Crum to be inducted into Tuskegee University Athletic Hall of Fame
Published 5:26 pm Friday, March 24, 2017
Greenville native Kenneth Crum is the latest in a long line of storied athletes to be inducted into the Tuskegee University Athletic Hall of Fame.
Despite his many exploits on the field of play, including status as a four-year starter at the quarterback position, two consecutive Turkey Day Classic victories over rival Alabama State University and distinction as the 1979 Tuskegee Gold Tiger Freshman of the Year, Crum said that an induction ceremony was beyond his wildest dreams.
“When I got the scholarship to Tuskegee, my main objective was to, No. 1, obtain an education, and No. 2, do the best that I could on the football field to show that I was worthy of this scholarship,” Crum said.
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“The Hall of Fame, accolades or awards never entered my mind—not for one moment.”
Crum’s origin story began at Greenville High School, where he started as a quarterback for the Tigers during his junior and senior year.
If not for the intervention of one particular teacher, Crum says his journey to Tuskegee might never have begun.
“Mr. Frank Lucas, who was our agriculture teacher at that time at Greenville High, was a graduate of Tuskegee, and he asked the Tuskegee coach, Haywood Scissum, to come and look at my film,” Crum said.
“He came one day and looked at all 10 of my senior-year films, and offered me a scholarship on the spot. I will forever thank Mr. Lucas and Coach Haywood Scissum—he recreated me, he nurtured me and he made sure that I graduated from Tuskegee.”
Upon his arrival at Tuskegee, Crum contended with seven other candidates for the quarterback position, ultimately winning the starting spot and becoming a four-year starter in the process.
And though Crum’s eventful career was filled with many standout moments, one stood clearly above the rest.
“My most memorable game was when we played Florida A&M for their homecoming in 1979,” Crum said. “It was a bright, sunny day; I can remember like it was yesterday. The game was so huge that we played it at Florida State’s stadium, because Tuskegee was coming to town and we were a draw; we had a great following.
“Muhammad Ali was a guest of FAMU at the game, and we upset them 16-14 on their homecoming. They kept trying to get him to say that FAMU was going to win, and he wouldn’t commit to it. And he was up in the pressbox shadowboxing, and it was a great day.”
Crum graduated in 1984 with a bachelor’s of science in business administration. He is now the owner of B&N Travel, LLC, named after his children, Brandon and Nealy. In 1995, he coordinated the transportation for the historic Million-Man March held in Washington, D.C., providing buses from around the country to the historic event.
Crum feels that the emphasis on education that he and his family have always placed above all else is being diminished for modern athletes as the allure of the pros continues to grow.
“It’s unfortunate, because a lot of times, especially nowadays, you have your eyes on professional football and there are so few people that are going to make the pros each year,” Crum said.
“I felt that if I had not graduated from Tuskegee having gone there on a football scholarship, it would’ve been a waste.”