- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Despite his advancing age, Hutsell helped several current members of Auburn's team, including world-class hurdler James Walker and Olympic sprinter Harvey Glance. "He's a great technique man." Walker says. "He helps you with the little things that cut a 10th of a second off your time here and there." And Glance says, unashamedly, "I love him."
Whether or not he recovers from his recent injuries sufficiently to resume his duties, Hutsell's legend is intact. The Wilbur Hutsell Cake Race remains a major event on Auburn's fall calendar, and past and present Auburn athletes cherish their association with him. Moreover, nobody will ever surpass the classic succinctness of the pep talk Hutsell once issued to his cross-country team: "Hurry back."
MY FELLOW MUSHROOMS...
When New England Patriot Coach Chuck Fairbanks told owner Bill Sullivan last Dec. 18 that he intended to accept an offer to coach at the University of Colorado next season, Sullivan exploded. Fairbanks had four years left on his contract, and the Patriots were getting ready for the playoffs. After suspending and then reinstating Fairbanks, the owner won a court injunction preventing him from leaving.
Last week the Fairbanks affair took another turn. Spring practice began in Boulder and there was Fairbanks, gray hair blowing in the wind, directing the Colorado team in calisthenics. He had become Colorado's coach after all, having been ransomed by the Flatiron Club, an organization of well-heeled Colorado boosters headed by Oilman Jack Vickers. It was Vickers who had first approached Fairbanks about the Colorado job. He had also arranged to supplement the coach's proffered $45,000 salary with $90,000 a year for TV and radio appearances. And now it turned out that the Flatiron Club had agreed to pay $200,000 to the Patriots to win Fairbanks' release from his contract.
Details of that settlement were confirmed only under pressure from Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm, who complained that "the citizens of this state were being treated like mushrooms—kept in the dark and a bunch of manure spread on us." Lamm's outrage was understandable. Jack Vickers is not an employee of the University of Colorado, nor is he even an alumnus. Yet insofar as the hiring of Chuck Fairbanks was concerned, he was the University of Colorado. In its name he made job overtures to a man already under contract, and then secretly negotiated a settlement that some people at the university found rather extravagant, especially since it came at a time when the state legislature was cutting the school's budget. Said Conrad McBride, chairman of Colorado's political science department, "All the things that are wrong with intercollegiate athletics have surfaced in this incident."
BAT, BALL & BIRD
Larry Bird hasn't decided yet whether he will sign with the Boston Celtics, but he has apparently reached agreement in his baseball negotiations. A while ago, Indiana State Baseball Coach Bob Warn said to Bird, "You'd better get a bat, big fella," and the Sycamores' basketball star replied, "I'd like to try it." That was all Warn had to hear. He's now planning to put Bird into the lineup for at least a few innings, either at first base or as designated hitter. Bird's baseball debut could occur over the Easter weekend, when the Sycamores play doubleheaders at home on successive days against Southern Illinois and Evansville, respectively.
Doting fans in Terre Haute will no doubt turn out in large numbers for the chance to see Bird play baseball. But Warn, whose team has a 16-3 record, sees Bird as a fence buster as well as a gate builder. Bird was a promising pitcher on his high school team as a freshman but then quit to concentrate on basketball. He has played softball the last couple of summers in Terre Haute, and Warn says, "Larry just punishes a softball. I don't think it would take him long to get ready to hit a baseball. And we've got a uniform that just happens to fit."