Journeys to Manhood program featuring the Syracuse 8

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Thursday, October 6, 2016 | 7PM in Scott Gym

The Center for the Study of Boys at St. Christopher’s School will present the first installment in this year’s Journeys to Manhood Speakers Series on Thursday, October 6 at 7:00 pm in Scott Gymnasium. The event will include a panel of members of the Syracuse 8, the focus of David Marc’s book Leveling the Playing Field: The Story of the Syracuse 8. The event is free and open to the public.

Richmonder Clarence McGill will be among the participants along with author and former Syracuse University Magazine writer David Marc. McGill, one of the players deemed the Syracuse 8, will join other members of the group to discuss their controversial stance at the university as they petitioned for racial equality for their 1969-70 football team. Jonathan Zur, President and CEO of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, will moderate the panel.

About the Syracuse 8:

The Syracuse 8 is a long-overdue story about members of the 1969-70 Syracuse University football team who boycotted the spring 1970 practice to protest racial inequality on the team. The players petitioned the coaching staff with four demands: access to the same academic tutoring made available to their white teammates; better medical care for all team members; starting assignments based on merit rather than race; and an effort to integrate the coaching staff, which had been all-white since 1898.

Mistakenly called the Syracuse 8 by the media in 1970, the players actually numbered nine and included Greg Allen ’72, Richard Bulls ’73, John Godbolt ’73, Dana Harrell ’71, G’73, John Lobon ’73, Clarence “Bucky” McGill ’72, A. Alif Muhammad ’71, Duane Walker ’80, and Ron Womack ’71.

Leveling the Playing Field, written by former Syracuse University Magazine writer David Marc, chronicles this contentious moment in Syracuse University’s history, telling the story through the eyes of the players who demanded change for themselves and for those who would follow.

Virginia This Morning on CBS 6:


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  • Im very interested in attending this event.

  • Black athletes were and continue to be on the forefront of social justice issues in the United States. I’m looking forward to hearing the Syracuse 8 share their story.

  • Richie and Lee Hilbert says:

    I am hoping to attend.

  • André Stéphan Basmajian says:

    Looking forward to presentation

  • Dave Johnson says:

    Attended the program last night. It was inspiring for me, a former SU football player. It was wonderful to see my teammates again and hear their story in person. I hope the young men in attendance heard the message about the importance of completing one’s education, which was the foundation for their success in the bigger game of “life.” Kudos to St. Christoper’s school and its administration for sharing this program with their students and the community.