state association (in my state, at least) didn't necessarily track the records in those days, and the local media didn't always cover the black schools. I went back into our archives a few years ago and found out there was an old black school I had never even heard of. It was mentioned in three or four one-paragraph football roundups, over the course of a decade. It closed and a new all-black school opened, which had much more successful teams across the board and was well-covered.
    When you deal with stuff like this, you can find out pretty easily who the great players were. Finding out HOW great, and the actual numbers they put up, can be difficult and frustrating.
  7. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    It can be a thousand times maddening.

    The only place that tracked records were the papers, and in the pre-integration days, for the most part, the black schools didn't get catch the attention of the general circulation papers.

    Instead, those schools got coverage from the black newspapers of the days.

    The state associations either didn't exist or couldn't be bothered to keep track of such things.

    After thinking about this and a little more investigation, at least here, the state association doesn't include the records set by the black only schools pre-integration but they do include those by the white schools from then, assuming they are still standing.

    And yes, duh, I live in the South but the state association doesn't include private school records — even the white ones.

    Just the white, public schools, as near as I can tell.

    It is like a whole chapter of history has just vanished and I think it is quite fascinating.
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