Bronco Sports launches "The Legacy Project" to honor Black student-athletes

Posted at 6:00 PM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-26 10:10:05-05

BOISE — Four of Boise State's student-athlete alum, Mike Campbell, Trent Johnson, Carl Powell, and Booker Brown, have created a space to honor and highlight the history of the university's Black student-athletes.

It's called "The Legacy Project."

"As time passes the past is kind of forgotten,” Campbell said.

The Legacy Project team is focused on making sure the stories of the black student-athletes that played at Boise State from 1968 to 1980 live on.

“These guys represent Hall of Fame inductees, ad we have got All-Americans," Campbell said. "We have got numerous All-Conference guys and this was just an opportunity to have them remembered."

The roster features 27 Black basketball and football players, including the first to play at what was then called Boise Junior College, Aurelius Buckner.

“It makes me feel proud,” Campbell said.

It also honors the 12 black student-athletes during that time that have since passed away.

The project was created following concerns from student-athletes at other Division I schools who said they did not feel welcome at their programs.

“Some members of the coaching staff were using inappropriate language around the players and to the players, and it got me thinking about my experience at Boise State," Campbell said.

He said it made him realize how thankful he is that he was a Bronco.

"This was the early 70s, late 70s, and we were coming into a community that was basically all white but we thrived," Campbell said. "The school was consistent in their support and helped launch our success for our personal lives and the coaching staff was phenomenal.”

A project that not only showcases the legacy and experiences of these athletes, but also the team wants to use this to recognizes Boise State athletics' commitment to diversity and inclusivity.

“I felt it was important for people to understand that we just don’t seem to have those problems at Boise State," Campbell said. "It says a lot about the school, the administration, and the type of people they have had coaching. They're just real genuine people."

Right now, The Legacy Project is on the Bronco Sports webpage and social media platforms, but the team has big plans for its future.

“Eventually, we hope to have a permanent place on campus in The Hall of Fame where this can be viewed by current and future recruits, and even their parents who might not be familiar with Boise, Idaho," Campbell said. "To give them something to look at to say, 'hey, these guys have always done this.' They have always been welcoming to Black athletes and maybe give them another level of comfort to having their son or daughter attend Boise State."