The Jackson Free Press last week reported the passing of Roy Coleman, who it said was the first black high school quarterback to receive a scholarship to Ole Miss.
In 1972 Ben Williams became the first black football player at Ole Miss. A minority scholarship currently bears his name.
The first black athlete, basketball player Coolidge Ball, was already on campus, having enrolled in 1970. I had the chance to interview Ball a few years back, and that was a lot of fun, a neat discussion.
In 2006 the university honored the first athletes of all their respective sports. Coleman was listed as the school’s first black baseball player in 1976 with the notation that he was recruited to play football.
Though Coleman was a successful high school quarterback, leading Jackson Callaway to a perfect season in 1975, he played wide receiver at Ole Miss. The story implies he was not happy about that, and it’s certainly not a stretch to believe that would be the case.