Beryl Shipley Photo

Beryl Shipley

Born: Aug 10, 1926

Death: Apr 15, 2011

Birthplace: Kingsport

Nationality: United States

Beryl Shipley

Date of Birth : Aug 10, 1926
Date of Death : Apr 15, 2011
Birth Place : Kingsport

Beryl Cylde Shipley was an American former basketball coach. A native of Kingsport, Tennessee, he is best known for his tenure as head coach of the University of Southwestern Louisiana from 1957 to 1973. In 1966, Shipley recruited three black players, thus becoming the first collegiate coach in the Deep South to have black players on his team. In a region where Jim Crow was a way of life well into the 1960s—long after most Jim Crow laws were formally repealed—Shipley faced intense criticism and opposition for trying to integrate his teams. However, he said years later that he was tired of telling good players that he couldn't sign them because of an unwritten Gulf States Conference rule forbidding black players on conference teams. When state officials barred state money from being used to fund the scholarships for the players, Shipley had area black leaders chip in enough money to pay the players' way. However, this violated an NCAA rule against players receiving financial assistance from outside their family. In 1968, partly due to this, the Ragin' Cajuns were slapped with two years' probation and barred from postseason play during that time.

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