Texas’ First Black Football Letterman Whittier Has Died
Style Magazine Newswire | 10/5/2018, 2:06 p.m.
Julius Whittier once remarked that attending the University of Texas and playing football opened up a larger world for him. It could be said Whittier helped open the university to the world. Whittier was the Longhorns’ first African-American letterman, making his debut in 1970, one season after Texas fielded the last all-White national championship team in the history of college football. He starred for two seasons at guard before switching to tight end as a senior in 1972, a season in which he caught every touchdown pass the Longhorns threw. Whittier died Tuesday at age 68, the school announced Thursday. No cause of death was given, but Whittier had been battling Alzheimer’s disease. In 2014, his family sued the NCAA on behalf of college players who suffered brain injuries. The case is still pending. The school’s Board of Regents dropped its ban on Black players in 1963 but integration was painfully slow and difficult.