COACH BLANTON COLLIER AWARD
Blanton Collier (1906-1983) M.A., 1947, UK College of Education
Born in Millersburg Ky., July 2, 1906 was inducted into the College of Education Hall of Fame, University of Kentucky.
Coach Blanton Collier taught and coached basketball, football, baseball, and track at Paris High School. Following his discharge from the U.S. Navy after World War II, Collier served twice as assistant coach with the Cleveland Browns under the legendary Paul Brown. At Brown’s retirement, Collier was named Cleveland head coach.
He led the team to a NFL championship in 1964. Between stints with the Browns, Collier was head coach of University of Kentucky football from 1954 until 1961. Collier was named to the UK Hall of Distinguished Alumni on April 7, 1975.
All time great NFL player running back Jim Brown said of Coach Collier, “I was prepared for his football genius…… but not his humanity.” Coach Collier was one of the trustworthy teaching mentors in football.
“The idea for the BCSG became a passion for many after a reunion of the 1961-1962 University of Kentucky Freshmen football team in June, 2008. A book “The Thin Thirty” was written about the Freshmen and Varsity teams and published in August, 2007.
“This book told the story of the extreme physical and psychological abuse suffered by the players under the new coaching staff that was hired in 1962. During contacts to arrange the reunion, it became apparent that many former players suffered a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”). Questionnaires were developed by a PhD in Counseling Psychology.
“These questionnaires were completed prior to the reunion and the results discussed at the reunion. The results of the study revealed that the majority of the former players had some degree of PTSD from the physical and psychological abuse that they received at the hands of the new coaches.
“Former teammates at the reunion, and the PhD, decided to get together later to discuss forming a group with the objective of the elimination of abuse of all athletes. The name Blanton Collier was chosen because he was the team’s initial head coach and he exemplified the character that should be an example for all coaches to follow. Coach Collier’s middle daughter is on the BCSG Board. The entire team was awarded the 2008 NFLPA- Kentucky Chapter’s 2nd Annual Blanton Collier Award.”
The Blanton Collier Sportsmanship Group Web Site:
NFL Players Association, Kentucky Chapter’s Annual Blanton Collier Award
2007 University of Kentucky Head Coach Rich Brooks - former American football player and coach. He served as the head coach at the University of Oregon from 1977 to 1994 and at the University of Kentucky from 2003 to 2009, compiling a career college football record of 128–154–4. Brooks was also the head coach of the NFL’s St. Louis Rams from 1995 to 1996, tallying mark of 13–19. Brooks’ 1994 Oregon team won the Pacific-10 Conference title and made an appearance in the 1995 Rose Bowl. For his efforts that season, he won a number of national coaching awards.[Wikipedia]
2008 1961-1962 University of Kentucky Football Team - The Thin Thirty refers to the 1961-1962 football team at the University of Kentucky. In Jan 1962 Coach Charlie Bradshaw, a Bear Bryant disciple, took over as head Coach of UK after Coach Blanton Collier was fired. The team was thinned by Bradshaw’s brutal methods from 108 players beginning the FAll of 1961 to just 30 beginning the Fall of 1962. The 1962 team’s record was just 3-5-2. The 12-10 winning margin that year over Tennessee was provided by a field goal by Clarkie Mayfield, one of the heroes of the game, who later died in the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire on May 28, 1977.
2009 Coach Tony Dungey - was head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1996 to 2001, and head coach of the Indianapolis Colts from 2002 to 2008. He became the first black American head coach to win the Super Bowl when his Colts defeated the Chicago Bears on February 4, 2007. .[Wikipedia]
2010 Cleveland Browns Running Back Jimmy Brown - American former professional football player who has also made his mark as an actor. He is best known for his exceptional and record-setting nine-year career as a running back for the NFL Cleveland Browns from 1957 to 1965. In 2002, he was named by Sporting News as the greatest professional football player ever. He is considered to be one of the greatest professional athletes the U.S. has ever produced.[Wikipedia]
2011 Gayle Sayers - known as “The Kansas Comet”, is a former professional football player in the National Football League who spent his entire career with the Chicago Bears. Sayers is a member of both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame. His friendship with fellow Chicago Bear Brian Piccolo was the basis for the 1971 movie Brian’s Song. He is a successful entrepreneur in the information technology field and an active philanthropist.[Wikipedia]
As we prepared for our UK Football Reunion for June 2008, concerns developed about our teammates after they reported experiences 50 years ago, as teammates returned information for the Reunion
We realized that our teammates had suffered morbidity and mortality and signs and symptoms had lasted over the past 50 years.
We were prompted to survey the morbidity and mortality of our 1961-1962 University of Kentucky Football Team. It was the “first study of its kind”, said Frank Deford. Sports Illustrated
Longitudinal and Retrospective Study of The Impact of Coaching Behaviors on the 1961-1962 University of Kentucky Football Wildcats by Kay Collier McLaughlin, Ph.D., Micheal B. Minix Sr. M.D., Twila Minix, R.N., Jim Overman, Scott Brogdon See cappaa.com
FIRST SURVEY RESULTS:
I. Psychological (Emotional) Athlete Abuse Survey:
This Study was about 1961-1962 University of Kentucky Football Freshman:
The reunion of the 1961-1962 University of Kentucky Football Freshman Team was June 13-15, 2008. Forty-six years had passed since the tragic UK football diaspora. Most of us had not seen each other in 46 years.
We pulled out and never looked back because the brainwashing, brutality consumed us mentally and physically. We suffered from physical and psychological football athlete abuse. Out of necessity, the team experience became a fleeting moment of football history in most of our minds. Remembering would have been too painful.We never discussed the abuse among ourselves.
Scroll Down to 1/27 hour 2 for interview of Mike Minix with Alan Cutler
The history began with the hope and promise of academic and football success at the University of Kentucky. Each player committed to Coach Blanton Collier, his All-Star assistants and the University of Kentucky, but the University of Kentucky did not fulfil their end of the bargain after Coach Collier.
Instead it became a lifetime of morbidity and mortality for the players, after Coach Blanton Collier was replaced by Bradshaw. Collier was immediately replaced after the end of the first semester of 1961, during the beginning of the Spring Semester of 1962.
The players had no fore warning prior to this tragic replacement. None heard of a possible uneasiness about the UK coaching staff during the high school decision making time or during the first semester at UK.
There was no intervention on our behalf after the abusive Bradshaw saga began. To this day the brutal assaults and mistreatments of the athletes haunt the players. The University of Kentucky never admitted to the athletic community their wrong doings and never apologized to the players for their mistreatments and crimes. Coach Bear Bryant apologized to the Junction Boys a few years after his admitted “pigheaded” abusive mistreatments of his players.
Because of the impact on the health and welfare of the players and the loss of scholarships of the players, the University of Kentucky committed a tragic breech of trust and fiduciary responsibility, when they replaced Coach Blanton Collier with Charlie Bradshaw.
The players, after the replacement, were suddenly faced with a football regime, backed by the University of Kentucky administrators, who had no respect for the players and who did not act responsibly to the players. Everyone concerned with University of Kentucky football program, from the president of the University down, breached the covenants with the players. They should have respected our football athletes as human beings, acted responsibly for our safety, health and welfare and fostered our scholastic development.
From the studies, it appears that Charlie Bradshaw’s behavior was abusive and probably unlawful. His malicious behavior affected the players and will continue to affect the players for their lifetimes. The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Anxiety Reactions have affected and will affect the quality and duration each player’s life. The following studies support the theory.
Some of the assistants appeared to identify with Charlie Bradshaw and his abnormal behavior. Together they acted out Bradshaw’s abuse. He appeared to be maliciously sadistic toward his team according to some of the teammates.
In spite of Bradshaw’s malbehavior and the players’ Post Traumatic Stress disorders and Anxiety Reactions and other mental and physical disorders, that were the results of his and UK’s mistreatments, most of the surviving players have become successful in their businesses, professional and personal lives.
“Pulling out” of Bradshaw football was their only hope for survival and success. Parents and the athletic community should never chastise an athlete who “pulls out” of a corrupt athletic program. “Pulling out” might save that athlete’s life.
The successes that resulted from “pulling out” from the Bradshaw regime and moving in other directions from him, have been revealed in the book The Thin Thirty by Shannon Ragland. The successes stand as a reminder of sweet revenge for many of the players.
About half of the players have forgiven Bradshaw. About half have not forgiven Bradshaw and do not intend to forgive him and his assistants. Some can’t even fathom the question.
Forgiveness and reconciliation are two different phenomenon. One might forgive another person but would not want to associate with that individual. 100% have not and will not reconcile with Bradshaw as evidenced by the studies, because no player who participated in the study would want Bradshaw to coach their son in Bradshaw’s abnormal behavioral condition, that he exhibited in 1962. No player embraced Bradshaw’s system of bully-boy, brainwashing brutal abusive coaching method.
The Psychological (Emotional) Athlete Abuses, at the hands of Charlie Bradshaw and his assistants, that were sustained by the last team recruited by Coach Blanton Collier and his assistants, was Post Traumatic Shock Reaction (Disorder).
Ours was a condition similar to that of Vietnam veterans, according to 2 psychologists close to the University of Kentucky football program in 1962 and professionally experienced with Vietnam veterans.
100% of the players who responded to the survey and who from recollections of their football experience in 1961-1962 manifest some degree of Post Traumatic Stress Reaction (Disorder) from the physical and psychological athlete abuse from Charlie Bradshaw and assistant coach perpetrators. 100% suffered verbal and psychological (emotional) abuse. Other more serious emotional conditions were evident but not surveyed.
Our Football Story was not a series of random events but Story about Premeditated Torture and Abuse. We suffered an absurd, unexpected, nasty and confusing challenge to our established football knowledge and beliefs.
Most of us have “experienced a psychological force that is pushing back, trying to re-assert the things we feel are ethical, reasonable and familiar” about football
This reporter, Micheal B. Minix, Sr. M.D., was a member of the team. Bradshaw called me into the coaching office on two separate one hour occasions. He insisted that I either quit playing football at UK or quit taking pre-med courses. He gave me an ultimatum.
Bradshaw, during the last meeting, threw my books toward an open window but the books bounced back into the office. After I gathered my books, Bradshaw asked me to get in the corner with God and work it out. I did and pulled out from Bradshaw football. I graduated 1 year ahead of schedule from UK Med School in 1968.
Curriculum and career subversion are another twisted form of athlete abuse. In interviews afterwards, the UK football tragedy was sugar coated. I was always taught that the less said and the nicer said was better, particularly, during a telephone interview, when one knew not who was on the other end of the line. No UK football player who pulled out maligned the coaches at that time.
Pushing back was not common in that sports era. After 46 years the truth was told by all.
II. Physical Athlete Abuse Survey
The total population of players on the 1961-1962 University of Kentucky Freshman Football Team was _____48______ at the beginning of the 1961 Fall season.
A total of ___47__players were mailed the questionnaire. One of the players was never found.
47 of 48 (97.9%) of the players or their families were contacted and provided with study questions.
A total of ______24______players responded to the study questionnaire.
_____1___ player was excluded because of random error.
A total of ____23_____players made up the sample population included in this study.
100% of the players were Caucasian.
The average age was ____18 ____ in 1961-1962.
100% of the players were male.
Their religious affiliations were not determined in this survey study.
___63__%__(30 players)__of the original 48 players were from Kentucky.
____37__%__(18 players)__were from outside Kentucky.
A total of ___55_____% replied with answers to the questions.
A total of ____45____% did not reply with answers to the questions.
A total of ____20_____% of the players’ families replied with answers to the questions for their deceased member, because they knew the answers. They only answered the questions they knew.
Of the population sample of players who replied to the questions the following were the results:
A total of __100____% of the players in this sample met at least one positive coaching abuse criterion as described in the method. Every player who answered received multiple forms of abuse.
“The physical abuse was so common place (20+ times per player per practice) ……..it seemed the Coaches were gunning for them”, one player said.
100% of the football athletes received no water during conditioning, work-outs and practices.
A total of __21____% were struck by a coach’s fist, or punched one or more times.
__26____% forearmed by coaches one or more times in the face.
___9___% kicked by the coaches one or more times.
___4___% teeth were broken by the coaches fists
___13___% received broken or injured bones
___13___% were head butted by the coaches one or more times in the face.
A total of ___61___% received no medical attention for their football injuries that occurred during practice one or more times. .
A total of ___52___% played while they were injured.
A total of ___52___% had improper medical or surgical treatment
A total of ___9___% were told according to a second opinion that their treatments were improper by the team physicians at the University of Kentucky.
In addition ___30____% offered additional coaches’ mistreatments that were not asked in this survey.
In addition ___9____% offered additional coaches’ physical abuse not asked as a question in this survey study.
Male life expectancy hit a record 75.2 years in 2004, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced.
13 of the 1961 Freshman team members, who continued with Bradshaw in the Fall of 1962, according to football program. One freshman, the last player signed by Coach Collier in late December, 1961, who enrolled in the Spring Semester, January 1962, continued with Bradshaw in the Fall of 1962 as a red shirt.
Another player was attending school on football scholarship but not playing football and not a member of the team in the Fall of 1962. He finished UK having never played football under Bradshaw in an agreement facilitated by basketball head coach, Coach Adolph Rupp.
Only 10 players from the 1961 freshmen team our of the 13 were included in the Thin Thirty team picture.
2 Thin Thirty 1961 Freshman who remained with Bradshaw are deceased. Both suffered fatal heart attacks.
4 “Pullout” 1961 Freshman who did not continue with Bradshaw in the Fall of 1962 are deceased.
Football players are generally in good physical condition. Most college football players are taken care of well. Among the 8,961 pro-football players born in the last 50 years, at least 130 are already deceased. Among 4,382 professional baseball players, 31 are known to have died. That means 1 in every 69 football players is deceased compared to 1 in every 154 baseball players.
14 % of the pro-football players born in the last 50 years are deceased = 1 / 69
11.4 % of the last team recruited by Coach Blanton Collier are deceased. = 12 / 105 players. 6 Upperclassmen and 6 freshmen in the fall of 1961.
27 % of The Thin Thirty are Deceased = 8 / 30
These include both freshmen and upperclassmen.
Their ages now would be about 65-66.
30 % of The Thin Thirty Upperclassmen are deceased
12.5 % Of the 1961 UK Freshmen Football team are deceased. These include The Thin Thirty Freshmen members + Freshmen “Pull Outs” = 6 / 48
20 % of The Thin Thirty freshmen are deceased = 2 / 10
10.5 % of the “Pull Out” freshmen are deceased = 4 / 38
The percentage deceased for The Thin Thirty Freshmen was near double The “Pull Out” Freshmen football players.
THE 2nd SURVEY STUDY RESULTS
The total population of players on the 1961-1962 University of Kentucky Freshman Football Team was _____48______
A total of ___47__players or their families, if the player was deceased, were mailed the questionnaire
_________1_______player was not found.
A total of ______31______players responded
_____1_______ random error was excluded.
A total of ____30________players were included in this survey study sample population.
The following were the questions and how they were answered:
Would you want you son to play football for a coach like Charlie Bradshaw as Bradshaw behaved in 1962 ?
No son ____ 3% or 1 / 30_______
Have you forgiven Charlie Bradshaw for mistreating you?
Yes___46.5 % ____ No___50 %____ N/A___3.5 %__
Are you working on forgiving Charlie Bradshaw?
Yes___14.8%____ No____51.9 % _____