Oklahoma Tribe, Pennsylvania Fight over 1st Great Football Player

Oklahoma Tribe, Pennsylvania Fight over 1st Great Football Player

The open house for a new Library of Congress book on the history of football dating back to the American Indians in Jamestown will occur one week before a Court of Appeals considers a decision by Judge Richard Caputo, a Clinton appointee, that the remains of the first great football player should be removed from Pennsylvania and taken to Oklahoma tribal lands. 

Jim Thorpe was the first great football player, and the American Indian is still viewed by some as the greatest athlete in American history, as he also was a star baseball player and won the decathlon and pentathlon in the 1912 Olympics. Thorpe belonged to the Sac and Fox tribes.

The battle over his remains has divided the Thorpe family, as his wife initially had him buried in Pennsylvania because Oklahoma would not erect a monument to him, according to an AP report.

Caputo was nominated by President Bill Clinton to a seat on the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, and issued his ruling earlier in the year.

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