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What Kind Of Fool Am I?
Rick Reilly
November 04, 1985
Jim Wacker of TCU is different, and not simply because he was "dumb" enough to call the NCAA
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November 04, 1985

What Kind Of Fool Am I?

Jim Wacker of TCU is different, and not simply because he was "dumb" enough to call the NCAA

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"Hey, Coach," said Davis, casually. "Do you think Coach Wacker would know if somebody was getting paid?"

"You know he doesn't know that kind of thing," Perry said. "What's going on?"

"Aw, nothin'."

In a team meeting that night, Wacker told his players he was "excited if they're coming to investigate us.... Let 'em come! It'll make us look great!"

After the meeting, Perry found Davis. "Look, K.D., I've got to know what's going on," Perry said. "If you've got something to say, you better say it."

Davis looked hard at Perry. Davis said, "What I'm about to tell you is in confidence, all right?" Davis told Perry that he was getting paid by Lowe.

That secret hung like hot lead in Perry's pocket for the next 45 minutes. Then he confronted Wacker. "I knew I had to tell Coach Wacker," Perry says. "It's what he'd talked about since Day One. If any of us ever knew of something, we had to come forward."

Previous news reports indicated that Davis had voluntarily come clean to Wacker about the payments, but that obviously wasn't the case. Wacker called Lowe, who admitted paying off not only Davis but also several other players. Wacker then met with athletic director Frank Windegger, chancellor William Tucker and Lowe. At approximately 8:30 p.m. calls were placed to the SWC office and the NCAA. By 10 p.m. Wacker had suspended six players. The seventh turned himself in five days later.

Wacker has received more than 600 letters and telegrams and countless phone calls in praise of his action. Not everyone, however, thinks he ought to be bronzed. Davis, for one, feels burned: "I told him [Perry] that in confidence. I feel like I've been used, like I've been thrown to the wolves. He and I had a great relationship. We've cried on each other's shoulders many, many times."

"If I had to do it again, I wouldn't," Perry now says. "I'd wait until somebody found out and then I'd take the blame. I'd get fired and that would be fine. It just hurt Jim too much and hurt too many kids and too many families."

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