An undefeated 9-0 season, and a #14 AP ranking, should have earned the 1951 University of San Francisco Dons a major bowl game. However, the small Jesuit school's refusal to participate without the team's two African-American stars, Ollie Matson and Bud Toler, cost it an Orange Bowl appearance. This historically significant stand came at a very steep price, as the financially troubled school was forced to drop its football program after the 1951 season, a move that may have been avoided with a bowl game payout. Regarded as the best football team in USF history, the 1951 squad famously suited up (3) future Pro Football Hall of Famers, with Gino Marchetti, Bob St. Clair and Matson, who have all contributed autographs to the offered 1951 Dons team-signed program.
Dated 11/17/51, this program (VG) was issued for a game at Pacific Memorial Stadium, between the Dons and the College of the Pacific Tigers. Located on interior pages featuring player photos, are (43) 1951 Dons autographs, which average ("8-9") strength, with: Joe Kuharich (head coach), Frank Zanazzi (trainer), Jim Ryan (coach), Bud Kerr (coach), Bob St. Clair (HOF), Jim Kearney, Roy Bruna, T. Moriarty, Bob Springer, Jim Boggan, Harmon Welsh, Jim DiBernardi, Gene Chess, Bill Dando, Jim Whitney, Hals Sachs, Gino Marchetti (HOF), Ollie Matson (HOF), Ed Brown, Vince Sakowski, Ralph Thomas, Bill Henneberry, Greg Hilling, Louis Stephens, Ed Dawson, Roy Giorgi, Merrill Peacock, Vince Tringali, George Carley, Bob Weibel, Bud Toler, Mike Mergen, Dick Huxley, Frank McLaughlin, Al Scudero, T. Conte, Bob Shaeffer, Jim Madden, John Dwyer, Rich C olombini, Larry Slajchert, John Theil, and Walt Roland. Auction LOA from JSA.