Sadly, Colorado finds fifth down irresistible

The Inside Stuff

October 12, 1990|By Bill Tanton

BOO OF THE WEEK goes to the University of Colorado and its football coach, Bill McCartney, for not only accepting but grabbing a win over Missouri gained on a fifth-down final play that should not have been run. Said McCartney: "In no way do I apologize." Fifty years ago Cornell beat Dartmouth on a fifth down. When the films showed that a mistake had been made, Cornell's Carl Snavely called Dartmouth coach Red Blaik, conceded the game and congratulated Dartmouth on its victory.

That's the way it should be, with colleges and universities showing the way. If McCartney had done what Cornell did a half-century ago he would have been a hero and Colorado would have covered itself with glory. This shows how far back we've gone from the days when honor meant even more than a victory.

Navy athletic director Jack Lengyel admits that Colorado's action "gives college football a black eye." When the Middies coach George Chaump was asked what he'd do if he won a game on an illegal fifth down, he said: "Against which team?" Army, he was told. Said Chaump after looking at Lengyel: "That one might go all the way to the Pentagon."

* Blast owner and would-be Baltimore NFL franchise owner Ed Hale told the Locust Point Second Thursday Club at J. Patrick's yesterday that he's growing more pessimistic about this city's chances of getting back in pro football. "St. Louis," Hale said, "has people putting money up already and going forward. The only person who can put together a unified ownership group here is the governor. Maybe next month after the election."

* A Baltimore woman, Janet Hatfield, is really coming into her own in her third year as a professional on the triathlon circuit. ZTC Last weekend she won a race in Phoenix on Saturday, then flew to Los Angeles Sunday and won a race there. Hatfield, daughter of Valley Inn owner Bud Hatfield, will compete in the nationals Sunday in Las Vegas.

* How smart is Dave Cottle? Very, says former Loyola College lacrosse star George Thomas, noting that the coach who led Loyola to the NCAA championship game last May has his team booked into the Carrier Dome for a game with Syracuse a week from tonight. Says Thomas: "The Final Four will be played at Syracuse next season. If the Greyhounds are in it, which they probably will be, they won't be awed by the dome because they will have played there." Tomorrow Loyola plays UMBC and Johns Hopkins meets Towson State in the Choice-Visa fall tournament at UMBC.

* Akron football coach Gerry Faust is remembered as the great high school coach who flopped at Notre Dame, but he's 5-0 against Navy and could go to 6-0 when he brings Akron to Annapolis tomorrow. Since moving up from Division I-AA to I-A, Akron has recruited a bunch of Proposition 48 players who have just become eligible. They'll all go against Navy, which is struggling (2-3) anyway.

* One player the Orioles should never let get away -- and never will -- is relief ace Gregg Olson. This year he finished with either a win or a save in 43 of the Orioles' 76 wins. Where would they have been without him?

* How would you like to lose your first five games and then come home for six straight games -- amid speculation that your sport might be dropped? That's the situation Towson State football coach Phil Albert is in as he sends his Tigers against James Madison at Minnegan Stadium tomorrow at 7 p.m. Through it all, Albert has remained amazingly positive. I hope his courage in the face of adversity is not lost on his players, all of whom will face problems in life after football. They should be learning from the coach.

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