For almost a decade, journalist Mark W. Wright has been tracking one of the greatest injustices in collegiate sports history, a story that America hardly knows. In 1971, Howard University, a historically Black university in Washington, D.C., won a national men’s soccer championship — only to be stripped of its title by the NCAA due to allegations of ineligible players. For more than 50 years, Howard has proclaimed its innocence — and counters that racism was the reason the NCAA targeted the predominantly Black school for daring to step into the all-white soccer landscape and dominate. The Bison Project is an exclusive telling of that story, with interviews from the players and former Howard students who lived that epic, undefeated season. By bringing the story to light, the Bison Project is leading an effort to remove the asterisk currently attached to this championship title, and to reward the living players with the Presidential White House visit they never got in 1971.
Episode 1 – Coming Nov. 15
Band of Brothers
We open The Bison Project with the backstory of Alvin Henderson and Ian Bain, boyhood best friends and soccer teammates in their homeland of Trinidad & Tobago. Henderson (aka “Hendo”) earns a free ride to Howard University in 1970 and is one of the cornerstones on that year’s team that almost wins a national championship. Bain joins Henderson the following year, and the two, together, quickly become key contributors to Howard’s epic run toward the title. Follow their high-scoring journey, and the surrounding story unfolding on Howard’s campus, with the Civil Rights Movement as the backdrop. From Meadowlark and Campside Media, this is Sports Explains the World‘s The Bison Project – Episode 1.
COMING SOON November 15, 2023!Coming Soon!
Episode 2 – Coming Nov. 22
As soon as the final whistle blows and the Bison officially seal their epic national championship win on Dec. 30, 1971, the guys celebrate — high-steppin’ to Sly and the Family Stone’s “Family Affair.” And, why not? They’d just beaten the Goliaths of college soccer — two-time defending champion Saint Louis University. Little did they know, however, that an ominous threat in the form of an NCAA investigation is lurking, waiting to rock their world just three weeks later. From Meadowlark and Campside Media, this is Sports Explains the World‘s The Bison Project – Episode 2.
COMING SOON November 22, 2023!Coming Soon!
Episode 3 – Coming Nov. 29
Heading into the 1974 season, the Bison hardly looks like a team that won a national soccer championship just a few years earlier. The NCAA has stripped Howard of that 1971 title on the grounds that four players didn’t meet various eligibility requirements. The NCAA’s investigation, which lingered into the ’72 postseason, forced Howard to pull several of its best players from the lineup during that season’s playoff run, thwarting any chance of them winning it all again. In 1973, the NCAA barred the Bison from postseason play — punishment for the alleged misdeeds of years earlier. By the time ’74 rolls around, the NCAA sanctions are finally in the rearview mirror, but time has taken its toll. Most of the players from ’71 have either graduated, turned pro, or moved on to grad school. Still, with all they’d been through, the pain of a loss that year still burns. From Meadowlark and Campside Media, this is Sports Explains the World’s The Bison Project – Episode 3.
COMING SOON November 29, 2023!Coming Soon!