The 1953 William & Mary Indians football team is considered, within the school community, to be one of the most remarkable stories in its athletics history. Due to an academic cheating scandal (coincidentally unrelated to the 1951 scandal), eight of the team's starting members were dismissed from school and another portion of the remaining 33 players transferred out. Among the 24 remaining players, five were returning Korean War veterans and one other had never played a minute of football in his life. Many of them were undersized (the quarterback stood 5'8" and weighed 160 pounds) and even the coaching staff was few in numbers (five total, one of them being the head basketball coach).
Their schedule was so tough that opposing teams would call ahead to make sure that William & Mary still intended on playing them the following week. Remarkably, the Indians started the season 5–2–1 and the only reason they finished with a 5–4–1 overall record was due to accumulating injuries with few available substitutions. Six of the players would eventually go on to play professional football. Their story of grit and determination in the face of overwhelming odds was later written about in a book titled The Iron Indians.