Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Follow Ronald Lawson’s Footsteps to Preserve the Sports History of Tennessee State University

Nashville, Tenn. - Ronald Lawson, Jr., is determined to recognize some of Tennessee State University's most prominent contributors to sports history.

For several years he has helped nominate more than a dozen individuals to the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.

Lawson, a 1988 alumnus of TSU was instrumental in having a historical marker erected on the campus paying homage to the history of the National Negro High School Basketball Tournament.

Lawson is now petitioning for others to become actively involved in preserving the sports history.

"TSU has a rich sports history that many know little or rarely hear about except for those old enough to remember," said Lawson. "We have numerous athletes who have gone on to complete tremendous feats in the world. Some have been to the Olympics, national championships, the NFL and the NBA. Our efforts to preserve and celebrate the sports history of Tennessee should be paramount. We must continue to nominate and recognize our own."

Lawson believes that young people today should be made aware of the plights of African-American athletes prior to integration and how their determination paved the way for today's athletes. He feels that being able to participate in sports on any level today is a privilege because of the sacrifices made by those in the early years, especially at TSU.

"Their legacies and accomplishments deserve to be respected, honored and preserved. Hopefully over time this will inspire young people to want to learn more about sports history."

Over the years, TSU has had nearly 100 players drafted by the NFL, with seven players picked in the first round including rookie defensive back Dominique Rogers-Cromartie who played in the 2009 Super Bowl XLIII with the Arizona Cardinals.

Lawson also believes that TSU’s Olympians should be honored. “Let's not forget about other sports arenas as well, such as the world renowned Tigerbelles, Wyomina Tyus Simburg, Chandra Cheesborough, Wilma Rudolph and others alike. These individuals competed […] in the Olympic games and brought back first place medals. We must honor them in some way."

Lawson believes that the hall of fame nominations are a small notch in comparison to what should be done for these individuals.

If you are interested in nominating an athlete to the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, please visit the website at If you would like to learn more about the historical marker, please visit or

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