July 25, 2013
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
On Oct. 16, 1969, a moment changed Cowboy Football forever. In the midst of another impressive season, the 4-0 and 12th-ranked Cowboys were preparing to play rival BYU. But the morning of Oct. 16, 14 African-American players came to Coach Lloyd Eaton's office wearing black arm bands. The purpose was to protest the perceived racial policies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which operates BYU. But Eaton had a rule that no player could be involved in any demonstration or protest. The discussion between the players and Eaton was short, and he let them know they were no longer on the team.
The official announcement came the morning of the game against BYU, Oct. 18. The nationwide backlash was immediate and harsh. Media outlets were scathing in their take on Eaton's actions. Wyoming eventually won the BYU game and the next contest, but limped through four-straight losses to end the season. Following the season, Eaton modified his anti-protest rule and allowed it outside of football activities. But controversy and litigation surrounded the school and program for many years after, and from 1971-1986, Wyoming had six head coaches and only four winning seasons.
About the #120CowboyTough Countdown
The 2013 season will mark the 120th anniversary of Wyoming Cowboy Football. To commemorate that anniversary, we will be counting down some of the great memories and moments from Wyoming football history over the next eight weeks leading up to the Cowboys' season opener at Nebraska on Aug. 31.
The 2013 "Countdown to Kickoff" will take Wyoming fans through Cowboy Football history chronologically. The first week will highlight some of the memorable moments from the period from the first season in 1893 through the 1940s. Then each successive week, the countdown will recall great moments from the 1950s, `60s, 70s, 80, 90s, 2000s and the current decade.
Our countdown will only touch on some of the greatest moments, but we encourage you, the Wyoming fans, to share your favorite memories through the official University of Wyoming Athletics Twitter (@wyoathletics) and Facebook pages (Wyoming Cowboys). Fans are encouraged to use #120CowboyTough when sharing their memories.
Enjoy the countdown, and we look forward to seeing you in War Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 7 for the home opener versus the Idaho Vandals.
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