Living up to his nickname, Bad News, Providence forward Marvin Barnes beats teammate Larry Ketvirtis with a tire iron on Oct. 10, 1972. Barnes claims self-defense but pleads guilty to assault, opening up what will become a prodigious law-enforcement file and presaging what will be an almost mythological pro career. As a member of the ABA's Spirits of St. Louis in the early 1970s, he'll be berated in front of the team by coach Rod Thorn for showing up late and then asked if he has learned a lesson. "Yeah," Barnes will reply. "Next time I'll show up 10 minutes, later so I don't have to listen to this bulls—." Signed by the Detroit Pistons in 1976, a benched Barnes will say, "News didn't come here to sit on no wood."
Faux Beta Kappa
In the early '70s Clemson coach Tates Locke converts a Quonset hut off campus into a phony black fraternity. When hosting a recruit—say, 7'1" Wayne (Tree) Rollins of Cordele, Ga.—Locke rounds up local black high schoolers to pose as frat brothers. Bands are hired, dances are staged. Rollins eventually signs with Clemson, but only after a booster buys him a Monte Carlo, flies his mother in for games and pays him a handsome salary. "I was gettin' about $14,000 a year," Rollins later admits. And they say money doesn't grow on Trees.
There's No '1' in Team (Though There Are Two in Pitino)
With his team trailing Indiana by five points with 25 seconds remaining in the 1976 NCAA Midwest Regional final, Marquette coach Al McGuire gets his second technical foul, fairly ensuring a Warriors loss. College basketball's Cult of the Coach is confirmed. Within a year McGuire will win an NCAA title and walk away from coaching, only to become the voice of college basketball on NBC. It will also convince most coaches, in their heart of hearts, that fans come to games to see them.
Game Gets Black Eye, Ruptured Spleen
Ohio State is leading Minnesota 50-44 with 36 seconds remaining on Jan. 25,1972, when Buckeyes center Luke Witte (right) is fouled hard while driving for a layup. Gophers forward Corky Taylor then punches Witte in the head. Apparently remorseful, Taylor extends a hand to the fallen Witte and—when the dazed Witte accepts it-uses Witte's arm as leverage to knee him in the groin. Minnesota reserve Ron Behagen then comes off the bench to stomp Witte on the neck and head. As Witte gets wheeled off the floor on a stretcher (and rushed to an emergency room), the Gophers faithful boo him lustily. The governor of Ohio correctly describes the episode as "a public mugging." A sign in the Gophers' locker room, hung there by coach Bill Musselman, reads: DEFEAT IS WORSE THAN DEATH, BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO LIVE WITH DEFEAT.