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Some of the most jarring pieces of testimony came from the players themselves, who have been restricted to tuition and $75-100 a month (in payment for campus jobs) by Pacific Coast Conference regulations. One star who had refused to join the revolt against Cherberg told his story like this: "Another school had offered me more money than Washington, but the deal in Seattle appealed to me for other reasons.
"From the time I got here a cashier's check for $50—over and above the regular allowance—began coming by mail to the house every month. Although it didn't carry his signature, I knew it was coming from Torchy Torrance, and I heard right quick that, if and when I ran into money trouble, Torchy was the man to see. At the time, the regular allowance was only $75 a month. With room, board, books and social life all to come out of that, it wasn't easy. I gathered the thing to do was to call Mr. Torrance and say 'Torchy, I'm in trouble and need some help.'
"At Easter, I wanted to arrange for one of the two holiday trips that I'd been promised for each year. Torchy told me a one-way ticket would be waiting for me to pick up at the airport, and that when I was ready to start back to Seattle I should write him and he'd arrange for a return ticket to be waiting at the airport. And that was just the way it worked.
"But when I started my sophomore year, my pay from the fund was cut to $35 a month. I'd heard of second-and third-stringers who were getting up to $125 a month, but I was afraid that if I spoke up I'd be cut off altogether. Nevertheless, I went down to see Torchy. He was pretty sorry about it, but he said, 'I was told that's all you were to get.' By my junior year I'd married and had a baby, and I told Torchy I needed $300 a month. I didn't see any harm in trying, if you get what I mean. Torchy said, 'Well I can only manage to get you $60 a month, but I can arrange to get you started off a little.' And he got me a special lump check for $200. I got a pretty nice break that year when Torchy not only arranged for a trip out for my sister but paid for me and my wife to take a trip home. This past year I've been getting the same $60 a month, but when I needed a car because of our new baby and had planned to buy a '52, I heard of some of the guys getting a car. Torchy sent me to his son who provided me with an older buggy. He said, 'Try it out and worry about the payments later,' and after a bit the title in my name came to the house by mail."
Another first-string player: I've never been on Torchy's regular payroll, but I certainly knew about it, because when he'd show up in the locker room somebody'd usually say, "That's Torchy, the Goodies Man."
Mostly, I'd just resort to him for favors like free theater tickets or some such. But in the spring of '54, when I ran short of money, I made a deal with him for $150.
I asked the coach if it was proper to thank Torrance, and he said sure. I did just that and asked Torchy if there was anyone else I should thank. He gave me a funny look and said no, that wouldn't be necessary. I was rather dubious at the time; I thought I might have hurt his feelings. It did tee me off sometimes that a selected few of the other guys were making a bundle.
Another first-stringer: I first met Torchy when I was brought up to look over the University of Washington deal. We talked in his car on the campus and he promised me and a buddy each an extra $75 a month if we came. After I came to school and no check arrived, I asked a guy who said, "Call Torchy." I did and from then on the checks came each month, right on time. There were a lot of other special needs that came up where he provided the dough, so I've got no kicks on that score. As far as dough is concerned, I was treated very well as long as I kept on Torchy's right side.
Yet Torchy Torrance is sure of his ground. Says he: "I worked my own way through high school and the university, and I know the problems athletes have. Ninety-five per cent of them are kids from poor families.
"You know how it works out—a lot of people are interested, but try to get them to do the work. Why, I've had to get into things with the kids like accidents and maternity problems and everything else connected with some boy's need for money. When you come to recruiting players, why I've had to make up to 10 visits of two or three hours each to a boy's home."