Where to begin? Before I left on my trip, I found the most amazing place. A place that will just give you books! For free! All you have to do is promise to bring them back. And not just any book, they have old books, out of print books. That is right-the library.
So I checked out a copy of A Payroll to Meet: A Story of Greed, Corruption, and Football at SMU, by David Whitford. I suppose I could have paid up to $31.76 on Amazon.com for a used copy.
Here is my abbreviated book review. It is a good book; it is an easy read. It is as much a history of Dallas as it is of SMU and SMU football. The money, the power, the speed at which things got done in old Dallas. I regret not buying it. I’ll do a thorough review later, but here are a few things jumped out at me, reading the book today:
1) There is a sense, by me anyway, of “That is it? That is all they did?”
2) This is how you defend yourself against an NCAA investigation: First, hire your own lawyers and conduct your own investigation. Second, issue a lopsided report and sanction yourself for about 1/10th of the stuff you did. Third, don’t cooperate at all with the NCAA. If you do that, you can get away with anything.
3) The decision by Gov. Clements, almost unilaterally, to continue payments, has to be considered one of the stupidest decisions in the history of SMU. Even dumber than the Mustang Maniac.
4) Ron Meyer’s recruiting strategy was not that different than Bennett’s today. Meyer focused almost exclusively on Texas and Texas kids.
5) SMU’s history is tied to football. The day that classes started, the football team was organized. Coach Ray Morrison was the second person hired by SMU; was probably the first fired. The first SMU President, Dr. Robert S. Hyer, understood the importance of football.
6) The discussion of academics and football consists entirely of four sentences in a 200+ page book. So, when people talk about how academic reforms were necessary after the death penalty, think about that. There was not one single allegation of any academic impropriety.
I could go on, and I will …later.