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Iowa Time Machine: Iowa Gold Boycotts Big 10 - May 19, 1931

Iowa Time Machine ⏰: On May 19, 1931, the Iowa Hawkeyes announced they would not compete in the Big Ten golf meet in protest of the team’s no. 1 golfer, George Roddy, being held out of a match the previous week due to the color of his skin.

A native of Keokuk, Iowa, Roddy allegedly walked to Iowa City for college carrying a suitcase and his golf clubs when his parents couldn’t afford the bus fare. A barrier-breaking athlete at Iowa, Roddy dominated on the links to create a legacy of excellence while striving for equality.

The first African-American to golf for Iowa, Roddy made an impression on the course when he shot a course-record 72 at Finkbine Field in a duel against Minnesota in May of 1930. Lettering and serving as team captain, the standout golfer from Keokuk knocked in low scores and captured the All-University Championship in 1929 and 1930.

Iowa, barred from conference competition due to a football eligibility scandal during 1930, returned to Big 10 action in 1931. Roddy, however, often found himself sidelined as he did not compete in meets held at white-only courses like Chicago’s Westmoreland Country Club. Despite the challenges, Roddy still managed to stand out as one of the greatest golfer’s in Hawkeye history. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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