Texas A&M-Commerce Wants Apology For Glory Road Movie Portrayal

The Texas school waited a month to verify the facts and incidents in question


Feb. 10, 2006

EL PASO, Texas (AP) - Officials at Texas A&M-Commerce University want Walt Disney Co. and the makers of "Glory Road" to apologize for inaccurately linking their school to some of the film's most racially charged scenes.

The movie chronicled the history-making Texas Western Miners, who won the 1966 NCAA title with the first all-black starting lineup in a championship game. It included a "completely false" depiction of a game against East Texas State University, the name of Texas A&M-Commerce at the time, spokeswoman Lorraine Pace said Friday.

In the movie, East Texas fans are shown throwing drinks and popcorn and yelling racial slurs at Texas Western, now known as the University of Texas at El Paso, during a regular-season game in Commerce, Texas. A scene after the game shows a vandalized hotel room, with racial slurs written on the walls in red.

"It was just too awful for words," Pace said.

It never happened, Pace said.

According to UTEP athletic department archives, the Miners played the Lions in El Paso on Dec. 9, 1965. The Miners won 73-51. The Miners won the game in the movie, but the margin was much closer.

"These events - specifically depicted as taking place at ETSU and in the Commerce area - are completely fabricated and go beyond the realms of literary license and decency," A&M-Commerce President Keith McFarland said in a statement.

Though the Jerry Bruckheimer film debuted last month, university officials waited to verify the facts of the game before seeking an apology, Pace said.

The university has asked Disney, Bruckheimer, director James Gartner and the screenplay writers to apologize for the scenes.

Officials with Disney and Bruckheimer's film company weren't immediately available for comment.

The Texas A&M-Commerce complaint isn't the first. Before the movie's nationwide release, supporters of legendary Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp complained that the movie unfairly cast Rupp as a racist.

The Miners, coached by Don Haskins, beat Rupp's all-white Kentucky team 72-65 in the championship game. The movie was adapted from Haskins' book about the season.

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