Scholarship Established in Name of First Black Football Player at the University of Oklahoma

In commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the racial integration of the University of Oklahoma football team, the university has established an athletic scholarship in the name of Prentice Gautt. In 1956 football coach Bud Wilkinson took the bold step of offering a football scholarship to Gautt, the first African-American football player in what was then the nation’s premier collegiate football program. Gautt went on to become a two-time all-conference player and was named the most valuable player of the 1959 Orange Bowl.

After collge, Gautt played in the National Football League and was an administrator for the Big 12 Conference. He earned a Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Missouri.

In honor of Gautt’s milestone, all University of Oklahoma players wore a decal with his No. 38 on their helmets at the game in which Gautt was honored and the 38-yardline was painted in Oklahoma crimson. Gautt died in 2005.