Monday, July 19, 2004
In a big story Sunday,, The New York Times profiled Bulldogs coach Sly Croom: "Home is 83 miles away in Tuscaloosa, Ala., but it might as well be a million. When Sylvester Croom is not at Mississippi State, he is traveling along Mississippi's two-lane roads, talking to alumni and high school coaches and just about any gathering with an extra chair. He is all but going door to door, selling the idea of him as the Bulldogs' football coach.
"This fall, by the time he takes the field as the first African-American to coach a Southeastern Conference football team, Mississippians will know him. Many will have heard his philosophy of lifelong discipline delivered in his low preacher's voice. They will understand where he has come from and where he hopes to go.[...]
"Croom, 49, surveys his new world with excitement, but also relief and disappointment. He waited 28 years for his first head coaching job. He is one of only five African-Americans head coaches in Division I-A football, landing with a program that has won 8 games and lost 27 in the past three seasons and that lives under looming National Collegiate Athletic Association penalties. And many in the game, Croom included, believe he waited far too long for this opportunity."