Today in NC State History: The “sissy” game gets its start

February 16, 2013
By Chris Saunders

blog_series6There was a time on NC State’s campus when basketball was an afterthought. In fact, until 1911, there was no thought given to the sport that came to define so much of Wolfpack athletics’ history, according to Bill Beezley, author of The Wolfpack: Intercollegiate Athletics at North Carolina State University.

“Until then, the student newspaper reported, athletics hibernated for the winter between football and baseball seasons,” Beezley writes. “Even with an intercollegiate team, student interest in basketball grew slowly. A&M had no gymnasium on campus. Besides, many students, especially athletes, thought it was a ‘sissy’ game.”

But a sea change started to take place on this day in 1911, when A&M traveled to Wake Forest to play its first intercollegiate basketball game. “The Farmers lost 33-6, but the concensus [sic] was that the A&M squad had played well considering they had no coach and no regular practice gym,” Beezley writes.

The 1910-11 N.C. College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts basketball team.

The 1910-11 N.C. College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts basketball team.

Five days later, the Farmers welcomed the Wake Forest Baptists to play the first intercollegiate basketball game ever played in Raleigh, according to Beezley. The teams played in Pullen Hall auditorium, whose floor was in slippery shape after hosting a student dance the prior evening.

That night marked the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts’ first win in basketball, with the team edging Wake, 19-18.


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