All day yesterday the television news showed the same replay around the country - that unforgettable sequence of Ohio State Coach Woody Hayes grabbing a Clemson player, spinning him around and striking him full force in the throat.
A shiver, the coaches call it. An illegal blow, even when the opponent starts off facing you.
Hayes blow and subsequent firing sent a shiver through college football across the country, a shudder that struck every Big Ten official in Los Angeles at the Rose Bowl, from Commissioner Wayne Duke on down.n Particular, it shook Bo Schembechler, Hayes' No. 1 adversary as Michigan coach, and a former assistant under Hayes at OSU.
"I wasn't shocked. I was saddened. I just wish that his great career had not ended in this way," said Schembechler. "I wish we could avoid dwelling on some of his indiscretions . . . this is a guy who's had a tremendous career. He overwhelmingly has done more good than harm.
"But there's certainly a good lesson for all of us in this," said Schembechler, who always has blended friendship into his adversary relationship with Hayes. "I don't think anyone understands the enormity of the pressure of coaching college football today . . . it's constant pressure . . . I'm not condoning what Woody did, but nobody but another coach knows how much you keep inside.
"You think about a guy who's at the end of a great career . . . maybe he's not winning as many as he's expected to. He has critics everywhere . . . he sees it all slipping away from him," said Schembechler, his voice trailing off, not specifying if he meant just the Clemson game slipping away in the Gator Bowl or Hayes' whole career.
Commissioner Duke, who in 1977 placed Hayes on probation for one year after the angry coach struck a sideline TV cameraman in the groin, issued a formal statement for the Big Ten.
The statement offered "regrets and apologies for the incident" to Clemson, the Gator Bowl and the Atlantic Coast Conference, but did not censure Hayes.
"It's an institutional matter," said Duke.
"It's an institutional matter," said Duke.
At NCAA headquarters in Shawnee Mission, Kan., a spokesman said it was unlikely the NCAA would take any further action since its rules "aren't specific with regard to the action of coaches. These matters are left to the institution itself to take care of."
While there are ethical conduct rules for coaches, the spokesman said, they traditionally have been applied only in cases when there are violations of NCAA rules.
At the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Alabama Coach Bear Bryant said, "I'm certainly saddened by the circumstances (of the firing). Woody is a warm personal friend. He has meant a great deal to football for a long time and football has been his life. . ."
Penn State Coach Joe Paterno remarked, "I'm upset-not because he's a good friend of mine, but I'm upset because he's a good football coach and after 28 years of hard work he's got nothing. . ."
Don Canham, Michigan athletic director, commented, "I only saw replays of the incident, but it was flagrant. I think this is the first time in history that a coach has struck a player. The action taken by the Ohio State adminstration was far more than anything the (Big Ten) conference could do."
"He was a victim of his own emotion," said Nebraska Coack Tom Osborne. "I think what happened last night is unfortunate. College football is supposed to be something more than win at all costs."
John Robinson of Southern Cal said, "I would think little of those who would gloat over it. Tragedies happen to all of us in our lives. When you decide to judge anyone, you've got to measure the good he's doen in his life with the bad. People judging a situation like that can become very cruel. I know this man has done a lot of great things."
John Fuzak, former NCAA president and faculty athletic representative at Michigan State, said, "It's really too bad. Woody's had a great career as a coach. You hate to see this kind of thing happen . . . It's unfortunate that the pressure becomes too great to win. I really feel sad about the whole thing."Clemson's rookie coach, Don Ford, said he was sorry Hayes was fired for striking the player, Charlie Bauman.
"I would have settled for an apology," he said.