Lowe may not have been the only one. In November 1984, Wacker says, a manager of a Mama's Pizza parlor, a chain of pizza houses run by TCU booster Chris Farkas, came to Wacker with names and amounts of dough coming in and out that had nothing to do with pizza. Wacker says he asked Farkas several times about the situation and was satisfied nothing was amiss. Later, Windegger came to him with more rumors about Farkas. "I asked Farkas and he said, 'Look, Coach, since you've come in, we've cleaned it up,' " says Wacker. "I'd ask these guys every time, and they lied. And they admitted they lied!" Farkas could not be reached for comment, but Davis has told SI that Farkas gave him money both when he was being recruited by TCU and after he enrolled there (SI, Oct. 14).
Based on the evidence so far, the worst one can say about Wacker is that he didn't exactly search for clues with the zeal of a Hercule Poirot. "But I'm not an investigator," he says. "I'm a coach, for geez-o-Pete." At least when Wacker tripped over a dead body he didn't call it a bump in the linoleum, which has been SOP in college football for decades.
What Wacker did was unheard of, but was he a fool for doing it, as he implies? Says Perry, "All the Texas high school coaches I meet shake your hand and say, 'Boy, Coach, I really admire what you guys did.' And under their breath, they're going, 'You dummies. This stuff has been going on for 70 years.' "
And what of the next 70? Will what Wacker did make them any different? Can the Wackers of the world survive? "I hope so," says TCU assistant Tom Mueller, Wacker's closest friend. "Because if Wacker can't, who can?"
As for Wacker, even after two straight years of deceit and mendacity stuffed in his face, he remains bullish. "There're lots of Wackers out there," he says. "Wacker won't lose faith in people. For his own sanity, Wacker's got to keep believing people can be trusted. If they can't, Wacker doesn't want to know."