• U.S.

Sport: Homestretch

3 minute read

One way to de-emphasize football is to hold the games in the morning. Another is to quit subsidizing players. The University of Pittsburgh, whose eleven is justly famed, seemed to have taken the second course last week. It ordered 22 freshman football players to pay the promissory notes they had signed for the first semester’s tuition ($150).

The disillusioned freshmen, who were under the impression that the athletic department would “take care” of their promissory notes, discovered to their chagrin that they were expected to use the $48 a month they received from the university

(for doing two hours’ honest scrubbing in the skyscraper Cathedral of Learning five nights a week) to pay their tuition fees, thus leaving $66 a semester (about $15 a month) for board & room, books and spending money. The freshmen rebelled.

Because of the wide publicity given Pitt’s freshmen rebellion, football fans observed with special interest last week’s game between Pitt and Penn State, For those who feared this may be the last of the great Pitt football teams under Coach Jock Sutherland (three of the famed “dream backfield” men are seniors) there was some solace in the brilliant performance of Halfback Dick Cassiano, lone junior of the harmonious quartet. Almost singlehanded, he scored three touchdowns, all on spectacular open-field runs that went a long way toward blasting an exceptionally good Penn State team, 26-to-0.

¶ At Notre Dame there is no de-emphasis of football. Coach Elmer Layden has a coast-to-coast collection of 81 players on his varsity squad, 42 of whom were captains of their prep-school or high-school football teams. Starting the season with 177 varsity candidates, he weeded them out until he had three complete teams, any one of which the late, great Knute Rockne, his teacher, might have been proud of. Victor over Kansas, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Carnegie Tech, Army, Navy and Minnesota on successive Saturdays, last week Notre Dame added Northwestern to its string—and incidentally exhibited a substitute quarterback named Willard Hofer who scored all nine points of its 9-to-7 victory.

¶ As the football season reached the homestretch last week most sportswriters agreed that Notre Dame possessed the No. 1 team of the U. S. But some there were who cast their votes for Texas Christian, which had rolled up 234 points while defeating all nine of its opponents. No. 1 player on the Texas Christian team is 150-lb. Quarterback Davey O’Brien, responsible for an even 200 of its 234 points. Against Rice Institute last week little Davey turned in a routine performance: three times he threw touchdown passes and once he carried the ball over the goal line himself; he completed twelve out of 20 passes for a gain of 117 yards, returned five punts for a gain of 73 yards, ran with the ball 14 times for a gain of 108 yards, kicked three points after touchdown, remained in the game until three minutes before the final whistle. Texas Christian won the game 29-to-7.

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