Former hoops star recalls Adolph Rupp’s racism

Adolph Rupp Racism at Kentucky

A New York Times article recently ran chronicling Tim Bassett’s experience as a former NCAA star, ABA and NBA player in the 1960s and 1970s.


Specifically, the article touches upon the racism that Bassett faced in college basketball when he left Idaho for the University of Georgia.

The article displays a side of Adolph Rupp that many NCAA fans may not be aware of. Kentucky’s legendary Hall-of-Fame coach and the third-winningest coach in NCAA history, behind Dean Smith and Bobby Knight, stands out in the article, and not in a positive light.

Tim Bassett, 58, is a former broadcaster and professional basketball player who played in the American Basketball Association and the N.B.A.

Bassett was a muscular 6-foot-8 forward when he attended Georgia from 1971 to 1973… while playing at Georgia, he encountered a racist dimension of American culture.

Claude Felton, the associate athletic director for communications at Georgia, said the university had only a handful of black athletes before Bassett. One of Bassett’s teammates, Ronnie Hogue, became the first black athlete to play a major sport at Georgia in 1970.

The first time Bassett and the Bulldogs played Kentucky was a home game on Jan. 17, 1972. Georgia won that game, 85-73. Bassett had 27 points and 13 rebounds. After the game, the legendary Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp approached Bassett.

“He said I didn’t belong in the Southeast Conference, and he said, ‘We’ll get you back when you come to Lexington,’ ” Bassett said.


When the Bulldogs went to Lexington a month later, they entered the gym to find Bassett hanging in effigy from the ceiling. Stunned, Bassett’s teammates offered not to play the game if Bassett were too uncomfortable there. A motivated Bassett played anyway and had 17 points and 17 rebounds, but Georgia lost, 87-63.

After the game, Bassett wanted to let Rupp know just how he felt about Rupp’s allowing the effigy in Kentucky’s gym… (read more at the New York Times)

The article gets into an altercation that Bassett and Ronnie Hogue, another African-American player on the University of Georgia team, got into after repeatedly being hit with cheapshot after cheapshot as the referess doing nothing about it.


‘Tim, if a guy hits me one more time, I’m going to take his head off. I can’t take it anymore.” said Hogue “The referees aren’t doing anything.”

Read the entire article at the New York Times


  • Dennis Smith

    Have a hard time seeing much more than vindictive motives for anyone trashing someone that has been dead for 35 years.

  • Jon Fisher

    It’s completely false that Bassett’s image was hung in effigy in Memorial Coliseum. That’s absolutely ludicrous, and that story has ZERO other corroboration.

  • What a crock! I don’t believe a word of it. Where’s the racism in what Rupp said even if he did say that? He didn’t mention race. He just said this jerk didn’t belong in the SEC and from what I read here, Rupp was right. In fact Rupp praised that UG team as their best ever. That comes from the ATLANTA newspaper. And a player hung in effigy? You’ve got to be kidding. I watched that game on TV. I saw no such thing. I watched a lot of games in Mememorial 2 years later. I never saw anything except the administration try to keep the rowdy UK fans from acting up. And they did it too. This whole story reeks of NYT bigotry. It’s a lie.

  • Dax Myhand

    Great “story” until you realize that Rupp already had a black player, Tom Payne….kinda kills the credibility of the story…….

  • adolf, how ironic of a first name, Rupp was racist.he said he would never lose to team of 5 blacks starting players. huh?!do some research and stop defending a man who was an obviously a racist.

  • patriotfan

    ADOLF HITLER RUPP WAS A RACIST NASTY SCUMBAG!!!!!!!! He never like black players. Thats why Don Hasken team in 66 kick the pig out of that Hitler scumbag!!!!

  • That program has been crooked from the get go and always will be. What blows me away is that they chose to cheat in a conference that they could own without cheating but once a cheat always a cheat and their fans are right with them

  • History has proved that Kentucky has always been a basketball mammoth. However the simple fact that he didn’t have a black player until the very end of his 40+ year career speaks loudly enough. Was that an accident? Don’t think so.

  • Absolutely a false and rediculous article. Never happened. I have attended basketball games at Kentucky since the early 1960’s. There was never any disrepect for black players ever by UK, its players or fans. Those who commented are also either rascists themselves or ignorant. If you want to know the truth, do a little research. Ask black players recruited by Rupp. Wes Unseld, Butch Beard, Clem Haskins.He was not a rascist.Black players were concerned about being the first at Kentucky, not because of Kentucky fans but because most southern schools were still segregated. Do you northerners know anything about segregation? Most black players in the south went to all black colleges in the south. It wasn’t until the 60’s that major schools in the south started recruiting blacks, including Kentucky.In 1966 Duke was all white. North Carolina didn’t have a black player until Charlie Scott in 1964. Revisionist history is alive and well especially in New York. Most are just envious of the 4 NCAA titles that Rupp won and the 8 NCAA banners that hang in RUPP ARENA today. Get the facts, man.

  • Anonymous

    Fuck rupp fuck wildcdats , fuck the sec , fuck the hole east coast , pac 12 baby

  • Fisher smith and cj you are all lil bitchs defend rupp like u kno the motherfucker , ucla gots more titles then all u readneck honky schools westcoast!

  • Cid the kid

    Rupp is a legend. Go Big Blue

  • What can you expect from old Adolf.
    Remember he was a card carrying klansman. Similar to another well known Adolph.Yet, in spite of all the overwhelming evidence of his devout racism the facility in Lexington where the wildcats play bears his name.
    How or why would any African American play in that facility? Oh, I forget. The Nike money.

  • Montrel. Hatten

    Glad those days are gone..or are they?

  • Jess Bowman

    Adolph Rupp, won without black players, The coaches ahead
    of him never coached white players. Kentucky never paid
    black players to play for them. When Rupp coached, you
    had to take a test to get in college. Tom Payne took the
    test 10 times and still did not pass. Tom Payne had 6
    students pargenat while he was at Kentucky. Bob Knight
    is a joke, he had everybody in his pocket including the
    officials. He ruined the best p;ayer ever to come out of
    Indiana, Dammin Baily.
    So put Rupp in a class by himself, He had only white players and he still won.

  • Donald Quinn, Rupp was a racist and said so in so many words. UK is still a racist school but they cover it up. I know several people that have went there and some played on the football team and have commented about the racism in Lexington. Ole Rupp was a bigot.

  • Anonymous


  • Adolph Rupp didn’t kiss the butts of the “elite media”. Thus, he was labeled a racist. That is, in truth, not factual. Some of the above posts were written by people who wouldn’t know a baseball from a grapefruit. Rupp played to win. He recruited whatever he thought was needed to win. If blacks didn’t come to UK, it was most likely because they didn’t want to dedicate themselves to the discipline demanded by Rupp. If that makes Rupp a racist, this country needs more racists.

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