NewsOK: OU to give halftime tribute to first black player, Gautt

They will celebrate Prentice Gautt’s legacy tonight in Norman.

In doing so, they also will celebrate the men who thought enough of Gautt to back him 50 years ago. The men who walked into the University of Oklahoma president’s office and empowered Gautt to walk into crimson-clad immortality.

. . . Yet the names and the faces of the black men who stood behind Gautt largely have been forgotten. Frank L. Cox. G.E. Finley. Charles Atkins. Carl E. Barkley. There were others, too. They were medical professionals – doctors, dentists and pharmacists in a group called MeDePhar – and they were the ones who provided a scholarship for Gautt when OU refused.

Such a powerfully moving story, but my favorite part was this section…

Coming back from a freshman game in Tulsa, the team stopped at a restaurant where Gautt was refused service. The owner told him that he could not stay, so Gautt quietly stood up and walked out.

His teammates decided if he wasn’t eating there, neither were they.