SI Vault
Getting tanned in Miami, O.
Ron Reid
November 26, 1973
Nestled down among the rills, farmland and covered bridges of tiny Oxford (pop. 6,500), Miami of Ohio does not seem like a campus with an athletic reputation. You might guess that it would be hard to recruit for anything more formidable than a field-hockey team, so snug and secure is the atmosphere. Watergate is but a distant annoyance; good, black coal cools the energy crisis as it heats the dorms; and unless you leave town the biggest trip of the weekend is 3.2 beer. Miami is just that well insulated. The campus is pure Currier & Ives. Annoyances tend to be minor: the name of the place and its geography, for instance. People keep getting the former mixed up with Florida. Of the latter, Miami's president, Dr. Phillip R. Shriver, will tell you, "As we say about Oxford, all roads don't lead to it. You've got to want to come here."
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November 26, 1973

Getting Tanned In Miami, O.

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The list of men Miami has either employed or graduated who have gone on to coach at other places includes Paul Brown (class of '30), Weeb Ewbank ('28), Walter Alston ('35) and Clive Rush ('53), who was also once employed in the pro ranks. Sid Gillman coached four seasons at Miami and Woody Hayes put in two before he moved to Columbus and gave the job to his freshman coach, Ara Parseghian ('49). Parseghian begat John Pont ('50), now at Northwestern, who in turn begat Michigan's Bo Schembechler ('51). Former Army Coach Earl (Red) Blaik ('18) played for Miami and so did Yale's Carmen Cozza ('52), South Carolina's Paul Dietzel ('48) and Mallory himself ('57).

Trainer Emeritus Jay Colville, a shambling, 67-year-old bear of a man with a Will Rogers haircut and humor to match, has seen them all come and go and thinks this is the finest Miami team of them all. He is probably the only person who remembers Paul Brown as "a smallish kind of quarterback and a good baseball player," or who can recall the fateful season when Ewbank coached the Miami basketball team.

Perhaps even more than the perfect season or the glorious past, the intelligent attitude of senior Quarterback Stu Showalter speaks best about Miami. A sophomore starter who lettered again last year, he finished the '73 season without one minute of playing time after losing his job to Steve Sanna, a better passer, and Sherman Smith, a better runner. Despite his fall from grace, he says, "The experience here has been a good one even if it's been a mental battle at times. So many guys, particularly if they've had the success, would have given up and quit, but doggone it all, football taught me discipline and it made me do things I didn't want to do. There's more to it than just starting. It was important enough to me that I wasn't going to let it go for any reason.

"The coaches here have been great, real top quality men. I never reached the point where I said, 'nuts to them, they're wrong.' I always felt, 'I'm doing my best, if they want me, I'm here.' It would be great to be No. 1 all the way through, but life isn't that way. Some people are in the right place at the right time and some people aren't. If you can't accept that in something like football, you'll have trouble accepting it in life, too."

Maybe more roads should lead to Oxford.

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