1905, Bluffton's first team
In 1905 Bluffton College fielded its first football team, which included John Sloan, the first African-American student in the history of BC. Sloan had enrolled at nearby Ohio Northern University, but the students made such an uproar that he was forced to withdraw. BC President Noah Hirschy invited John over for lunch at his home and offered a place for him at Bluffton.
Sloan went on to graduate from BC in 1907 (Bluffton was only an academy then) and later went on to the University of Michigan.
By the way--those things around their necks are nose guards.
Special thanks to Joanne Niswander for that text.