That's running back Melvin Bratton behind the shades. He has been accused of trying to steal a pair of sunglasses from a J.C. Penney. Bratton says he had forgotten he had put on the glasses when a security guard nabbed him as he was leaving the store.
Just look at all those faces. You see a drop of remorse anywhere? Notice anybody seeing the errors of his ways and all that? Nah. In all of the Canes raising, exactly one player has been suspended for one game by Johnson. "I have two sons about this age [20 and 22]," Johnson says. "I wouldn't kick my son out of the house if he made a mistake." Nobody at Miami is asking for Johnson to get any tougher, not even...
...school president Edward Foote, a general in the battle to bring integrity into college athletics, the man who vows to make Miami "this generation's Stanford." Says Foote of his Miami team: "I'm embarrassed...but to my knowledge there have been no major problems in recent years." Nothing major? "This generation" may be in some trouble.
It is too bad, too, because the Hurricanes play the game like angels. Bratton and Alonzo Highsmith are the sweetest running tandem in the land. The defense was brilliant in booming the Sooners. Testaverde could turn out to be better than Kelly or Kosar, and wideout Michael Irvin is so smooth he practically doesn't move at all. But for every gorgeous athleticism this team gives you, you get two taunting quotes before and after the game, usually from a kid wearing three pounds of gold necklace.
Indeed, going into the Oklahoma game the Miami players made Sooner linebacker Brian (Boz) Bosworth look like Howard Sprague. Brown got things going by saying Boz "couldn't start" for the Hurricanes. Uh-oh. You could just hear headline writers warming up the IBM. But Boz just said, "Well, he's a good player. He's got room to talk."
Say what? Miami volleyed again. Second-string ("costarter," he likes to put it) defensive tackle Dan Sileo called Boz "the most overrated player in America." Uh-oh. But Boz pretty much just turned the other cheek. "Well, what has he ever produced?" was his mild response.
Boz, you see, had been called to coach Barry Switzer's office, where the King had given him a piece of advice. Shut up for a while and you might have a chance at the Heisman. And that's just what Boz did—publicly. Privately, though, he likened the Miami game to "playing the University of San Quentin." He called Johnson "cocky," and revealed a love letter (we saw it) from some of the Hurricane Honeys, Miami's female recruiting "assistants." They had written, "You turn us on a lot more than Vinny!"
Alas, for Boz, by Saturday night that was no longer true, for Vinny had turned on the entire Orange Bowl. In one span he completed 14 straight passes. "He's just too good," said Switzer, who called Testaverde the best quarterback the Sooners had faced in his 21 years in Norman. Boz finished with 14 tackles, including 10 solos and a sack. In a game in which one Heisman suitor could, at last, directly affect the other's chances, it was strictly Vinny, vidi, vici.
However, that wasn't how the game started. Testaverde was sacked on the first play, and the Sooners took the punt and effortlessly 'boned their way to the Miami 17. For some reason, Oklahoma sometimes insists on passing when the wishbone is eating up lawn like a Toro mower. Thus, a second-and-seven try for a touchdown went awry, a third-down running play went backward, and the field goal was shanked. Oklahoma never again had a sporting chance at the lead.