South Carolina’s Lattimore accepts bid

Jan 31, 2012

Star tailback Marcus Lattimore for the South Carolina Gamecocks has officially accepted a bid to become an honorary member of the Alpha Phi chapter at the University of South Carolina.

A press release provided by Dylan Nalbandian, South Carolina ’10, provides more detail into how this wonderful opportunity came to fruition:

“Lattimore was approached with the idea by Bryce Garvey, South Carolina ’09, who works closely with the football team.”

In an interesting coincidence, the Gamecocks’ head coach Steve Spurrier, Florida ’66, is also a member of Alpha Tau Omega.

Lattimore was presented with a formal bid card and a traditional Greek paddle featuring the ATO letters as well as his name and number from USC’s football team.

Wynn Smiley’s response to the Daily Gamecock February 1 editorial.

As the chief executive officer of Alpha Tau Omega, my general response to outrageous editorials is to ignore them, assume readers agree that whoever penned the editorial has written it to inflame a topic and let the issue fade away.

I am making an exception for yesterday’s missive by the Daily Gamecock Editorial Board.

Alpha Tau Omega has been initiating and welcoming men of color into our ranks for more than 50 years. To suggest that the national fraternity “attempted to hide the fact instead of embracing slow, long overdue progress” simply shows a lack of knowledge by the editors. If ATO was less than pleased with initiating a black man, we would not have included the story on our website complete with a large photograph of Mr. Lattimore accepting his bid from our chapter president. Of course, we are thrilled to have a student the caliber of Marcus agree to become an ATO. The fact that Marcus is the first African American to join our USC chapter should be – and is being – celebrated by our chapter. But race has nothing to do with asking Marcus to join ATO. Marcus’ outstanding character, his faith and ideals are exactly what we strongly encourage all of our chapters to look for in recruiting members. Kudos to our USC chapter for recognizing a quality man and pursuing him. To snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory as the Daily Gamecock editorial attempted to do, and then to blame it on the chapter and national fraternity is disheartening and dishonest.


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