Auburn to honor first black football player - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Auburn to honor first black football player

By JOHN ZENOR
AP Sports Writer

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Auburn will honor its first black football player at the Louisiana-Monroe game.

Former Tigers fullback James Owens will receive the first James Owens Courage Award Saturday.

Auburn plans to give the award each year to a current or former Tigers football player who displayed courage in the face of adversity. Owens arrived in Auburn from suburban Birmingham in 1969.

He says he didn't realize the significance until he ran onto the field for the first time as a sophomore and saw a section of bleachers packed with black people cheering for him.

Former Auburn tailback Terry Henley says he expects "every bit of 100 players" to join him in honoring Owens at the game.

Henley says Owens is "something special" and the honor is long overdue.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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