Meantime, Army was going nowhere. After the cadets dropped seven out of nine games in 1940, the new superintendent, General Eichelberger, asked Blaik to return to West Point as head coach. During and immediately after the war years, with manpower and Blaik, Army was invincible. The team continued high in the national rankings until 1951, the year of the so-called cribbing scandals. The real scandal was the way it was handled. No less an authority than General MacArthur, himself a former superintendent, has said privately that the whole matter could?and should?have been settled with an unpublicized reprimand and disciplinary action against only two of the 90 cadets dismissed.
MOST VALUABLE MEMBER
The expulsions didn't even leave Blaik with a B squad. He got boys from the C squad and out of the intramural program, and put a team together. Even with this bunch he won a couple of games against college competition. He never quit driving himself, his staff, or his players. Today he is, General MacArthur says, just about the most valuable faculty member at West Point.
Last Saturday the colonel was in the station hospital with pneumonia while his team was beating Penn 35-0 in Philadelphia. The score might have gone higher, but the colonel had written a little note to be read privately to the boys before the game, and they got so tense and tight they played a dull and sluggish game.
Against Navy, the colonel, who is on the mend, will doubtless deliver his pregame message in person. The outcome of the game is anybody's guess but you can bet on one thing. There won't be a dull and sluggish minute in it.