Page 10 -The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, November 18, 1987
Coaches blast Bucks N
for booting bruised t
Bruce; Bo bitter i
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By SCOTT G. MILLER
While fired Ohio State football
coach Earle Bruce staunchly defended
himself yesterday, a long list of
coaches expressed outrage at the
"I didn't win as much as Earle
(lid, and I lasted 10 years," said
former Buckeye basketball coach
Eldon Miller. "So I feel pretty good
Ohio State dismissed Miller two
years ago despite only one losing
season in 10 years. Miller attributes
Bruce's firing to poor leadership at
"Bruce's departure speaks to
specific leadership. In this case, that
leadership stands for nothing. I don't
know who made that decision.
"historically, Ohio State has
operated with a good perspective on
intercollegiate athletics a n d
O T H E R Big Ten football
coaches arc worried Bruce's firing
reveals a bad perspective in college
athletics. In his nine years as
Buckeye head coach, Bruce is second
to Michigan head coach B o
Scheinbechler in conference victories
and possesses a 80-26-1 overall
"I think we may have sent a
message to all of college football
that winning is, in effect, the only
thing, and to win at all cost and at
all times," said Northwestern head
coach Francis Peay.
"Bruce's record is impeccable,"
said Wisconsin head coach Don
Morton, "so you just start to
wonder. You begin to realize there is
no coach in America who can stand
up to the expectations of a naive
"(Bruce has) done everything in
my judgment that a top football
coach ought to do," s a i d
Schembechler. "I think this has done
irreparable damage, particularly to
Schembechler feels coaches are
becoming front men for t h e i r
programs. He added that coaches,
like politicians, must be too
concerned with their image and
"Most of us would just like to
coach football and our kids,"
Unfortunately for Bruce, he lacked
strong public relations skills. Fans
and alumni who did not like his
personality, or lack thereof, waited
for his team to slip before
expressing their displeasure. Even
with his team's 5-4-1 record this
season, Bruce still cannot understand
"I'm an Ohio State Buckeye. I
have a great record. I've coached with
integrity. I'm proud with the job
I've done at OSU," said Bruce.
"Other coaches have had one bad year
and seemed to make it through. I
don't know why we couldn't make it
through one bad year."
BRUCE'S affiliation with Ohio
State spans four decades. He was a
student, assistant coach, and then
head coach. Bruce injured his knee in
his freshman season, and then
Buckeye mentor Woody Hayes
convinced him to enter coaching. He
has been a coach for the last 33 years
and a head coach for 25 of those
Despite Bruce's bad experience,
his plans to continue coaching. "I'm
a doggone fine football coach," he
said. "I love to coach, and I'm going
to coach some time, some place."
Some time soon Ohio State will
hire a new coach. And as Schern-
bechler said, "The uproar will die in
a month. The new coach will come
in, and the process will start all over
But the memory will linger for
Bruce and other coaches who have
similar experiences. "I've been
through that personally at SMU
many years ago," said Iowa head
coach Haden Fry. "It's very
"I don't want to say anything
(about Bruce's situation), or I'll have
to clean my language up."
Ohio State football coach Earl Bruce walks off the Ohio Stadium field for
the last time after Saturday's loss to Iowa. On Monday, Bruce was fired,
effective after Saturday's game against Michigan.
e Darren to be Different
'a4 BY DARREN JASEY
OSU administers death blow
to Bruce, football program
Head coach Earle Bruce declared last Oct. 10 Ohio State football's
darkest day. His Buckeyes lost to Indiana, 31-10, for the first time since
1951, dropping their record to 3-1-1.
He was wrong.
Monday was the darkest day for Buckeye football. In fact, it was the
darkest day for Ohio State University.
The Buckeyes not only lost their football coach, and athletic director
Rick Bay, but, most importantly, they lost respect as an educational
institution in the process.
The dismissal of Bruce was shocking mainly because of its poor
timing, and the absurd manner in which the University's upper brass
The Buckeye coach was probably expecting a fond farewell some
time after the football season anyway. As a Woody Hayes disciple and
an Ohio State graduate he deserved to be treated with honor and respect.
Instead, the Buckeyes slung mud in his face.
School president Edward H. Jennings, under pressure from the
school's board of trustees, fired Bruce two-and-a-half hours after Bruce
told the press that he would be back to turn the Buckeye program
around next season.
The dismissal occurred after athletic director Rick Bay said Ohio
State would honor the final year of Bruce's three-year contract next
Jennings also ignored Bay's disapproval of the decision, forcing the
athletic director's subsequent resignation.
Incredible. The president of the largest University in Ohio - a man
who supposedly maintains the educational well-being of the University
- fires the football coach against the wishes of his athletic director.
Something is wrong deep in the
state of Ohio.
Furthermore, the coach in
question boasts an 80-26-1 record
while maintaining a clean program
over nine years, is the second
winningest coach in the Big Ten,
and has coached the Buckeyes to four
In fact, Bruce and Nebraska's
Tom Osborne were the only coaches
in the country to win at least nine
games in the eight seasons prior to
In his first campaign, Bruce led
Ohio State to an 11-1 record and was
one point away from a national
championship. In six subsequent Bay
seasons he finished 9-3, followed by
a 10-3 record in 1986. resigned
This year the Buckeyes are 5-4-1 heading into the season finale in
But Jennings said he fired Bruce for personnel reasons and not
because of his poor record this year. Bruce doesn't buy either reason.
"My boss Rick Bay didn't say anything about personnel reasons,"
Bruce said. "I don't think I was fired because of personnel reasons.
Check my personnel records. That would be most interesting."
Said Iowa head coach Hayden Fry: "I have no idea what motivated
the decision to fire Earle. Power structure today leads to decision
making. Decisions are not made by one man. Jennings probably was
Most likely it was Bruce's lack of charisma that led an
overwhelming amount of Ohio State fans and alumni to call for his
release. Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler, Bruce is not.
But it is disgusting to think that fans, alumni, and members of the
University's board of trustees must have been privately rooting for the
Buckeyes to lose to give them a reason to let "old 9 and 3" go.
Those within the Buckeye athletic program, andthe rest of the Big
Ten, will not soon forget this ridiculous move. Jennings, the
figurehead, may take more heat for this move than Bruce ever received.
"As a guy who worries about the profession and where we are going,
this is a problem," said Michigan head coach Bo Schembechler.
Bay's classy resignation as Ohio State's athletic director may enable
him to take over for Don Canham at Michigan, but if Jennings ever
becomes available, Michigan will gladly look elsewhere for President
Harold Shapiro's replacement.
GP GA Avg Pct.
Mich. St. (8-3-1) 8
Lake Sup. (9-2-1) 7
W. Mich. (7-5) 6
MICHIGAN (6-6) 6
B. Green (6-4-1) 5
Ferris St. (4-7-1) 4
111.-Chicago (4-6) 4
Ohio State (4-4-4) 2
Miami (4-8) 2
Horn, WM U
, WMU 10 12
irle, LSS 10 12
ette, LSS 1 0)I1
,en, FS U 1 1 10
,BGU 10 8
rry, BGU 10 9
eyn'ds, MSU 12 5
rson, OSU 10 0
erford, OSU 10 9
n, UOM 12 9
Io,WMU 10 5
h, BGU 10 3
son, BGU 1.0 7
)r, LSS 10 6
ibo, LSS 10 4
aughey, UOM12 8
)uraq, FSC 1 2 8
wood, UOM 12 7
n, UIC 10 7
Bowling Greenaat Ferris State
Lake Superior at UIC
Miami at Ohio State
Western Michigan at Michigan
* U.S. National Team vs Michigan
(at Joe Louis Arena)
Bowling Green at Ferris State
Ohio State at Miami
Lake Superior at UIC
Michigan atWestern Michigan
*U.S. National Team at Michigan
* signifies non-conference matchup
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