Before the start of the season, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, the president of Notre Dame, invited Vice-President George Bush to attend a game in South Bend at his convenience. When the Vice-President picked last week's Penn State game, Notre Dame's director of information services, Dick Conklin, said, "Actually, it's kind of low-key. He's just coming for the football game and doesn't want any foo-foo."
Now let's be sure we've got this straight. A vice-president of the U.S. who would like to improve his Washington address just decided he would take in a good football game in Indiana—with no foo-foo. That the game was on national TV and he was interviewed on the tube at halftime didn't have anything to do with his visit. That he didn't show up the week before, when SMU was in town for a nontelevised game, was just happenstance. Hey, he loves the game—as long as there is no foo-foo.
THINKING SMALL IN THE BIG EIGHT
Telephone lines have been hot between Big Eight country and Boston. First, Oklahoma State coach Pat Jones called BC boss Jack Bicknell for advice on how to develop a young, smallish (5'11"), mobile quarterback named Mike Gundy. Then, Kansas coach Bob Valesente rang Bicknell to ask the same question about his young, smallish (6'1"), mobile signal caller, Kelly Donohoe. Bicknell has become the guru of little QBs because of his towering success with 5'9" Doug Flutie.
Predictably, Bicknell's advice was music to desperate ears. "Hey, if they're good enough, they're big enough," he told his Big Eight counterparts. Bicknell assured both coaches that they shouldn't adjust their offenses to compensate for an undersized quarterback. And, says Bicknell, "I told them there are advantages to being quick. You put a six-four, 275-pound guy on a paddle-ball court, and Flutie will eat him alive." Concludes Bicknell, "What good is it if they can pass rush if they can't catch you?"
Wandering out of his office the other day, Michigan coach Bo Schembechler said, "I'd give anything for a Diet Coke." An assistant, Tom Reed, informed him, "There isn't a Diet Coke in the building, Bo." Said Schembechler, "Then give me a graduate assistant with speed."
THE UNKINDEST CUT
Is it possible that Robb Johnston was just never meant to play football for Wisconsin? Readers of our 1985 College & Pro Football Spectacular may recall a short feature about how Johnston had undergone surgery to remove bone spurs in his left foot. Trouble was, the team physician, Dr. William G. Clancy, had operated on Johnston's right foot. A couple of hours later, Clancy operated on the correct foot.
Well, Johnston, a strong safety, recovered, and by this fall was playing with great enthusiasm. Too great. Seems that after he recovered a fumble against Wyoming he came off the field whooping and jumping. He encountered teammate Joe Armentrout and both leaped into the air for the de rigueur flying high five. But when Johnston came down, his right knee buckled. Efforts to rehabilitate it failed, and he had to be operated on for severe ligament damage. Called into action again, Dr. Clancy not only did a marvelous job, but also did it on the proper knee. Says Johnston, "He's one of the better knee surgeons in the country but apparently not one of the better foot surgeons."