Telling Dale's Story isn't easy. As Kevin Scarbinsky of the Birmingham News asked "How do you tell the story of a man who might start a sentence with Adolph Rupp and finish it with Adolph Hitler?" I don't think we've completely figured that out ourselves. However, there are a lot of us trying. Here are some links to the people who are making this giant stack of footage and music into a film.
Man in the Glass: The Dale Brown Story
Man in the Glass: The Dale Brown Story, which began principal filming in October of 2007, tells the story of Dale Brown, former Louisiana State University Head Men's Basketball Coach, from his early childhood through today. The cast includes Matthew McConaughey, Shaquille O'Neal, John Wooden, Tim Brando, Dick Vitale, Dick Gregory, Dr. Jim Andrews and many more. The following is a summary of the Project themes and storyline.
Born on Halloween, 1935, Dale Brown's fight for justice began the day his father walked out - two days before he was born. Man in the Glass: The Dale Brown Story is the compelling story of how an overachiever from tiny Minot, North Dakota relentlessly fought, scratched and clawed his way to the top. Raised by a struggling mother on welfare, Dale learned early in life that nothing would come easy. At 10 years old, listening to a welfare worker harass his mother, Dale vowed that he would fight intimidation and injustice.
In 1972 Brown was named head basketball coach at Louisiana State University. Through unyielding persistence and a uniquely unorthodox approach, Brown would turn the fledgling team into one of the most feared programs in the nation. His 1981 and 1986 teams reached the Final Four and his 448 career wins places him second on the SEC’s all-time wins list behind only legendary Kentucky coach Adolf Rupp.
But Brown's success on the court would not define his career. Rather it would be his off-the-court efforts that would establish his legacy as much more than a basketball coach.
In 1981, one of his players, Mark Alcorn, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Upon informing the NCAA of his plans to pay for three of Mark’s teammates to fly to a benefit dinner for alcorn, Brown was informed that it was considered “off-campus entertainment” - an NCAA violation. This would begin a protracted battle with the NCAA that would not only span Brown’s entire career but would continue long after his retirement.
Known as “Daddy Dale”, Brown was a tireless advocate for his players. He stood up to racism on behalf of Collis Temple, LSU’s first black player; he fought the press as Rudy Macklin received death-threats when he was misquoted about the assassination attempt of Ronald Reagan; and he would charge onto the court on behalf of Shaquille O’Neal as the flagrant fouls on his star player became all-too common.
Brown’s unorthodox behavior both endeared him to his fans and baffled his detractors. He traveled the entire length of the Mississippi River in a 19’ speedboat; He went head-to-head with the KGB in an effort to sneak a player out of the Soviet Union; He went to Calcutta to meet with Mother Teresa; he took his teams to the Carville Leper Colony and Angola State Penitentiary and he would fight for the pardon of a prisoner whom he met during a team-scrimmage at the prison.
But it would be his hiring of Gerry Gandy, a mentally handicapped teenager, as equipment manager and his naming of Jamie Roth, a 9-year old boy dying of leukemia, as honorary team-captain that would stifle even his harshest critics.
However, Dale’s career ended amid controversy as he was accused of three infractions, all centered around the recruitment of the highly sought-after Lester Earl. His 16-year battle with the NCAA appeared lost as he left LSU amid harsh penalization by the organization. It would be many years later that new facts would emerge about the allegations and the motives behind them.
Life after basketball has not slowed down for Brown. He advocates on behalf of Native Americans struggling to receive promised education funding. He helped an ex-gangster turn his life around. He went into the streets of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.
Today he speaks all over the world remaining politically engaged as he continues to work tirelessly to help underprivileged youth and former players get a college degree through the foundation he started in 1985.
Man in the Glass: The Dale Brown Story is the inspiring story of a truly unique man on a life-long quest to answer the question: how much can one man really do?