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By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
Topic - Cappadonna
Hill is referred to as the "Jackie Robinson of Southern college football," and 50 years ago Tuesday, on Sept. 10, 1963, he knocked down one of the last remaining doors of discrimination in sports.
No one has to convince Darryl Hill about the value of sports in society. He has been a first-hand witness for a half-century, ever since he enrolled at the University of Maryland and became the first African-American to play in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Bobby Mitchell paused and stared ahead for several seconds. Moderator Maury Povich had just posed a loaded question to the NFL Hall of Famer who integrated the Washington Redskins in 1962 and later served as the team's assistant general manager for 20 years.
"It was mind-boggling," Hill said.
"Maryland turned out to be the perfect place for this to happen," Hill said. "It was hard enough to play there. It would have been really difficult to do it at a school that didn't want you. I didn't have any issues on campus being accepted as a student, and that went a long way to helping me. Maryland playing in a school in a southern conference gave me the opportunity to play in the South without a school begrudging me being there, and the administration was fully behind me down to the coaches."