Louisville fan vents some frustration

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 26, 1999

My computer is still smoking from an e-mail from an obvious Louisville Cardinal football fan.

An irate Gary Straub sent an e-mail that must have found the desk of every newspaper in Mississippi, judging by his content.

Straub, who needs to learn that Southern Mississippi is USM, now SMU, is steaming over Southern Mississippi’s fourth down trick play in which Eagle head coach Jeff Bower pretended to be chewing out wide receiver Shawn Mills, who was still on the field.

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Punter Jamie Purser then lobbed a perfect pass to Mills, who never left the field and dashed off down the sideline as the ball was snapped. Mills gained 26 yards, setting up a 27-yard field goal with 1:07 to play to give the 14th-ranked Golden Eagles a 30-27 win over Louisville and the conference championship.

Straub writes:&160;”The actions of SMU (sic) were a disgrace. I would think that a football state would be revolted to have a coach and major Mississippi University besmirch college football the way the cowardly, cheating, deceiving SMU team who could not win fairly has done. Is this the way football is played in Mississippi?

“That this coach actually participated in a acting tirade while hiding his player among a long line of players on the sideline was a pure player deception act. This coach says he asked the officials before the game on the legality. It would be interesting to know if the coach also told them that he would be doing an acting tirade on the sideline at a player facing away from the field inches from the line hidden among other players on the sideline.

“Has the coach been asked this by any media? I bet not. This was not a legitimate punt fake but the act of filthy thieving b******* who have learned that to not play by the rules and CHEAT!! is a worthy goal in life. Are you and Mississippi proud of this?”

First of all I thought this was funny coming from a fan of a school which has been investigated a number of times for basketball infractions.

Second of all, Gary, it was a great play and you just weren’t ready for it. Personally, I was proud of the creativity.

I wonder what your reaction would have been had your coach come up with it.

If Bobby Bowden used it at Florida State, everybody would be sitting around and saying, “There goes ol’ Bobby again. He’s the best at those types of plays.”

Can you imagine Bowden letting Florida coach Steve Spurrier know he’s going to play Peter Warrick at quarterback?

I guess if Southern Miss would have lined up in the Notre Dame Box, you would have wanted them to let the defense know who was going to get the ball?

Another thing, Jeff Bower is one of the classiest coaches in the business.

He goes up against the toughest competition in the country and doesn’t even think about cheating. You will find very few coaches who do more with less than what Bower has done at USM.

I did ask former collegiate official Andy Pressgrove about the play and he said there is a substitution deception ruling, but he wasn’t sure if this particular play would have been illegal.

Andy promised to get back as soon as he talks with one of his former supervisors.

Either way, Gary, I’ll be sure to let you know the outcome. And I’ll leave the name-calling to you.

Joey Martin is sports editor of The Democrat.He can be reached by calling 446-5172 ext. 232 or at joey.martin@natchezdemocrat.com.