Under Review: The Anderson-Sermon Controversy and Football's Role on the College Campus


This collection documents a 1936-1937 controversy over the football program at NC State College. A losing football season, allegations of financial improprieties, and faculty, student, and alumni discontent with the football program led NC State’s Faculty Council to begin an investigation into the practices of football coach Heartley Anderson and Athletic Director Ray Sermon. Their initial aim was to determine if Anderson’s contract should be renewed or if Sermon should be fired. However, the controversy inspired a larger debate among faculty, administrators, students, and alumni about the role of football at NC State.

The documents in this collection are primarily drawn from the Council on Athletics Records (UA 022.001) available at North Carolina State University's Special Collections Research Center. Included in these records are transcripts from the Faculty Council hearings, faculty and alumni correspondence, and clippings from North Carolina newspapers. The collection also includes articles from NC State's student newspaper, the Technician, and pages from NC State’s yearbook, the Agromeck.


  • Annie Abrams
  • Katherine Ely
  • Allyson Smally

Kicking a Field Goal, 1938
This image shows the North Carolina State football team kicking a field goal during a game.

North Carolina State Football Program, 1935
This image shows a North Carolina State football program from a 1935 game with Wake Forest.

<p>Wolfpack Coming onto Field for Football Game, 1930</p>
The North Carolina State football players enter the field by running into a banner with a wolf design.