In 1970 Syracuse University student athletes boycotted for

  1. Access to the same academic tutoring made available to their white teammates;
  2. Better medical care for all team members;
  3. Starting assignments based on merit rather than race; and
  4. A discernible effort to racially integrate the coaching staff, which had been all white since 1898.

David Marc, the author chronicles this contentious moment in Syracuse University’s history and tells the story through the eyes of the players who demanded change for themselves and for those who would follow them.


“As punishment for demanding conditions that are now taken for granted by student athletes entering any collegiate sports program in the nation, they were denied their careers as athletes. This is what was done to Muhammad Ali when he was stripped of the heavyweight boxing championship for standing up for his right to protest the Vietnam War. This is what was done to Nelson Mandela when he was denied his place among his people and thrown in prison for twenty seven years.” — Jim Brown

"In a society where choosing which side to root for often takes priority over other forms of authentic discovery and engagement, it may be tempting to sum up the story of the Syracuse 8 as a conflict between a "racist white" football coach and a group of "militant black" student athletes. The temptation is worth resisting. What little truth there is in that characterization only tends to hide the complexity of a more compelling human drama that touches not only on race and sports, but on generational conflict, American cultural history, the ability of institutions to cope with change, and the struggle of individuals for personal dignity." — Greg Allen, one of the Syracuse 8


Washington DC, NYC, Binghamton N.Y., Boston, St Paul, Hartford, Syracuse University

University of Bridgeport, W Kentucky University, University of Southern New Hampshire

Governor’s State College of Illinois, Bassett HS, St Christopher’s School of Richmond, Virginia


We, the members of the Syracuse 8 LLC, have joined together in the mutual enterprise for the purpose of making a contribution to the advancement of humanity by facilitating scholarship and education. We will establish an educational initiative to provide increased quantity and quality of learning opportunities, and exposure to benefit our youth.

Now Available on Amazon

Uncover the truth from extensive interviews and get a first hand account of the boycott that ultimately leveled the playing field.

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What others are saying about the book

"This book is a must read. If there is only one book to read this year, this is it."

JOSEPH CANGEMI / Emeritus Professor

"Marc takes us beyond the often cliche-filled lore of sports history as he artfully reconstructs a little-known but fascinating episode in the continuing struggle against racial discrimination in collegiate sports."


"The story of the Syracuse Eight would not have been complete without this book."

DOUGLAS P. BIKLEN / Dean Emeritus

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