Yost Ice Arena has been around since 1923, and has served as home of the Michigan Wolverines basketball and hockey teams for decades.
Could it soon be getting a name change?
The venue was named in honor of Michigan’s longtime football coach and athletic director, Fielding H. Yost (1871-1946). But upon a review of his work, which included not letting a black player named Willis Ward play against Georgia Tech in 1934, a committee is recommending changing the name of the building.
“While we acknowledge that Yost had both successes and failures in his career, our historical analysis suggests to us that the benching of Ward was not an aberration but rather epitomized a long series of actions that worked against the integration of sports on campus,” said the President’s Advisory Committee on University History.
Yost’s decision to sit Ward drew the ire of Gerald Ford, who played for the Wolverines and would later serve as a member of the Warren Commission as well as Vice President and later President of the United States. Ford was Ward’s good friend and roommate on the road, and he threatened to quit the team before changing his mind at the request of Ward.
“This is hard and controversial work. But without this reckoning the path forward is obscured,” the committee said in an April 27 report.
– – Quotes via AP Link – –