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'WHATEVER YOU DO, GET HIM'
Giles Tippette
October 22, 1973
The following is a collection of vignettes from the early chapters of 'Saturday's Children,' a perceptive, unvarnished and sometimes alarming account of college football as viewed by an author who was permitted close association with the Rice University team throughout its 1971 season. The book's insights into the tensions and demands of the game have caused controversy and protest among coaches and athletic department officials in the SWC.
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October 22, 1973

'whatever You Do, Get Him'

The following is a collection of vignettes from the early chapters of 'Saturday's Children,' a perceptive, unvarnished and sometimes alarming account of college football as viewed by an author who was permitted close association with the Rice University team throughout its 1971 season. The book's insights into the tensions and demands of the game have caused controversy and protest among coaches and athletic department officials in the SWC.

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In a hesitant voice Bob DeCrosta, the defensive line coach, said, "Coach Pete, I've just got to have some help."

Al Conover turned toward him quickly. "Oh no, don't start that old song again."

But Larry Peccatiello jumped in. "Why not, Al? You've got everybody now. You picked us clean in spring training. All we got is midgets. Slow midgets."

A football squad is not one team, it is two—the offense and the defense. They meet separately, they practice almost separately, and there is a great element of competition between both the players and the coaches. Even the game film they look at is split, with the defense watching the offensive team of the opponent they are to play next and the offense looking at the opposing defense. This competition often surfaces when the defensive and offensive coaches are each trying to get the better athletes for their squads.

"Listen," Conover said, "don't give me that old stuff, Peccatiello. You didn't give me anybody that can play."

"What about Bart Goforth? He's starting for you."

"Oh, yeah, Goforth. But he was mine anyway."

"What about Tobin Haynes? He's running second string for you." Peccatiello is an Italian from the rougher section of Newark, N.J. A powerful-looking man, he was a receiver at William & Mary. He is smiling, but his voice is hard and probing with the Italian-New Jersey accent getting a little pronounced as he warms up on Conover. "And how about Hershey? He could start for us."

"Oh, no," Conover said. "Don't start that old song again about Hershey. You gave me Hershey. You didn't want him!"

"Hold it," Peterson said. "Let's don't go to swapping around until we've played a little."

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