When Willis is talking to Hodges after being cut from the team, he mentions that there are "six other blacks on the team." Counting the five main characters (Coolidge, Reese, Thorpe, Jackson, and Hayward) and the three "extras", that makes eight. Where does Willis get six?
Thorpe, Hayward, Coolidge, Reese, and Jackson all arrive in the nick of time to get dressed for the game at the end, but, at the very end, they all run out on the floor and are joined by the three "extra" black players that appeared frequently during the run of the show. Those three guys weren't in the locker room and didn't dress before the game.
In this episode, the second of the season, Reeves gets the team together for what appears to be the first practice before the new season starts. However, in "On the Line", the first episode of the season, games are played and it appears Carver's season has already started.
Reeves: I don't know about you, but I intend to go to the playoffs this year!
Goldstein: You think you could get us a couple of tickets?
Jim Willis: Albert! One thing I hated more about being in school, was having to walk to and from it each and every day.
Jim Willis: I heard you got cut from the team.
Albert Hodges: What you gonna do about it?
Jim Willis: What do you think that I should do about it?
Albert Hodges: Get rid of him.
Jim Willis: He's a good coach.
Albert Hodges: He's a racist, man.
Jim Willis: [exits from his car, and catches up with Albert] Wait a second. There's six other blacks on that team. They never had a problem with Coach Reeves.
Albert Hodges: That's 'cause they never asserted themselves before. White people give black people all the rights they want, as long as they keep their mouths shut, and don't say anything about it! Well, that ain't good enough for me!
Jim Willis: You feel as though that's the reason that Coach Reeves cut you from the team?
Albert Hodges: [sighs] Why are we talking about him?
Jim Willis: 'Cause I've known him longer than you've been alive. I roomed with him in college, it was my idea to bring him here. Now, do you actually think I would do that if I though that he was prejudiced?
Albert Hodges: I don't care what you think, 'cause you don't know what being black is anymore. Sit all day behind your big desk, in your suit, and your fancy ties. Uh-huh, you're just as white as he is!
Jim Willis: You little dumb clown! You think you're the only black kid in the world who's ever suffered? Well, let me tell you something sonny boy. You don't know nothin'! (Albert tries to walk away) Don't walk when I'm talking to you! You ever had to stand on the side of the road, and pee in your pants because, you weren't allowed to use a white bathroom? Or ride in the back of the bus and then you have to give your seat up to a white man? Do you know anything about that? Well I do! 'Cause that's how it was when I was coming up! So don't go around telling me how tough it is to be black! If there's one thing I know, it's a racist when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now!
Albert Hodges: What's that supposed to mean?
Jim Willis: I don't have to tell you what it means. You know exactly what it means! Coach Reeves doesn't hate you bacause you're black. You hate yourself because you're black!