FAYETTEVILLE – Clyde “Smackover” Scott, a former Olympic silver medalist, Razorback two-sport star and one of the best athletes to ever come from Arkansas, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 93. Scott was an Olympian and a two-sport star playing football and competing in track and field at the University of Arkansas.
Scott was named the state’s athlete of the century by readers of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in 2000. Scott was a three-time All-Southwest Conference player (1946-48) and an All-American in football in 1948. During his Razorback career, Scott rushed for a then-school record 1,463 yards. In 1948, he averaged 7.0 yards a carry, earning 670 yards on 95 attempts.
He competed for the United States in the 1948 Summer Olympics held in London, in the 110-meter hurdles where he won the silver medal. Scott was the first Razorback to ever win an Olympic medal. Following his Olympic performance, he returned to Fayetteville for his senior season.
Scott was the eighth player chosen in the 1948 NFL Draft and played five seasons in the NFL, including with the Philadelphia Eagles (1949-52) and the Detroit Lions (1952).
Scott was the first and remains one of only two Razorback football players (Brandon Burlsworth) to have his jersey retired. His No. 12 was retired following his collegiate career. Three decades later when Arkansas head football coach Frank Broyles was recruiting kicker and punter Steve Little, Broyles asked Scott if Little could wear his retired No. 12. Scott graciously agreed, and Little went on to his own All-American career.
A star out of Smackover High School, Scott received an appointment to the Naval Academy in 1943. In 1944 and 1945, Scott played fullback for Navy, then ranked the No. 2 team in the nation. In 1946, Scott left the Naval Academy to marry Leslie Hampton, the 1945 Miss Arkansas, and continued his collegiate career at the University of Arkansas.
In “The Razorbacks,” a book written by Orville Henry and Jim Bailey, former Arkansas football coach and athletics director John Barnhill described the lasting impact Scott made on the Arkansas program. “Clyde Scott meant more to the Arkansas program than any other athlete,” Barnhill said. “His coming to Arkansas convinced other Arkansas boys they should stay home.”
Scott is a member of the University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor, the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.