When dessert was brought, a gentleman quietly approached them and told them they would have to leave when the doors were opened to the public for a dance.
College football used limited substitution rules at the time and players played both offense and defense.
Davis found discrimination prevalent in the American South during his Cotton Bowl visit to host city Dallas, Texas.
Davis was diagnosed with leukemia in the summer of 1962, He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1979, and was the subject of the 2008 Universal Pictures film The Express, based on the non-fiction book Ernie Davis: The Elmira Express, by Robert C. At fourteen months, he was cared for by his maternal grandparents, Willie and Elizabeth Davis, in Uniontown, Pennsylvania.
At age 12, he went to live with his mother and stepfather in Elmira, New York, where he excelled in baseball, basketball, and football in grade school.
Davis played football for coach Ben Schwartzwalder at Syracuse University from 1959 to 1961, and went on to national fame in each of those three seasons, twice winning first-team All-American honors.