This week at the Archives we have been updating our database and came across the Barracks Boys. Curiosity struck and we learned of a grant-in-aid program for men at Northern Michigan College, which was the name of the university before it switched to Northern Michigan University in 1963.
In 1952 coach C.V. “Red” Money helped NMC grant athletic scholarships to sixteen men. The group lived in abandoned barracks on campus that used to be used by soldiers using the G.I. Bill. The Barracks Boys were around from 1952-1956 and many became doctors, lawyers, and coaches.
In 1955, George Tomasi, one of the original Barracks Boys wrote an article for Northern College News in which he states, “This program was designed for guys just like you — guys who are short on cash but who have spirit enough to try athletics and get good grades.”
To be eligible for the barracks, the boys had to sign an agreement and abide by many regulations such as sharing the pro-rated expenses (fuel oil, phone, etc) of the barracks, pay the college $1.00 per month for rent, and participate in at least two sports between football, basketball, track and field, tennis, or golf.
The boys were also expected to be up and have beds made by 9am daily expect for Sundays. Rooms and halls had to be ready for inspection, and all bills had to be paid on time. Failure to keep up with these guidelines as well as a good academic standing would result in dismissal from the program.
For more information on the Barracks boys or to see pictures, visit us at the Archives in room 126 of the LRC (down by Starbucks).
Prepared by Alexandria Eisner and Kacey Lewis