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TGS BIG TEN RETROSPECTIVE...WHEN THE BUCKEYES BUCKED THE ROSE BOWL!
                                                        by Bruce Marshall, Goldsheet.com Editor

Imagine
,
a Big Ten school, on the cusp of winning the national championship, declining an invitation to the Rose Bowl? Then, imagine that school being...Ohio State?


We know, the hordes of modern-day Buckeye backers who might not even know of Matt Snell or Paul Warfield, or even Woody Hayes, could probably not comprehend. Especially since there is no more football-crazed and mesmerized locale outside of the SEC than Columbus. But during our publishing history at TGS, which dates back to 1957, the above scenario actually occurred...as unbelievable as it sounds today.

A bit more than a half-century ago, however, the college football landscape was different. Though passions ran just as deep as they do today at various gridiron outposts throughout the land, big television money was still years into the future, and “King Football” was selectively dictating policy only at certain locales.

Still, the story of 1961 Ohio State seems almost unfathomable...especially considering the personalities involved. And of those, no more than the immortal Hayes, who had won big earlier in his career with the Buckeyes but was hitting a bump in mid-career at Columbus. One of the earlier nadirs would come in 1959, our third season of publishing TGS, when OSU, with a QB named Tom Matte (he of NFL lore with the Colts), would dip to a 3-5-1 record. Feeling some unaccustomed heat from the locals, Woody felt inspired to make a promise at a booster luncheon:

“I guarantee [a championship] in two years,” said Woody. “ If I don’t bring you a championship then, Ohio State is no place for Woody Hayes.”

But Hayes did have something up his sleeve with a group of promising frosh from the previous year that would fully flower over the next few seasons. More on those Buckeye teams in a moment. As usual, however, much of what transpired at Ohio State in the 50s, 60s, and 70s would invariably revolve around the volcanic Woody. 

Throughout his coaching career, which spanned at OSU from 1951-78, Hayes generated all sorts of emotions-- good and bad, love and hate, devotion and disdain, from football fans everywhere. Indeed, in our nearly six decades of publishing TGS, we are hard-pressed to find a more polarizing character who ever walked along the sideline.

Sports Illustrated’s Roy Terrell once said of Woody that “to him, football is less a game than a 20th century torture device, and on his own private rack.

“But success alone can never explain the passion that Hayes has been known to arouse. You either love him or you hate him, and if you happen to be one of the few with no opinion you may just as well form one, since he probably has an opinion about you. He has an opinion about everything else. If you choose to disapprove of Woody Hayes, there is a wide selection of reasons.

He drives his players with a ferocity of a Marine Corps drill instructor. The football that he coaches—the crunching up-the-middle trap and off-tackle smash–is about as inspiring as a radish. It has furnished the sport with a now-tired phrase--three yards and a cloud of dust--and so far as you can discover, Knute Rockne, Gus Dorais and the forward pass have not yet been invented. His own faculty complains that Woody's football success is distorting the academic image of a great university, and Hayes, a professor himself, sometimes attends faculty meetings to roar denunciations of his detractors.”

The Hayes intensity was all-encompassing. And sports-wise, it didn’t include simply football games. Hayes the fan could get quite worked up about other sports, too. Not even sportswriters would infuriate Hayes quite so much as an athlete who failed to play up to his ability. Once, at an Ohio State basketball game, during the time of Frank Howard, the Paul Bunyon-sized All-American hoopster who would eventually hit lots of homers for the Dodgers and Washington Senators, Hayes had seen enough of Howard and others apparently loafing on the court for the Buckeyes. Sitting with members of his football squad in the stands, Woody "got madder and madder," one of his players remembered, "until finally he jumped up and ordered us all out of the arena. 'I'm not going to let you watch this,' he said. He took us outside and lectured us for an hour and a half on always trying to do our best."

Once, as a spectator at old Cleveland Municipal Stadium for a game between the Indians and Yankees, Hayes would suffer through the one-handed fielding techniques of Indians first baseman Vic Power until he could stand it no more. "You're showing off," Hayes yelled from his box near the Indian dugout. "Why don't you use both hands and help your team win?" Power, whose ears were as good as his hands, dropped over and invited Mr. Hayes to discuss the matter further after the game; Hayes, likely figuring that much of the 230 pounds he carried in those days was likely to be useless in hand-to-hand combat, went home instead. He didn't go back to watch the Indians again until they traded Power to Minnesota. "That guy makes me sick," said Woody of Power. "What's he got two hands for?"

During the 1950s, however, Woody’s relationship with OSU administrators became, shall we say, a bit contentious. After rocky baptism when assuming the Buckeyes job in 1951, Woody would ride high for a while with winning teams.  After the 1954 season, with an undefeated squad, a victory over Michigan, a defeat of USC in the Rose Bowl, and a share of the national title alongside Red Sanders’ UCLA, “We love you, Woody”  banners could be seen all over Columbus.

But football was becoming too important, or so a faction of the OSU faculty believed, and an anti-gridiron cabal was forming alongside parts of the administration. Under the tight-fisted leadership of Governor Frank Lausche, Ohio had become one of the stingiest financiers of higher education in the country. Faculty members were leaving, graduate programs lost credibility, and the cry went out that there was money for football players but not for scholars.

Hayes had also inadvertently set off a land mine in 1956, when he devulged in a Sports Illustrated interview that he gave extra money to players in need. Woody admitted to helping some destitute athletes out of his own pocket, a well-intentioned practice that happened to be at variance with the conference rules. "We've got to do something to help those kids," Hayes roared. "One of those boys came to me and said he had only one pair of pants. 'Can't you get a loan?' I asked him. 'I tried,' he said, 'They told me it would take four months.' Hell, a pair of pants can get to be awfully dirty in four months. Sure I gave him the money."

This infraction of NCAA rules brought an outcry from the usually docile OSU faculty council. An investigation by Big Ten Commissioner Tug Wilson resulted in the Bucks being placed on probation for at least a year and barred the ‘56 football team from playing in the Rose Bowl. The NCAA followed with a ban on all Buckeye athletic teams from postseason competition.

Mobilizing internally against Hayes would be the influential Jack Fullen, longtime secretary of the OSU Alumni Association. Fullen had been supportive of Hayes earlier in Woody’s Columbus tenure, but they became bitter enemies. Specifically, Fullen was livid that his alma mater was receiving so much bad publicity because of the overemphasis on football, and continuously chastised Hayes and the football program, reminding anyone who would listen that  “The football tail is wagging the college dog.” Fullen had also once proposed that the school give up all pretense at amateurism, hire a professional team and control it under a bureau of football. Hayes felt that Fullen had been trying to get him fired for years, which he understood well enough, as he was engaged in his own campaign to accomplish just that scenario against Fullen into the mid 60s.

The OSU faculty finally decided to take matters into its own hands. In the mid 50s, it set up a seven-person committee to investigate and make recommendations to the faculty council concerning the conduct of intercollegiate athletics at OSU. During this time period while the report was being completed, a couple of important events were taking place. The Big Ten, in the face of increasing abuses of the “jobs for athletes” at OSU and other member institutions, specifically Michigan State, adopted the principle of outright grant-in-aid to athletes, based on a uniform formula for determining financial need. (Hayes’ roaring on the subject was one reason the Big Ten adopted a new policy.) .Meanwhile, OSU President Novice G. Fawcett (right) took steps to guard against a repetition of Buckeye abuses in violation of conference and NCAA regulations.

The faculty council would emerge from this time period as the most-influential entity on the Columbus campus. Within faculty circles, the question of whether Ohio State should participate in any upcoming Rose Bowls had been festering for several years. Faculty members questioned the commercial aspects of big-time football. They were concerned that OSU football overshadowed the university’s reputation as a center of learning. On the periphery were students, including the football team, the OSU Board of Trustees, alumni, and frenzied Buckeye fans.

Further fanning the flames for the council was a visit to campus by a United States Senator, who would innocently blurt, "I don't know much about Ohio State, but I do know you have a good football team here." Reaction from much of the faculty was predictable...they boiled.

"We're upset over the fact that the image of Ohio State is that the school is merely an appendage to the football team,” said a faculty member. “When we go away for meetings, we're kidded about this by people from other schools. We don't dislike football, but the feeling is that things are out of proportion."

The impact of the school’s revised policy, highlighted in the Fullington Report, implemented in 1957, was not readily apparent as the Buckeyes were in the process of clinching the Big Ten championship. OSU would accept an invitation to play Oregon in the 1958 Rose Bowl. For beating the plucky Webfoots, 10-7, OSU would clear just short of $16,000 from its excursion to Pasadena.

By 1961, however, some of the dynamics had changed. Mainly, the Rose Bowl’s connection to the Big Ten, and a contract that would terminate after the January 2, 1960 game between Wisconsin and Washington. The old PCC had disbanded in the late 50s after a wave of scandals, replaced by the five-team Big Five (AAWU), but the Big Ten schools could not come to a majority vote to extend the Rose Bowl contract, instead splitting 5-5 on renewing the pact. To no one’s surprise, OSU was one of the five schools that voted “no” on extending the contract.

There was no formal agreement in place between the Big Ten and Rose Bowl for the 1960 season, but the Pasadena classic would nonetheless extend an invitation to conference champ and top-ranked Minnesota, which accepted and would play in its first Rose Bowl, where it would lose 17-7 to the same Washington team that had whipped Wisconsin 44-8 the year before.

Interestingly, Minnesota was one of the schools that was a “no” vote on continuing the Rose Bowl contract. As for Ohio State, though it had also voted “no” to extend the pact in Pasadena, it nonetheless accepted the Big Ten’s share of bowl receipts from the Rose.


Thus, the stage was set for 1961, and another Hayes powerhouse that began the season ranked second in the polls. The 1961 Buckeyes were among the best of the Hayes teams at Ohio State. The offense was led by a brilliant backfield comprised of quarterback Joe Sparma (who would go on to a career as a major league pitcher and, while a member of the Detroit Tigers, coming one out away from a no-hitter vs. the expansion Seattle Pilots in a 1969 NBC Game of the Week...only to lose the game 2-1!), punishing 220-lb. FB Bob Ferguson, (who would finish second in the Heisman race to Syracuse’s Ernie Davis), and sophomore halfbacks Paul Warfield and Matt Snell, who would both go on to decorated pro careers and win Super Bowl rings (Warfield also entering the Canton HOF). The offensive line featured two eventual first-round picks in the 1962 NFL draft, Bob Vogel (Colts) and Daryl Sanders (Lions), and the defense was solid, if unspectacular. A guy named Bo Schembechler was also an assistant coach on the staff.

Keep in mind that Hayes’ Buckeyes, and several teams in the era, had yet to add a tenth game to their schedules (OSU didn’t add a tenth regualr-season game until 1971, a year after several schools had added an 11th game; Woody’s Bucks wouldn’t play an 11-game regular-season until 1974), and fall practice didn’t even commence in Columbus until September 4, as the regular-season kickoff would have to wait until September 30 (really!).

Only in the opener, vs. giant-killer TCU (which would also inflict the only loss of the season upon Darrell Royal’s Texas and also beat bowl-bound Kansas), did the Buckeyes fail to win, held to a stunning 7-7 draw in Columbus by the aroused Horned Frogs. TCU, which beat the eighth-ranked Jayhawks 17-16 the previous week, would rally from an early 7-0 deficit behind QB Sonny Gibbs, who would become the Dallas Cowboys' first pick (though in the 2nd round) in the upcoming NFL draft. Gibbs would toss 12 yards to E Dale Glascock for the tying TD in the 4th Q, then intercept Buck QB Bill Mrukowski at the goal line to keep the score level.

The game would end on an extremely odd play, as OSU PK and future San Diego Charger Dick Van Raaphorst would come up short on a 42-yard FG attempt, which was fielded by Frog DB Larry Thomas, who retreated back into his endzone and barely escaped being tackled for a game-losing safety on the final play!


Though the ‘61 Buckeyes would finish unbeaten, their start to the season was slow, as after the 7-7 tie vs. TCU that dropped OSU to 8th in the polls, the Bucks would have all sorts of problems with Bill Barnes' UCLA and its updated version of the old single wing.  The Bruins used Bobby Smith’s running and his field goal to forge an early 3-0 lead that held until the 4th Q when OSU finally broke through on TD runs by Warfield (13 yards) and Snell (33 yards) to finally put away UCLA, 13-3. Remember this result as it relates to developments two months hence in 1961.

The Bucks then had no trouble in their Big Ten opener, destroying Illinois 44-0 as Woody subbed liberally, getting 61 players onto the field, with the dynamic soph Warfield providing more highlight-reel moments with his weaving 35-yard TD run. Ara Parseghian’s Northwestern would prove a tricky foe in the next game at Evanston, as the Wildcats were within 3-0 in the 4th Q before Mrukowski scrambled for a 20-yard TD and the clinching points of a 10-0 win. Gathering momentum, the Buckeyes would unveil Woody’s double-FB backfield of the sledgehammer Ferguson and 212-lb. Dave Katterhenrich the next week vs. Wisconsin, bulldozing the Badger “D” for 357 YR and outscoring QB Ron Miller, E Pat Richter and the Wiscy offense, 30-21.

As October concluded following the win over Wisconsin, the Big Ten was very involved with the top level of the polls. While OSU had clawed back to a No. 5 ranking after the opening draw vs. TCU, Duffy Daugherty’s Michigan State had outscored its first five foes 131-10 and was atop the rankings. Jerry Burns’ preseason No. 1 Iowa, however, would fall from the fifth spot in the polls after suffering its first loss of the season, 9-0, to underdog Purdue on the same day the Buckeyes were beating Wisconsin. Lurking just outside the top ten were Murray Warmath’s Minnesota, Parseghian’s Northwestern, and Jack Mollenkoph’s Purdue.

November opened for OSU with a crucial battle vs. once-beaten Iowa, which had beaten the Bucks the previous two years. No outfit had ever beaten a Hayes-coached team three years running, and the Hawkeyes were not about to become the first, as OSU rolled 29-13. The highlight play came in the 4th Q when E Charles Bryant took a short pass from Sparma and flattened seven Iowa defenders, and carried an eighth into the endzone, on a crackling 63-yard TD that Hayes would call “one of the greatest individual efforts I have ever seen.” Meanwhile, Minnesota would be upsetting Michigan State at the same time, 13-0, knocking the Spartans out of the top spot in the polls and creating a tie atop the Big Ten between the Buckeyes and Golden Gophers (who, ironically, would not be playing each other than season, just as the Buckeyes skipped Michigan State on the ‘61 Big Ten slate).

Hayes, however, was not completely pleased with the offense, and Mrukowski would relinquish snaps the rest of the way, with Sparma and John Mummey handling most of the QB chores beginning with the following week’s 16-7 win at Indiana, OSU’s first-ever game at the Hoosiers’ one-year old stadium and first trip to Bloomington since 1950. Sparma would account for both Buckeye TDs on short passes to Warfield and Bryant. Dangerous Oregon, featuring HB and future NFL CB star Mel Renfro, a future NFL QB in Bob Berry, and defensive ace Dave Wilcox, like Renfro also bound for the Canton HOF, would next visit Columbus on Dad’s Day. But three OSU backs--Bob Klein, Mummey, and Ferguson–would each crack the 100-yard rushing barrier en route to a 22-12 win that featured no fumbles, interceptions, or penalties by the Buckeyes.

With second-ranked Texas having lost vs. that same TCU on the same day, OSU moved up to No. 2 in the polls behind Bear Bryant’s Alabama as the annual season-ending grudge match vs. Michigan beckoned at Ann Arbor.


The Buckeyes were in control of the game, up 21-6 at the half, with Warfield’s 69-yard TD run the highlight play, and still ahead 21-12 into the 4th Q when the offense would erupt and feature an 80-yard TD pass from Sparma to HB Bob Klein. Meanwhile, Ferguson would blast for 152 yards and 4 TDs, the most-ever in an Ohio State-Michigan game.

But the enduring memory of that Wolverine-Buckeye clash came in the final 34 seconds, with the Bucks nursing a commanding 42-20 lead , and with the ball on their own 20-yard line.

Rather than fall on the ball, however, Hayes ordered QB Sparma to throw deep, which he did, hitting Warfield for 70 yards down to the Michigan 10! On the game’s final play, Sparma would pass 10 yards to E Sam Tidmore for one final TD...but there would be one more play. Rather than kick a PAT with Van Raaphorst to up the score to 49-20, Hayes opted to go for two to hit the 50-point mark, which Sparma accomplished with another pass for 2 poitns to Tidmore. Final score 50-20!

The ruthless side of Hayes mystique would grow from this blatant attempt to run up the score, but Woody hardly felt that any apologies to Michigan or Wolverine HC Bump Elliott were necessary. “We were going for national recognition,”  said Woody, reckoning that a bigger score, and hitting the magic 50, might help his cause in the polls and close the gap on top-ranked Bama.  "Let's not kid ourselves. It was a question of being the No. 1 team in the country (in place of idle Alabama) or No. 2. One or two more scores aren’t going to hurt Bump Elliott or Michigan,” Woody added.

As far as OSU fans were concerned, that last touchdown settled a grudge that had stood since 1948 when Michigan Coach Fritz Crisler ordered a short field goal in the last two minutes to further humiliate the Buckeyes and extend the final margin over Ohio State to 58-6. Though revenge, according to Woody, was not the reason OSU piled on the extra TD and 2-point conversion to reach 50 at the end of the game.

Flush with victory over the hated Wolverines, more good news met the Buckeyes as they entered the locker room after the game, as Wisconsin had scored a 23-21 upset over Minnesota, giving the Bucks the outright Big Ten crown.


Though the conference had still not come to a new agreement with the Rose Bowl, most considered it a mere formality that Pasadena would invite OSU to a rematch vs. UCLA on New Year’s Day. The Rose Bowl obliged. But here is where the fur started to fly.

The faculty council, however, would have final say on the invitation. The Rose Bowl gave Buckeye AD Richard Larkins (left) the customary three days to accept the bid. But an internal storm was brewing in Columbus that would shock the college football world.

The athletic council, led by AD Larkins, forwarded to the faculty council a motion, passed by a six-to-four vote, to accept the invitation to participate in the forthcoming Rose Bowl game. It would be up to the faculty council to confirm the Buckeye’s participation against UCLA on January 1.

But when the faculty council gathered in the lounge of the faculty club to begin deliberations, they were totally unprepared for the scene that ensued. The lounge was packed with faculty members, students, reporters, and news photographers. A battery of television cameras and a representative of a local radio station were in the back of the room. As hard as it is to believe in this day and age of 2015, but 54 years ago in Columbus, there was doubt as to whether the Buckeyes would accept the Rose Bowl bid (can you imagine Urban Meyer’s reaction if the 2014 OSU team had to wait for faculty council approval before the Buckeyes could participate in the first football Final Four?).

The main arguments in favor of participation in the Rose Bowl were familiar. There was nothing wrong with having a winning football team, and participation in the Rose Bowl would enhance the reputation of the university in the eyes of those who support it. As for safeguards against commercialism, they were  were in place, and athletics did not overshadow the academic mission of the university.

Meanwhile, those opposed to the trip to California were uneasy about the public image OSU portrayed as an “athletic factory”; academic disruptions were prominent in the 1958 Rose Bowl excursion; there was concern that Buckeye boosters were really in control of athletic policy; and favoritism toward football players would occur. The naysayers would also cite the Rose Bowl opponent, UCLA, already beaten by the Buckeyes during the regular season. There was not a voracious appetite for a rematch vs. a 3-loss Bruin team that OSU had earlier defeated.

Some faculty also felt that since classes would begin the day after the game, making the trip was a slap in the face of the university’s educational mission; others felt that the expense of transporting the team, boosters, officials, cheerleaders and band took valuable funds away from more important programs. Yet underneath the stated reasons for the vote lay the simmering dissatisfaction on the part of some faculty members with Hayes, and the football leviathan he had built at Ohio State.

After due discussion, President Fawcett called for the vote. There were fifty-three votes cast, with twenty-five yes-votes and twenty-eight no-votes! Unbelievably, Ohio State became the first Big Ten School to refuse a Rose Bowl bid!

(The Rose Bowl, not bound to the Big Ten for the '62 game, would then briefly float a trial balloon toward Bear Bryant's Alabama, but when word leaked that UCLA's black players would not take the field against a segregated foe, the Crimson Tide quickly accepted a Sugar Bowl bid vs. Arkansas, another segregated team. Which opened the door for Murray Warmath's Minnesota, which eagerly accepted the Pasadena bid to become the initial Big Ten team to play in two consecutive Rose Bowl games!)


When news of the vote hit, the OSU campus exploded. Thousands of students engaged in two days of rioting and protests, including an impromptu four-mile march to the Ohio Statehouse. Legislators railed. As for Woody Hayes, he did not hear the news until he arrived at the Hollenden Hotel in Cleveland to make a speech. When reporters told him he dropped his bag and walked out. For an hour and a half he roamed the Cleveland streets, trying to compose himself.

Back on the campus the Ohio State students were making no such effort to count 10. They burned members of the faculty in effigy, snake-danced down the main street, surrounded the capitol building, broke windows, besieged and insulted their professors and generally raised the most hell that had been raised in Columbus since V-J day. One of those students among those who briefly commandeered a Columbus street car in protest was none other than a forward on the basketball team named Bob Knight.


Meanwhile, the local TV and radio stations, joined in the denunciation of the anti-Rose Bowl faculty members, some of them in violent terms. The Wolfe brothers, publishers of The Columbus Dispatch, in an act of dubious public service, printed a list of those professors voting against the trip to Pasadena, complete with addresses, salaries and amounts of money spent for the year on out-of-state travel at state expense. The result was that the offending professors were jeered, scowled at, browbeaten, telephoned day and night and greeted with messages in monosyllables on blackboards all over the campus.

All forms of exclamatory behavior broke out over this rejection. Pressure was put upon the conservative University Board of Trustees to reverse the faculty council decision. President Fawcett called members of the board. The consensus of the board members determined that they lacked power to act on this matter without jeopardizing the university’s membership in the Big Ten Conference. John W. Bricker, former U.S. senator and chairman of the board, spoke out in opposition to the faculty council decision. Les Horvath, a former OSU Heisman Trophy winner, was quoted as saying, “The Ohio State faculty are a bunch of jerks.”

It was in this environment that Woody Hayes had one of his finest moments. As incensed as he was, he asked for quiet on campus, and publicly stated his obeisance to the faculty decision. In a move that must have crushed the competitive coach, Hayes defended the faculty’s decision:

“I don’t agree with those 28 ‘no’ votes, but I respect the integrity of the men who cast them, if not their intelligence," said Hayes to a gathering of OSU alumni in Cleveland. “I would not want football to draw a line of cleavage in our university. Football is not worth that.”

Woody also made it plain that he was not going to quit over the action (as had been rumored). "We have had to learn to accept defeat under pressure and that may help us now," he said, "although it is difficult to explain to the boys when, after 15 years, the Rose Bowl is jerked out from under them."

The picture of Woody Hayes speaking moderately did not escape the notice of the diehards back in Columbus, who always had looked upon him as their General Patton. By the second day the public demonstrations began to dissipate. They came to an end when football co-captain Mike Ingram announced to the crowds through a police loudspeaker, "They're not going to change their minds. We might as well face it. We're not going to the Rose Bowl. Go home before somebody gets hurt." There were a few boos, whereupon the husky Ingram pulled out his last stop. "The team did all the damn work!" he said. "If we can accept the decision, you certainly can. You college kids leave and let the police pick up the high school kids hanging around." Telephone calls excepted, that was effectively the end of anarchy in Columbus.

Hayes paid a steep price for doing the right thing. Opposing coaches used the faculty’s vote against him in the recruiting process, and Ohio State descended into a period of relative mediocrity for much of the ‘60s, as some recruits stayed away from Columbus for fear of missing out on publicity and future Rose Bowl trips. It wasn’t until 1968 that Hayes’ program fully recovered from the ramifications of the infamous ‘61 faculty decision, but when it did, there sure was hell to pay.

But what about the feud between Hayes and Fullen, now in the open for all to see at the end of 1961? Hayes later pressed the attack, “I’m going to learn why... [Fullen] representing the university has so much power.” Fullen, on the defensive, put up a good fight. He commented on one good result from this bowl-or-no-bowl issue:

“Because of the violence and intensity of the reaction [in Columbus] local writers proudly labeled the Rose Bowl controversy as the biggest story emanating from [the city] in 1961. Story is right. It reads like fiction and as far as real issues were presented, it was.  . . many more thousands of thoughtful persons are taking another look at the imbalance in Big Time institutions of Higher Learning and Entertainment.

Therein lies higher education’s hope. 'Know ye the Truth and the Truth shall make ye free' never had a more significant ring than in this deplorable situation.”


Fullen and Hayes would continue to exchange barbs, but Fullen was steadily losing ground in his quest for a semblance of sanity in the athletic department. Blocking the 1962 Rose Bowl bid had been an attempt to reassert academic priorities at OSU. That the faculty’s action succeeded for only a very brief period of time dramatically pointed out where the real power of the university resided.

In the spring of 1962, Jack Cole, a wealthy Dayton businessman, formed the Committee for the Advancement of OSU. "Advancement" was essentially defined as “to get rid of Fullen.” Four new positions were open on the alumni’s board of directors. Cole’s committee candidates won all four seats, further diminishing Fullen’s strength.

This panzer-like movement became complete in the fall of 1962. Newly-elected faculty council members, with inside support from the athletic department, voted 36-20 to accept the next Rose Bowl bid when invited. The revolt against the football machine was over. The anti-football faction of the faculty was again entombed; its partisans subdued.


Fullen continued to roar, but few people listened. He hung onto his position until his retirement in 1967. A beaten man, Fullen later reminisced, “We lost the Rose Bowl battle and we lost the war to scale down the program. . . . The big loser is [the] Ohio State University . . . the sideshow is still the main attraction and the stuff under the tent is of secondary importance.”

Fifty-four years later, the events at Ohio State in late 1961 still seem almost unreal, especially in light of what football has become in the decades since. The frenzy and insanity of college football has escalated to unimaginable heights and is reflected no better than in Columbus. We can safely say that we will never again witness a major college football scenario such as the one involving the Buckeyes and their decision to reject the bid for the 1962 Rose Bowl.

In conclusion, we have to say that the faculty council indeed displayed courage regarding such a volatile issue. But it turned out to be a one-off, an aberration.. King Football would soon dominate again at Ohio State and most other major schools across the land. We’ll let you decide on the merits of that outcome.

(Among other footnotes from that 1961 season, The Football Writers Association would name the Buckeyes as the number one team, though OSU would finish a close second behind Alabama in the final UPI and AP Polls. As for Minnesota, it would win the 1962 Rose Bowl over UCLA, 21-3...and the Golden Gophers haven’t returned to Pasadena since.)



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