Football Alumn Morrison speaks


Edward Rudman Sports Writer

Former SCSU football alum Patrick Morrison ’88 was featured on the university’s weekly ‘Words of Wisdom Wednesday’ virtual series on March. 24, 2021 at 12 p.m. 

    Director of community engagement Jim Barber ’64, MS ‘79 hosted. Barber was a member of the football and track and field teams during his time as an Owl and went on to coach for each team at the school. 

The event was in interview format, with Barber asking Morrison questions about his childhood, time at Southern and life afterwards. Questions were opened to the audience in attendance towards the end. 

Gregory Bernard, director of alumni relations, started this edition of W.O.W with an opening statement. 

“We want to thank all of you for joining in today, we truly appreciate it,” said Bernard. “We also want to thank the alumni association for sponsoring this event and many of our student and alumni events. To provide a little background, this series was created to highlight some of our amazing alumni doing tremendous things in their personal and professional lives.” 

Bernard went on to introduce Barber and Morrison moderating the event. 

“When Patrick was here as a student, certainly I was kind of behind the scenes,” said Barber. “But certainly, had the pleasure of being able to witness his contributions to the university, his athletic programs, and his participation as a student athlete.” 

Morrison’s accolades include All ECAC, Top 10 All-New England Player, and 1987 Top 21 safeties in the country honors. After graduating, Morrison entered the 1987 NFL draft and was selected by the New York Giants. He spent three seasons with the team. 

After his stint in the NFL, Morrison went on to play wide receiver in the Arena Football League for the New York Nights, according to Southern’s athletic website. 

Before his football career at Southern and beyond took off, Morrison was an 8-and-a-half-year-old who found himself in New Rochelle after moving from England with his mother. 

“No matter how much I attempted to sound ‘American,’ I wasn’t organic to America,” said Morrison. “I was tall for my age, dark skin, and sounded funny. So, you got a dark skin black boy who had an English accent — now that’s not a common thing. Maybe today, but back then in 1974, you really didn’t hear young black boys sounding like the Queen or Prince Charles, and that right there sent a message that this kid is different. He is not like us.” 

Because of his differences, Morrison became a target for New Rochelle’s boys his age and said he did not have any friends. 

“I learned the hard way, through trial and error some would say, to be able to defend myself, to be able to part of the culture and know what it takes to be an American,” said Morrison. “I had to work through it, physically, mentally, socially.” 

Morrison said the one thing that helped him the most to assimilate into American culture was his natural athletic ability, due to America’s value of sports.  

“I was embraced through my athletic ability. I gained friends that way,” said Morrison. 

Morrison was introduced to football by one of his first friends in New Rochelle, Earl Bradshaw. He went in to play football for New Rochelle High School, where he played varsity for all four years as a wide receiver and defensive back. Upon graduating, he was an All-County and All-State Honorable Mention. 

During his freshman year at Southern, Morrison matured as a football player and student. Morrison admitted he did not care about his academics during his first year at school and was almost kicked out of school for having too low of a GPA. 

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