Dement failed to break Sooner color barrier, but has no regrets

Now 71, Andy Dement remembers visiting Bud Wilkinson and telling the legendary coach he wanted to play football for the University of Oklahoma. He says he wasn’t out to make history or ruffle any feathers ” he simply wanted to test his talents at the next level.

“I have no regrets at all,” said Dement. “We had a good talk with Coach Wilkinson. He was very cordial and gracious. But he had no scholarships left, and since my family didn’t have the money to send me to college, my decision was pretty simple.”

A week earlier, Dement had traveled to Norman to enroll in classes. When he returned to campus with his father a few weeks before the start of preseason football practice, he hoped his senior-season statistics from Douglass would earn him consideration for an athletic scholarship.

“My high school coach, Mose Miller, didn’t even want me to entertain thoughts about playing at OU. And it wasn’t that I was a big Sooner fan, but I just felt something internally telling me to go talk to Coach Wilkinson,” said Dement.

“It all worked out for the best. I got a good education and I enjoyed a good college football career (at Maryland State). I would have had a hard time enduring the physical beating I would have taken. I could have handled it mentally, but there was still a good amount of prejudice at the time and it would have made it tough for me.” “Jay C. Upchurch

Jay C. Upchurch

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