Any fan of college football is familiar with the Penn State cheer of WE ARE.....PENN STATE. It is a rallying cry used to cheer on the Nittany Lions.
In 1948 the Penn State football team was invited to play in the New Years day Cotton Bowl held in
Dallas Texas, their opponent was Southern Methodist University (SMU). In 1948 Penn State had very few black students and only two black players on the football team. For the first time in school history a young black student was a starter.
In 1948 segregation was still very much in place in Texas and SMU was a segregated university. SMU officials sought out a meeting with the Penn State to request the university leave it's two black student athlete's home or at least off the field.
When told of this proposed meeting Penn State team captain Steve Suhey proclaimed at a team meeting "We are Penn State....There will be no meetings".
Wally Trippet; one of the black players did play in the 1948 Cotton bowl and he scored the touchdown that allowed Penn State to tie the game for a final score of 13 - 13. Penn State ended the 1948 season undefeated.
WE ARE....PENN STATE