Equal access to primary and secondary education has long been a perplexing problem for the entire country. Even so, the problem in higher education has been deemed as great, if not greater, than in other areas of schooling, for many mainstream institutions were reluctant to open their doors to blacks. They denied that racial segregation was an issue. A black presence on white college campuses was well demonstrated in the acceptance of black athletes who were placed on varsity teams regardless of their overall graduation rate. As they sought to increase black enrollment, many of these colleges also did so through ordinary as well as innovative ways. They held special programs, established attractive scholarship programs, and some had set-asides for African-American students. Such practices continued until critics began to launch strenuous opposition to any program that practiced what they called race-based favoritism in higher education. Critics then began national protests to remove all vestiges of affirmative action in education as well as in employment.