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Full Text of UW Athletic Department Statement canceling a football contract with Louisiana State University, July 19, 1956:
[SOURCE: Capital Times, 19 July 1956, page 1.]
According to press reports, legislation has been enacted by the State of Louisiana to prevent interracial participation in athletic contests there. We have not seen the text of the legislation, but assume from the press reports that it would have the effect of denying to the University of Wisconsin the privilege of selecting the members of its team without regard to race or color in any contest played in Louisiana.
If this assumption is correct, the University of Wisconsin would be unable to play Louisiana State University either here or there. We have always entered into a contract for athletic contests with another institution on the basis that each school would have complete freedom to select its team members in accordance with the rules and policies of the institution and of the conference of which it is a member.
We would be compelled to view any action that interfered with this traditional basic policy of freedom of selection as tantamount to forcing a termination of the contract.
We regret that the reported action by the State of Louisiana will apparently make it impossible for us to play Louisiana State University, particularly in view of the fact that we understand that the Board of Supervisors of that institution went on record as favoring national schedules in all sports without regard to race or color of participating players.