The students are back which also means that football is back. The Cyclones host their in-state rival Iowa Hawkeyes Saturday night at Jack Trice Stadium. The stadium was named after our first African-American student athlete, and this year marks the ninetieth anniversary of his tragic first college game.
On October 5, 1923, the night before the University of Minnesota game, from a hotel in Minneapolis, Trice wrote a letter noting his thoughts; “The honor of my race, family, and self is at stake. Every one is expecting me to do big things. I will….” On October 6, 1923, during the second play of the game, Trice broke his collarbone but insisted he could continue to play. In the third quarter, he was forced to the ground and crushed by a Minnesota player. He was taken to a Minneapolis hospital and was released to travel back to Ames with his teammates. On October 8, 1923, he died of internal bleeding due to injuries sustained during the game.
ISU Digital Collections has added photographs and letters from Special Collection’s Jack Trice Papers, including Trice’s letter and correspondence between the Athletic Directors of ISU and the University of Missouri regarding a “gentlemen’s agreement” among the universities regarding “colored men” not playing in Missouri, Kansas or Oklahoma. Photographs include Trice and his teammates and the memorial statute of Trice that now stands outside of Jack Trice Stadium.
Although the original Jack Trice letter has been preserved and placed in a custom portfolio in Special Collections, a facsimile in a presentation portfolio was given to Coach Rhoads and his staff for recruiting trips. The legacy of Jack Trice continues.