MR. CIVIL RIGHTS - G. WASHINGTON EAMES, JR.

EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH -- LOUISIANA

LSU

 I learned  recently that I have been selected by TIGER RAG, the "bible" of LSU sports, as one of the 150 most influential people in the history of LSU athletics-- published here, Fall 2010 [pictures below]. 

 

  

 I am number 150! 

"A controversial former NAACP leader, he was a surrogate recruiter for LSU for almost 50 years and helped spur integration of LSU sports."

 

 

 [last page]

 

    

Excerpt from Playboy magazine, April 1990, p. 136.

     Brown was no  bigot.  As a high schooler, hearing his home

crowd boo a team from an Indian reservation, he switched

sides and shot lay-ups with the Indians.  He wanted black

players. But few blacks wanted to join the white Tigers at a

school built on plantation land in a town known for racial

combat.

     Storming off the court after a loss to Alabama, he heard a

black man yell,  “When are you going to get some blacks on

this team and win some games?”  Brown snapped.  Not

noticing his heckler’s wheelchair, he grabbed the guy and

 shook him.

     “He was hotter than a sumbitch,” recalls the victim, a civil

rights activist who had been crippled by a white man’s bullet in

1956.   Dale says,  ‘You find me some  blacks with the balls I

got and I’ll play ‘em.’”

     Brown recalls it a little differently:  “I said,  ‘When the

brothers got as much pioneer spirit as I got, I’ll play ‘em.’”

     Brown and Eames became allies.  Eames, who would go on

to run the Baton Rouge chapter of the NAACP, helped sell  LSU

to black athletes.  Brown marched for civil rights.  He became a

life member of the NAACP.  The purple-and-gold coach and the

black activist made a dangerous pair of integregationists—

Brown’s life was threatened, Eames’s house was burned

down— but Eames kept introducing Brown to black players.

The coach’s charm did the rest.   [see LSU PHOTOS],

******************************************************************************************************************************

 

Tim Ellerbee,  “NAACP pushing for changes,”  The Times-Picayune, Sunday, Dec. 3, 1989, Special Report:  LSU AT THE CROSSROADS, sec., C-10.

 

   The head of the Baton Rouge chapter of the NAACP said the LSU football program could jeopardize its chances of recruiting topnotch blacks unless steps are taken to improve the athletic and social atmosphere for blacks on campus.

   That first step was taken on Oct. 30, when NAACP president George Eames met with athletic and administrative officials at LSU.  Athletic Director Joe Dean and head football coach Mike Archer, who attended the meeting with Chancellor,  Dr. Bud Davis, head basketball coach Dale Brown and others, said the gist of the discussion involved providing social outlets for blacks on campus.

   Eames said the group discussed more, including concerns about the treatment of LSU football players on campus.

          “These kids do not feel confident going to this coaching staff with problems,”  said Eames.  “And the fans don’t embrace them.  The whole community needs to change and show the kids they care.  These kids aren’t dumb.  They watch Michigan, Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame and see how those football players are treated on the field and off.  They don’t get that treatment here.”

          Eames said at one point during the 1989 season, black players and fans discussed a possible boycott.  It did not materialize.

          “The meeting with George Eames had nothing to do with (racial problems),” said Archer.  “That’s totally false.  We were concerned because we had members of our athletic teams who are in black fraternities, and they have no place on campus to hold social events.  We discussed the reasons why and what we could do to help.

          Dean agreed.  “Immediately, we’re not winning football games, and word got out that we were having racial problems,” said Dean.  “We don’t have racial problems at all.  George Eames has pushed for us to hire more black people, but that’s his job.  He does the same thing with the chancellor.  He wants more deans to be minorities.  He’s a pusher for that kind of thing.”

          Eames said, however, he would like to see the athletic department take these steps: 

  <<<   Open all positions on the football team to black athletes.

          “They have what I call the [white] triangle, and if you’re a black athlete you need not apply,” said Eames.  “You won’t find any black guards, centers or quarterbacks at LSU.”

          Dean disagrees:  “Mike Archer would play a Chinaman at quarterback if he could help us win games,”  he said.

          “I assured the people in that meeting that the best players are going to play,” said Archer.  “My job and Dale’s job depend on it.  Everyone felt comfortable with that.”

   <<<   Hire reputable black coaches and administrators who can serve as role models.

          “The black kids need someone to look up to, a role model” said Eames.  “They don’t have that now.  If they have problems now, they go to Dale Brown.”

 <<<    Make sure the LSU community brings blacks into the ‘family’.”

          “The black kids on the football team view themselves as gladiators,” said Eames.  “They perform, and the people clap if they do a good job.  When the game is over, they are on their own.

          “The LSU family will embrace the basketball players, but the football players don’t get that.  The kids do not have the same family situation that exists with the basketball team.”

          Eames said he was pleased with the meeting and expects the situation to improve.  He thinks it’s a must.

          “I think the word has been out for some time among blacks that LSU might not be the place to come to play football,” said Eames.  “There have been calls across the country.  And that should be evident.  the coaching staff and fans should be able to realize that LSU is not fielding the best black talent.

          “It is imperative for LSU to sit back and take a long look at the situation with the football program.”

          Dean does not believe the situation is that serious.

          “He’s thrown that at us from time to time about the fact that nationally some black are afraid to come here, but the black kids keep coming,”  said Dean.  “I don’t see that, and I don’t think he believes that.”

          Archer said the Oct. 30 meeting provided insight.

          “It was a positive meeting, and it made me appreciate some of the things that are not happening and are happening on this campus for black athletes,” he said.

*************************************************************

 

 

MORNING ADVOCATE, Baton Rouge, La., 0 Thurs. Feb. 25,1988

 Eames says LSU  discriminating in hiring

 By KAREN DIDIER  [[Capitol news bureau ]

The head of the Baton Rouge NAACP chapter charged Wednesday that LSU is discriminating against blacks in hiring athletic and education officials at the university. G. Washington  Eames said Wednesday that despite lengthy discussions with Chancellor James Wharton on hiring practices, "no progress has been made. In fact, black participation has regressed."

Wharton said that is not the case.  He said the number of black faculty at LSU has doubled in recent years, going from 20 to 43. LSU has more than 1,000 faculty members.

"The university is concerned and constantly working to develop an employment pattern that reflects the racial population of the state," Wharton said.

Eames cited a number of categories where he said LSU employs no blacks.

"Louisiana State University has no black athletic counselors, no black athletic advisers, no black athletic coordinators, no recruiters on staff for football, baseball or track for men or women," Eames said.

He said no blacks serve in the position of associate athletic director, as coach or assistant coach in baseball, track and field or women's basketball.

Also, Eames said no blacks serve as the head of an academic department on the campus.

Wharton said Eames' allegations are not based on figures supplied by the university.

"As far as I know, there's been no one come to the university for factual data on the number of black faculty or black coaches .... My only discussion with George Eames to this point has been about athletics," Wharton said, adding he has had similar talks with Eames each year during football recruiting season.

Eames said he gleaned the numbers from a talk with Wharton and LSU Athletic Director Joe Dean .   Wharton said that is not the case.

Eames said the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is not trying to cause trouble for LSU. "We're not trying to destroy Louisiana State University. We're trying to build it into a multi-racial university that all citizens can respect. We're not asking to take over the institution. We're asking for parity," Eames said.

He said the NAACP wants written assurances from LSU that more blacks will be employed in positions of authority at the university within a specified  time period.

Eames would not say what kind of employment goals the organization has in mind or how long it would give LSU to reach them.

"I'll answer you in the words of an old black spiritual: How long? Not long," Eames said.

If the university refuses to comply with the NAACP's request, Eames said he may be forced to ask the national organization to call for a boycott by black athletes of LSU's athletic programs.

"That's just one thing," Eames said.

"All kinds of things can be done to bring pressure on discrimination."

Eames said he has forwarded a copy of his findings to national officers of the NAACP and to the U.S. Department of Justice.

**************************************************************

 

 

 

Over the years working to desegregateLSU, meeting coach Dale Brown, recruiting players for basketball, meeting other academic and athletic greats, I've accumulated many friends and many pictures.  As a result of these relationships, Kathy and I have enjoyed activities we would not have otherwise experienced.  Here are a few highlights. 

 

 

1990 FIGHTING TIGERS WITH CHRIS JACKSON 

1987 SWEET SIXTEEN TEAM-- BEFORE THE INDIANA GAME

 

LSU BASKETBALL TEAM

ETHAN MARTIN, COACH DALE BROWN, WILLIE SIMMS, AND G. WASHINGTON EAMES, JR 

  ATHLETIC OFFICE: I WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN GETTING SEVERAL INDIVIDUALS HIRED:  ON THE LEFT, JAMIE SIMS [WIFE NOW TO COACH TIC PRICE OF BEAUMONT, TEXAS], FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN TUTOR IN THE BASKETBALL PROGRAM, AND HER TWIN SISTER, JANIS SIMS [MARRIED TO MABRA HOLEYFIELD OF MEMPHIS, TENN], FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN BASKETBALL OFFICE MANAGER.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KATHY AND I ATTENDED ROBIN BROWN'S [DALE'S ONLY DAUGHTER'S] WEDDING.  HERE DALE DID SOME CLOWNING

 

           SEC COMMISSIONER WITH G. WASHINGTON EAMES, JR AT SEC GAME

 

  JAMES BROWN, CBS SPORTS--BASKETBALL--COMMENTATOR 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       SEC COMMISSIONER AT  GAME WITH COLLIS TEMPLE AND G. WASHINGTON EAMES, JR

   SEC GAME AGAINST GEORGIA - 1989

TIGERS AT DR. D'ANTONI'S HOUSE --FULL OF BASKETBALL MEMORABILIA

CHRIS JACKSON AT DR. D'ANTONI'S HOME -- CHRIS WAS MY LAST RECRUIT FOR LSU BASKETBALL.  HE AND HIS MOTHER SPENT SEVERAL HOURS AT MY HOME AS I CONVINCED HER THAT HER SON WOULD BE SAFE IN BATON ROUGE, THAT I PERSONALLY WOULD BE LOOKING AFTER HIS INTERESTS.  CHRIS GREW SO TIRED DURING THE LATE HOURS THAT, AT ONE ONE, HE STRETCHED OUT ON MY BED.

    TIGER BASKETBALL IN HAWAII

KATHY AT GAME WITH FATHER

                               

GWE WITH TWO TIGERS, RUSSEL ON THE RIGHT                                                               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 KATHY AT GAME

                          IN HAWAII, G. WASHINGTON EAMES, JR. AND LYLE MOUTON WHO PLAYED BOTH BASKETBALL AND BASEBALL         

  

JOSE VARGAS, FORMER TIGER BASKETBALL PLAYER, PLAYED PRO BALL IN ITALY.  WHEN HE CAME HOME TO THE STATES, HE VISITED ME AND KATHY AT OUR HOME WHERE WE COOKED HIM AND HIS ITALIAN GIRLFRIEND MEATBALL AND SPAGHETTI.  I TOLD HIS GIRLFRIEND IT WOULD BE BETTER THAN HER MAMA'S--SHE AGREED IT WAS, BUT DECLARED,  "YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND, MR. EAMES,  YOU HAVE BETTER MEAT HERE IN THE STATES!"

"BIG GUG" - GUGLIELMO, [IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PIC] A DEVOTED TIGER FAN, AND I BECAME GREAT FRIENDS OVER THE YEARS.

  RECENT LUNCH WITH DALE 

 

 

DALE AND I OFTEN MEET FOR LUNCH--TO DISCUSS FUTURE PLANS, IDEAS, OR JUST TO SEE ONE ANOTHER

 

 

 

 

IN THE SPRING OF 2009, I WAS CONTACTED BY EYELINE FILMS AND ASKED TO DO A FILM INTERVIEW FOR A DOCUMENTARY THEY WERE DOING ON COACH DALE BROWN.  PICTURED HERE ARE GANNON WEAVER, PRODUCER, HIS PARTNER, PATRICK SHANNON, AND AN ASSISTANT

G. WASHINGTON EAMES, JR. BEING INTERVIEWED ON CAMERA BY EYELINE FILMS FOR A DOCUMENTARY ON FORMER LSU HEAD BASKETBALL COACH DALE BROWN

LAST BASKETBALL SEASON 2008/2009, AT A GAME, A FAN BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION A YOUNG HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR FROM JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI WHO WAS BEING RECRUITED BY MISSISSIPPI STATE--UNDER RECRUITMENT BY SEVERAL MAJOR COLLEGES--JALEN COURTNEY.  I TALKED TO HIM IN DEPTH, GOT HIS PHONE NUMBER.  THE NEXT WEEKEND, HE CALLED COACH TRENT JOHNSON AND  SIGNED TO PLAY FOR LSU.  WE LATER ATTENDED SOME AAU GAMES WHERE WE MET SOME OF THE BEST HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PLAYERS IN THE COUNTRY.   WE ORIGINALLY WENT TO SEE JALEN COURTNEY AND IN THE PROCESS MET HIS FRIEND ANDRE STRINGER ("MR. BASKETBALL" OF MISSISSIPPI) .  WE WERE VERTY IMRESSED WITH ANDRE STRINGER.  GEORGE MENTIONED HIM TO COACH TRENT JOHNSON LATER.  NOW THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT ANDRE STRINGER MAY COME TO LSU.   IN THE PICTURE:  JALEN COURTNEY, G. WASHINGTON EAMES, JR., AND ANDRE STRINGER.

 

TIGER FOOTBALL 

 TIGER STADIUM, NEW HANDICAPPED SECTION--PROGRESS DUE TO MY EFFORTS

  I'M PROUD OF LSU'S FOOTBALL PROGRAM.  I DON'T THINK THEY WOULD BE ENJOYING THE PROMINENCE TODAY, NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS, ETC., HAD I NOT DESEGREGATED THE ATHLETIC PROGRAM AT LSU.    

 

GWE WITH  LSU NATIONAL

CHAMPIONS CRYSTAL

TROPHY

I TRIED TO TAKE THE FOOTBALL PLAYERS UNDER MY WING, AS WELL AS THE BASKETBALL PLAYERS.  TERRY ROBISKIE BECAME A CLOSE FRIEND DURING THOSE YEARS. 

 

 

 

 

GWE AND RASHID MUHAMMED GOING TO THE CITY-WIDE CELEBRATION HONORING NATIONAL VICTORIES OF LSU TIGERS AND SOUTHERN JAGUARS

 

 TERRY ROBISKIE OFFENSIVE  COORDINATOR FOR THE LA RAIDERS PRO FOOTBALL TEAM

THROUGH OUR FRIENDSHIP WITH TERRY ROBISKIE WHO PLAYED WITH THE RAIDERS AS A TIGHT END, THEN WORKED AS OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR, WE MET SEVERAL OF THEN RAIDER GREATS..  WILLIE GARTH, WIDE RECEIVER FOR THE LA RAIDERS

BO JACKSON, RUNNING BACK FOR THE LA RAIDERS

ART SHELL, FIRST BLACK NFL HEAD COACH OF THE LA  RAIDERS

 DURING A FLIGHT TO HAWAII WITH THE LSU BASKETBALL TEAM, WE HAD A LAYOVER IN LA.   WE MET THE ROBISKIES THERE.  IN PICTURE: KATHY, TERRY ROBISKIE, COACH DALE BROWN, BRYAN (WHO NOW PLAYS WITH THE CLEVELAND BROWNS), AND CYNTHIA ROBISKIE, TERRY'S WIFE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  KATHY AND I MADE ONE TRIP TO CALIFORNIA, STAYING WITH THE ROBISKIES AND BECOMING BETTER ACQUAINTED WITH THEIR THREE SONS.  WE TOOK PICTURES.  BELOW, TERRY PLAYING WITH BRYAN, [WHO NOW PLAYS FOR THE CLEVELAND BROWNS], ON THE FLOOR OF THEIR HOME.

G. WASHINGTON EAMES, JR. HOLDING BRYAN ROBISKIE, NOW A CLEVELAND BROWN PRO. 

 OVER THE YEARS I HAVE REMAINED FRIENDS WITH MANY FORMER LSU FOOTBALL PLAYERS:  LYMAN WHITE  [IN THE PICTURE LEFT TO RIGHT, "BONES" ANDERSON,M BR CITY COUNCILMAN;   G. WASHINGTON EAMES, JR.;    LYMAN WHITE

ANOTHER CLOSE FRIEND WHOM I HAVE KNOW SINCE HIS HIGH SCHOOL YEARS, TRACY PORTER,  IS A FORMER FOOTBALL PLAYER FOR LSU [ IDrafted by the Detroit Lions in the 4th round (99th overall) of the 1981 NFL Draft].  TRACY IS NOW A BUSINESSMAN IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA.  WE TALK ON THE PHONE AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK, VISITING IN PERSON WHEN HE COMES COME TO LOUISIANA.   WE HAVE ATTENDED AT LEAST ONE RECENT LSU FOOTBALL GAME TOGETHER. 

GREG  LaFLEUR, I HAVE KNOWN SINCE HIS DAYS WITH LSU.  HE WAS DRAFTED BY THE INDIANAPOLIS COLTS IN 1981.  HE ALSO PLAYED WITH THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES.  TODAY HE IS THE ATHLETIC DIRECTOR FOR SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY.  HE INVITED KATHY AND ME TO HIS SUITE AT SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY.

LAST YEAR, WE WEREN'T SURE WE WOULD HAVE COMPLIMENTARY SEASON FOOTBALL AND BASKETBALL TICKETS.   BO BAHNSON SAID,  "THESE PEOPLE--NEW STAFF-- DON'T KNOW YOU,  GEORGE."  I CALLED DR. LOMBARDI, PRESIDENT OF THE LSU  SYSTEM AND HE AGREED TO COME TO MY HOUSE AND TALK TO ME OF WHAT I HAD DONE FOR LSU OVER THE YEARS.  AFTER A TWO HOUR VISIT, HE LEFT WITH A FOLDER ON ME.  I APPRECIATED THE TIME HE SPENT WITH ME.