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William H. Townsend papers, 1946-1958

item | details | guide | text

Author

Finding aid prepared by Janice Childers

Title

William H. Townsend papers

Date

1946-1958

Repository

University of Kentucky Special Collections

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in two topical series: I. Athletics investigation II. University of Kentucky Alumni Association

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to researchers by appointment.

Preferred Citation Note

1986ua024: [identification of item], William H. Townsend papers, 1946-1958, University of Kentucky Special Collections.

Extent

0.44 Cubic feet

1 box

Abstract

The majority of materials in the William H. Townsend papers relate to the point-shaving scandal involving several University of Kentucky basketball players and the NCAA investigation into these allegations during 1951-1952.

Biography/History

William H. Townsend was born in Anderson County, Kentucky, and graduated from the University of Kentucky Law School in 1912. He represented Adolph Rupp in Adolph Rupp vs. Cowles Magazine, Inc., in which Rupp sued the publishers of Look magazine for defamation. Townsend was the president of the UK Alumni Association during the 1951-1952 NCAA investigation into violations at the university, and served on a special committee charged with drawing up new policy proposals for intercollegiate athletics at UK.

Townsend may be best known as a Lincoln scholar and collector, and he was also the founder and first president of the Kentucky Civil War Round Table in 1953.

In 1951, a scandal erupted involving several University of Kentucky basketball players accused of shaving points, resulting in an NCAA investigation. Ultimately, the basketball program at UK was handed the "death penalty," barring the team from play during the 1952-1953 season.

The other well-known outcome was the indictment for perjury and acquittal of Bill Spivey, whom several other players implicated in the point-shaving scandal. Spivey proclaimed his innocence for the rest of his life, but the negative publicity not only led to his permanent suspension from UK's basketball program, but also resulted in his being barred for life from NBA play.

Scope and Content

The majority of materials in the William H. Townsend papers relate to the point-shaving scandal involving several University of Kentucky basketball players and the NCAA investigation into these allegations during 1951-1952. These materials include correspondence, statements, indictments, reports, and minutes.

Also included in the collection are general materials relating to the Alumni Association, including commencement programs, publications, minutes, and a listing of alumni contacts. The materials span the years from 1946-1958.

Subjects

  • National Collegiate Athletic Association.
  • University of Kentucky Alumni Association.
  • University of Kentucky--Basketball.
  • Donovan, Herman Lee, 1887-1964
  • Kirwan, Albert Dennis.
  • Rupp, Adolph, 1901-1977
  • Spivey, Bill.
  • Basketball Betting.
  • Basketball players--Kentucky.
  • College sports.
  • Sanctions, administrative.
  • Universities and colleges.

Collection Inventory

I Athletics Investigations
Scope and Content Note:

The Athletics Investigations series contains correspondence, minutes, reports, and statements generated by the university, regulatory bodies, attorneys, and affected parties relating to the NCAA, SEC, and SAC investigations into allegations of game fixing by basketball players.

Correspondence between Herman Donovan and other interested parties, November 1951-May 1953
[Box: 1, Folder: 1]
Indictment and correspondence, Bill Spivey case, December 1951-April 1952
[Box: 1, Folder: 2]
Letter from Shelby Blatterman to Herman Donovan expressing disagreement with UK's handling of Bill Spivey case, March 4, 1952
[Box: 1, Folder: 2, Item: 6] browse
Response from Herman Donovan to Shelby Blatterman explaining actions taken by the university in the Bill Spivey case, page 1, March 6, 1952
[Box: 1, Folder: 2, Item: 7a] browse
Response from Herman Donovan to Shelby Blatterman explaining actions taken by the university in the Bill Spivey case, page 2, March 6, 1952
[Box: 1, Folder: 2, Item: 7b] browse
Response from Herman Donovan to Shelby Blatterman explaining actions taken by the university in the Bill Spivey case, page 3, March 6, 1952
[Box: 1, Folder: 2, Item: 7c] browse
Reply from Shelby Blatterman to Herman Donovan regarding different outlook on Bill Spivey case, March 10, 1952
[Box: 1, Folder: 2, Item: 8] browse
SEC (SouthEastern Conference) statements and correspondence, November 1951-March 1953
[Box: 1, Folder: 3]
Statement to Executive Committee of Southeastern Conference by Herman Donovan, page 1, August 11, 1952
[Box: 1, Folder: 3, Item: 15a]
Statement to Executive Committee of Southeastern Conference by Herman Donovan, page 2, August 11, 1952
[Box: 1, Folder: 3, Item: 15b]
Statement to Executive Committee of Southeastern Conference by Herman Donovan, page 3, August 11, 1952
[Box: 1, Folder: 3, Item: 15c]
Statement to Executive Committee of Southeastern Conference by Herman Donovan, page 4, August 11, 1952
[Box: 1, Folder: 3, Item: 15d]
Statement to Executive Committee of Southeastern Conference by Herman Donovan, page 5, August 11, 1952
[Box: 1, Folder: 3, Item: 15e]
Statement to Executive Committee of Southeastern Conference by Herman Donovan, page 6, August 11, 1952
[Box: 1, Folder: 3, Item: 15] browse
Press statement on SEC ruling by Herman Donovan and A.D. Kirwan, August 11, 1952
[Box: 1, Folder: 3, Item: 17] browse
SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) memoranda and correspondence, May-November 1952
[Box: 1, Folder: 4]
NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) memoranda and correspondence, October 1951-August 1954
[Box: 1, Folder: 5]
Letter from NCAA President H.C. Willett informing Herman Donovan of ruling and punishment, page 1, October 22, 1952
[Box: 1, Folder: 5, Item: 17a]
Letter from NCAA President H.C. Willett informing Herman Donovan of ruling and punishment, page 2, October 22, 1952
[Box: 1, Folder: 5, Item: 17b]
Response from Herman Donovan to H.C. Willett pledging compliance with NCAA ruling, October 30, 1952
[Box: 1, Folder: 5, Item: 18] browse
UK Board of Trustees and staff memoranda, statements, and correspondence, 1946-1952
[Box: 1, Folder: 6]
Letter from Bill Spivey to Herman Donovan proclaiming innocence in point-shaving incident and asking to be considered ineligible for play, December 24, 1951
[Box: 1, Folder: 6, Item: 5] browse
Special committee reports and correspondence, January-July 1952
[Box: 1, Folder: 7]
Adolph Rupp vs. Cowles Magazine, Inc, 1952
[Box: 1, Folder: 8]
General materials on investigation, circa 1951-1952
[Box: 1, Folder: 9]
Lucille Crumley Bradberry vs. Edward William Curd, et. al, April 1953
[Box: 1, Folder: 10]
II University of Kentucky Alumni Association
Scope and Content Note:

The University of Kentucky Alumni Association series contains miscellaneous materials relating to Townsend's responsibilities to the Alumni Association, and includes commencement programs, publications, notes, minutes, and member listings.

Alumni Association materials, 1948-1958
[Box: 1, Folder: 11]
List of alumni contacts, circa 1950-1964
[Box: 1, Folder: 12]