Marvin Kalb writes in the Atlantic today about the City College of New York (CCNY) team that won an NIT and NCAA championship in 1950, but one year later, some of the players were convicted of point shaving. Interestingly enough, Kentucky was also embroiled in accusations of point shaving the very same year for the 1948-49 NIT game.
But that’s not what this is all about. Consider this quote from the article:
City’s next game was against Kentucky, a prohibitive favorite, and it was here, I thought, that City’s season would end. Kentucky players, all white and all-American, strutted into town, cocky and confident. Their coach, Adolph Rupp, arrogant, successful and wealthy, nicknamed the Blue Grass Baron, once boasted that he would never allow a "black" or a "kike" to play on his team. He knew that three Jews and two blacks started for City College. [Emphasis mine]
As far as I know, this is a made-up paraphrase. Jon Scott at BigBlueHistory.net has carefully compiled every known incidence of racist commentary from Adolp Rupp, and no such statement of any reasonable similarity is found there, nor any reference to Rupp using the word "Kike(s)."
I think Kalb made this up out of whole cloth to make Rupp look even more racist than he is alleged to be by his detractors, and since the CCNY team contained Jews as well as African-Americans, it makes CCNY look like another Texas Western, only much earlier.
How heroic. Unfortunately, it is also likely to be fiction. Hat tip: Rush The Court.
Oscar Combs brings facts, and facts are stubborn things:
@aseaofblue Only problem with that claim is Bernie Opper was '39 UK All-American under Rupp. Opper is enshrined in Jewish Basketball HOF.— Oscar Combs (@wildcatnews) April 26, 2013
Also, Forty Year Cat Fan made this same point below in the comments.
Sorry, Mr. Kalb. As much as you would like your little fiction to be true, it just isn't, and by a wide margin.