n 1958, the University of Buffalo football team won eight of nine regular-season games and was awarded the Lambert Cup as the best small-school program in the eastern United States. Team co-captains Nick Bottini and Lou Reale received the trophy during a Sunday night broadcast of "The Ed Sullivan Show" and dined that evening in Manhattan's famous Toots Shor's Restaurant.
Days later, the Bulls were invited to face Florida State in the 13th annual Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, Fla. -- still the school's only bowl bid in 102 years of football.
In anticipation of their trip south, players were measured for new sport coats at The Kleinhans Company in downtown Buffalo. But before fabric for the coats ever was cut, the university learned that the team's two African-American players, starting halfback Willie Evans and reserve defensive end Mike Wilson, were not welcome in Orlando.....