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REALITY SETS IN
Purdue has its worst team in memory. And we have a long memory. One of the few bright spots for the Boilermakers is heralded freshman quarterback Jeff George. However, after a 1-3 start, most of which George has viewed while lying on his back, the talented lad from Indianapolis must be wondering why he didn't accept offers from the likes of UCLA and Miami. SI staff writer Jaime Diaz was in West Lafayette on Saturday to see the hapless Boilermakers get pasted 36-9 by theretofore hapless Minnesota. His report:
In starting four games, George has shown the arm strength and quick release that allowed him to set national high school records for career completions (543) and touchdown passes in one season (45) at Warren Central High. At Purdue he has completed 86 of 145 passes for 791 yards and three TDs. But he also has had 10 interceptions and has been sacked 12 times—testimony to his inexperience and to the Boilermakers' porous offensive line and lack of pass-catching talent.
Against Minnesota, George suffered a mild concussion when he was viciously sacked on the game's first series. He was taken to the locker room in a golf cart that also carried his worried mother, Judy. It was not the scene Purdue's recruiters had painted when they lured George to West Lafayette.
Some Wyoming fans are dying to support their team. And from the Cowboys' standpoint, the sooner they do, the better. That's because new Wyoming AD Paul Roach has undertaken asking Cowboy fans to buy life insurance policies that make the Cowboy Joe booster club the beneficiary. "Out of any given 100 athletic donors, two will reach their demise annually," says Roach, cheerfully.
Since the program was laid out last December, some 15 Cowboy boosters have purchased policies, ranging in value from $15,000 to $500,000. One happy day, these policies could give Wyoming an endowment of approximately $1 million. Roach hopes to have some $6 million committed by 1987. The only problem with the plan, says the AD, is that "we don't want anybody to accuse us of going to funerals with smiles on our faces." Certainly not, Paul, but we could forgive you a discreet smirk.
Roach figures these life insurance policies could eventually finance 25% of the school's athletic program. One donor, businessman Harry Ilsley, 46, who looks depressingly healthy and who sprang for a $130,000 policy, said, "Where else would you like to have the money put but in Wyoming athletics?"
Mike Schutte, 45, with rosy red cheeks and disgustingly low blood pressure, is a former Cowboy football player who has taken out a $500,000 policy—with a $45,000 premium. Schutte, whose career rushing total was 233 yards, says, "I'm worth more dead than alive to this university. That is a little scary." Not, however, for the always hopeful Roach.
The AD, a robust angel of death, says he plans to "put up a picture or plaque for each of the donors after his or her demise. We want them in an area where there's lots of traffic."