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1956 Sugar Bowl
|Panthers Integrate The Sugar Bowl|
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Faced with the prospect of an African American halfback (Bobby Grier) on the Pittsburgh roster, Georgia Governor Marvin Griffin called upon Tech to withdraw from the game. When he announced this to the press, the Georgia Tech student body rose up in revolt, and the Board of Regents turned down Griffin's demand.
The game itself, rather ironically, turned on an early pass interference call against Grier, which set up the only score of the afternoon. The call was questionable, to say the least, but after the game Grier had nothing but praise for the sportsmanship of the Tech players and the Sugar Bowl crowd in New Orleans. This Sugar Bowl marked one of the small but significant steps that helped to take the South out of the dark ages.