Michigan Honors Buffalo Bulls, Declines to Become Bowl Eligible

Jay HendryCorrespondent INovember 26, 2008

Fifty years ago the Buffalo Bulls sent a message to the backwards-thinking Orlando High School Athletic Association and to racial prejudice by declining a bid to the Tangerine Bowl.  The OHSAA would not allow interracial play, and thus the Bulls' two black players would not be allowed to play in the game.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the declination.  Prolific university and football factory Michigan has decided to honor Buffalo's decision with its own protest.  The school declined to reach a 6-6 record, which would have made the Wolverines bowl eligible.  

Rich Rodriguez told reporters, "The Buffalo story is an amazing story.  Fifty years ago, a team stood up to real adversity.  We'd like to honor those guys by declining to make it to a bowl this year."

When asked why he didn't inform Michigan fans or officials of the decision, the coach told reporters to "Get a life" and stormed out of the press conference.

Note: To this date, the bid is the only one the Bulls have ever received (the team is 7-4 right now and will be receiving bids soon).  This is a true story—ESPN's Eric Neel wrote a piece for Outside the Lines, and the story should be appearing on OTL's TV show soon. The article can be found here.