If there is one thing you learn at The Citadel, it's discipline. Every cadet who has been on the parade grounds for a march on a muggy September afternoon knows what happens when a mosquito alights on the neck of the boy in front of him: absolutely nothing. And though the mosquito feasts and the lump rises on the boy's neck, he does not flinch. A Citadel man does not permit himself to itch.
Cadet freshman lineman Karl Brozowski, a towering bulwark of a boy, 6'3", 240 pounds, thought he might like some of that hard discipline. Brozowski figured he could handle anything. He comes from rich football stock. His dad, John, played for Tennessee. His dad's uncle is former Philadelphia Eagle Chuck Bednarik. Karl even turned down an appointment to West Point to be a Citadel man. That was his first mistake.
His second was going to junior cornerback Torrence Forney about all the racking he was getting from the sophomore next door. Mark Rajewski, a 5'9" second-year cadet, had graciously chosen to devote his time and energy to driving Brozowski mad. "It's going to be a long year," Rajewski had told him. In the second week Rajewski kept Brozowski up most of the night before a test. That's when Brozowski went to Forney. Hello, snitch.
Brozowski's parents could tell things weren't going well for him, so they would drive down from Atlanta on Saturdays and take Karl and a few other football freshmen to the beach. "Karl looked like he'd been in a POW camp," says John. "He'd lost 30 pounds. He was incoherent. We'd get to the beach and he'd just fall asleep. He seemed like he was on drugs."
But it wasn't until the night before the Wofford game that things just got out of hand. According to a criminal complaint filed last October by Brozowski, Rajewski had been visiting him nightly. Brozowski was polishing the floors of his room about 11 p.m. when Rajewski walked in with a toothpick in his mouth, liquor on his breath—though school policy forbids drinking—and hell in his eyes.
Rajewski ordered Brozowski to attention, says the complaint, took the toothpick out of his mouth and began poking Brozowski hard in the back with it. Then he walked around and started poking Brozowski hard in the nipples, hard enough to break the toothpick. He told Brozowski to swallow his lipful of chewing tobacco. To make up for that, he inserted an aerosol can of Cheez Whiz in Brozowski's mouth and squirted. Rajewski was just having a little fun, sort of a Tailhook-starter-kit type of thing.
Brozowski wanted to throw up, but Rajewski forbade it. Rajewski finally left, after which Brozowski spit in the round file. But Rajewski came back every 20 minutes until almost 5:30 a.m., when Brozowski had to be on the line for formation. This is not the best way to prepare for a 7 p.m. football game. Luckily Brozowski did not have to suffer any of the hell that went on after the Wofford loss. He quit.
"I had to," Brozowski says. "Under these conditions I was either going to flunk out or haul oft and kill someone."
Instilling Within Us High Ideals
It wasn't until 1966 that The Citadel accepted a black cadet, and this inspired Pat Conroy's best-selling 1982 novel, The Lords of Discipline. Conroy, a '67 Citadel graduate, describes how a black cadet is tortured by a white-supremacist group, The Ten.