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Bill Nunn Jr. Legends Athletic Scholarship

About the Scholarship

Recipients of the scholarship must be students or student-athletes currently attending and in good standing at an HBCUs. These individuals will be nominated by athletic directors of their respective institutions and must embody and exemplify excellent leadership, strong character, both on and off the field. Those students not directly involved in a sport must be pursuing a degree in a sports-related field or industry.

The first-ever recipients of the scholarship will be recognized during the Gulf Coast Challenge taking place September 25 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, AL.

Again, this scholarship aims to offer financial support to those following in the footsteps of Nunn Jr. Those leaders who seek to impact their local community positively and beyond display that some of the world’s most exceptional talent can be found in the places most often overlooked by mainstream media and athletics.

Furthermore, we aim to encourage athletes to consider returning “home” and work to assure them and ensure that their chances of receiving notice on the national stage need not be jeopardized by choosing to attend an institution with people who look like them.

SIS is proud to partner with the Nunn family to present the Legends Athletic Scholarship in honor of Bill Nunn Jr.

History and Legacy

Together, we recognize that HBCU athletes are often not granted the same scholarships, financial assistance, or privileges bestowed to those athletes who choose to attend PWI’s.

Nunn Jr. was instrumental in altering this narrative. He sought to and successfully encouraged the NFL not to overlook the extraordinary talent found within our HBCUs.

Born William Goldwyn Nunn Jr., on September 30, 1924, this trailblazer was raised in Homewood, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The son of William G. Nunn Sr., the editor of the Pittsburgh Courier, one of the most influential black publications in the nation, it seems Nunn was destined for greatness.

A natural athlete, Nunn grew up playing with other talents, and during high school and college at West Virginia State, he would play basketball with others, including the first black player drafted by the NBA.

Following college, Nunn chose to return home and write for the Courier as a sportswriter. Soon, Nunn would turn his journalistic talents to the football programs of HBCUs. Taking notice of his work and realizing its significance, the Pittsburgh Steelers, in 1967, hired Nunn to work part-time on their scouting staff. Eventually, the role became full-time.

In 2014, Nunn passed away after suffering from complications of a stroke. He left behind his wife, Frances, whom he married in 1950; Lynell Wilson, a former U.S. Attorney; and son, the late Bill Nunn. Jr., an actor, known for his role as Radio Raheem in Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing.”

Nunn is a 2021 member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As a Steelers Scout, 13 of the players he discovered were drafted and recognized in the Hall of Fame.