Fundamental ( Paul Dietzel, South Carolina): "No girls' haircuts. If a player comes to the table looking like a girl, he doesn't eat."
Pragmatic ( Charlie Tate, Miami): "How am I going to tell my guys to get their hair cut when I go into a Coral Gables bank and there's one of my smart banker friends with sideburns and lawyers with long hair and doctors at the country club? I can't ask my boys to look like the tips of artillery shells when they have long-haired heroes like Joe Namath and Ken Harrelson. So—no wads of hair sticking out the back of the helmet and no goatees running over the chinstraps. That's it."
Scientific ( Lee Corso, Louisville): "Research has shown that long heavy hair prevents the helmet from fitting properly, absorbing shock, et cetera. If these guys want to get headaches, let 'em go ahead, have lots of hair, have lots of headaches."
Sociological ( Ara Parseghian, Notre Dame): "The fad started with the hippies. I saw them in Haight-Ashbury. Wearing a beard or a mustache or long hair doesn't necessarily make anyone look like the scum I saw there but it gives an empathy for a movement that certainly is the direct opposite of what we strive for in college football. College football is goal-oriented. The hippie movement is geared to shiftlessness. You won't find a lazy person on the football field. If he's there, he won't last."
So Coach Dee Andros told Linebacker Fred Milton to shave his beard and mustache. Milton said it was the off season; he didn't have to obey the rules in the off season. "Yes, Milton, you do," said Andros. "That's part of the deal."
The two had a 40-minute chat in the coach's office, and when Milton left, Andros says, "He seemed to understand what I was driving at. And he knew me well enough to realize I wasn't going to give in if I thought it would hurt the team. I never figured Milton for a militant. He never gave me any trouble. I have to think he was coerced."
Milton, however, said later that it was a racial issue, a denial of his cultural rights. He said he would not shave. Andros, who in 20 years of coaching had never had an athlete, black or white, defy his authority, said in that case Milton was off the squad.
Encouraged by the Black Students Union, the 47 Negroes on campus (total enrollment: 14,500) rose in protest. They called for a boycott. Charges led to escalated charges. The chairman of the Portland chapter of the NAACP said there was an unwritten athletic policy forbidding blacks to date white coeds. The BSU claimed there was discrimination in public services and housing. Annette Green, the most eloquent BSU spokesman, said, " Corvallis is hostile to blacks." Finally, the 47 blacks staged a walkout. All 18 black athletes—six of them football players—on scholarship at the university took part.
In the days that followed, what began as fairly temperate dialogue degenerated into slander. "You heard the most outrageous lies about people," said Assistant Athletic Director Dennis Hedges. "You heard them so much you started wondering, 'Could they be true?' You know better, but you begin having doubts. Then you hear your name dropped with the others. It's terrible. You don't hate and you're no racist, so you try to understand. The black athletes are confused by the issues. It's tough enough for them already, thrust into an almost all-white environment the way they are. Corvallis is not Chicago. It only takes a little effort for somebody to get them to confuse discipline with discrimination."
The student senate first voted 11-9 in favor of the boycott, then reconsidered and voted against it 19-5. A petition backing the athletic department's policies was signed by 173 athletes. "The BSU," said Wingback Billy Main, a white, "is using football as a political springboard to publicize its demands." A rally for Andros drew 4,000; one against him drew 1,000. Andros got letters: "Students have to abide by rules or the country will go down.... [Signed] Class of '32." And, "Don't give in to the slobs...."