MSU football paved the way for racial integration in college athletics

Mar 1, 2013

In the 1960s, Michigan State recruited black football players from the South who were unable to play closer to home.

The 1966 match up between Notre Dame and Michigan State University was billed as “ The Game of the Century.” The two undefeated teams, ranked 1 and 2 respectively, clashed at Spartan Stadium. While many remember the game for its controversial 10-10 tie, it’s also remembered for its social and political relevance.  

In 1966, the Fighting Irish had only one black player on their team, while the Michigan State Spartans were one of the most racially diverse at the time.’s Adam Rittenberg recently wrote about MSU's legacy and joins us to discuss the significance of Michigan State’s integrated football teams during the 1960’s.