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What Should The Syracuse 30 For 30 Episode Be?


I know this isn't exactly timely but ever since I saw it over on the West Virginia blog, I've been wondering about it.

With the news that Bill Simmons and ESPN will be producing a brand new round of 30 For 30 documentaries, with the caveat that the story had to take place in the 30 years that ESPN existed now gone, one wonders what story from the Syracuse Orange history could make a compelling episode?

All due respect to Ernie Davis and Jim Brown but I feel like their stories have been told enough, and will continue to be told by many more.

The Bernie Fine scandal still feels too fresh and the final chapter has yet to be written.

Looking back for really meaty stories in Syracuse's history, I keep coming to one in particular: The story of The Syracuse 8. It's a story that's known by many in the community but not all of us. I hadn't even been made aware about it until I started researching my book. The Syracuse 8, who were actually nine players on the SU football team, boycotted the 1970 season in protest of coach Ben Schwartzwalder and their desire for better medical care for injured players and stronger support for African American student-athletes as well as at least one African-American coach on the staff.

On one hand you've got an almost unimpeachable coach, Ben Schwartzwalder, who has a exemplary record of letting African-American players perform and excel. And on the other hand you've got the changing times, social structure and the maturation of the African-American athlete in modern America. It's a compelling story and one worth dissection on a national stage.

Some other ideas I had were an in-depth look at the life of Wilmeth Sidat-Singh, who's story of racial intolerance is overshadowed by Ernie Davis', and perhaps a look back at the once-heated Syracuse-Colgate rivalry and all of the antics that came with it. It doubles as a story about how the sport of college football grew up, while brother Syracuse grew big and strong and brother Colgate stayed small.

Things like the 1988 Sugar Bowl or Vic Hanson's story or The Legend of 44 feel important but not important enough to warrant a dedicated look here.

Other than that, I couldn't think of too many other stories that warranted the 30 for 30 treatment, but perhaps you guys have some ideas? Start spit-ballin'...