sake, you only sell 80 season tickets!" pleaded Mossie.
customers!" barked Skender. "You can't push everybody around! There's a
customer who has a bad left leg and he wants the end seat in your row so he can
hang his bad leg in the aisle, and there's another guy who doesn't like higher
seats because he can't climb steps." Skender finally sold Mossie six seats
together and two more across the aisle. Concluded Mossie: "I haven't made
up my mind whether he hates me or just dislikes me."
Carol, has refused to sit with him ever since the night two years ago when,
from his seat in the second row, he leaped over the lady in front of him,
landed with a crash at courtside and there berated a referee. The referee
called for police, but Mossie threw a signal to the Duquesne students, who
arose as one and set up a thunderous bedlam that shook the walls. Pointing to
the referee, Mossie told the police, "He's the crook! Take him!"
policemen asked Mossie to please resume his seat.
Duquesne officials limit their comments on Mossie to words of Christian
charity. Says Father McNamara, the vice-president: "Mossie is, as is
evident, a very enthusiastic person. Sometimes his enthusiasm is a little infra
dig, but I must say, he's a wonderful fellow. He has never publicly disgraced
Mossie has a penchant for invading the school cafeteria to whip up student
support for the team, Father McNamara lives with a chilling fear of seeing the
student body turned into a howling mob. "When he agitates the
students," says Father McNamara, "that's when the dean of men and dean
of women start to fry. Now, if you could direct his enthusiasm to the proper
channels you'd really have something."
It saddens Mossie
that the Duquesne hierarchy persists in its standoffish attitude. "I hate
to be in you're-out-of-its-ville," he says. Actually, Mossie's intimate
friends—that is, persons who know the volcano Murphy with a geologist's
appreciation—consider him an intelligent, likable individualist who is not
without praiseworthy purpose. Beneath his noise pounds the heart of a social
worker, for he regards his recruits as adolescent diamonds in the rough whom he
must fashion into men of the world. Meanwhile he cherishes the old competitive
values—namely, that Duquesne is better off winning than losing. And so he
The nature of
Mossie's recruiting style may be seen in his 1960 capture of the sensational
Willie Somerset of Farrell, Pa. Willie had made up his mind to play under Coach
Lou Rossini of New York University, but that was before Mossie visited him.
" Mr. Rossini
would come to our house, cross his legs, offer me a stick of chewing gum, look
real serious, tell us about NYU and that was that," recalls Somerset.
"Then Mossie came around and said to my mother, 'How are you, Mrs.
Somerset? What do you have to eat? I'm starved.' And then, while he was
stuffing himself, he looked at me and said, 'So this is Farrell, Pa., where
they roll up the sidewalks at 6 o'clock.' At first I thought he was getting
smart, but then I saw a little smirk on his face and I started laughing and
never stopped. He's very eccentric."
Willie, as it
happened, was unhappy for a while at Duquesne and decided to transfer to NYU,
but his mother told him, "You can't do that, Willie. You'd hurt Mr.