Stealing signals, spying are part of college football lore
Darrell Royal and Frank Broyles admitted they stole each other's game signals during their epic rivalry. Royal accused former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer of sending a spy to Texas' practices in the 1970s. From cheap shots in pileups to cleats that were too long, here are some college football cheating anecdotes.
The Spy Game1976 -- Oklahoma vs. Texas:
Former Texas coach Darrell Royal accused then-Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer and his staff of sending a spy to closed practices at Memorial Stadium.
Mixed SignalsSpring 1977:
Frank Broyles says he still talks with Darrell Royal every two weeks; they have been friends for 53 years. At one point, they regularly vacationed together -- but they never talked about the specifics of their epic series against each other as the coaches at Arkansas and Texas, respectively.
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|The epidemic of cheating in sports isn't so much about the athletes, coaches, commissioners or even sportswriters who let it happen. It's about the fans. How much more can you take? You've read the stories and answered the polls, and now it's time to let your voice be heard. Join the ESPN Conversation and tell us what you think about the past, present and future of cheating in sports. Maybe you think we're overreacting. Maybe you think Barry Bonds should go to jail. Maybe you think professional sports needs to adopt a zero tolerance policy. We want to hear your thoughts, ideas and emotions. Selected comments will be included in a Friday story that will conclude Cheat Wave '07.|
Psychology 101September 1990 -- Rutgers:
A former defensive lineman, who played at Rutgers in the early 1990s, told ESPN.com it was not uncommon for athletes to play head games to gain an edge over their opponents. "A former teammate, a defensive tackle/nose guard, spit on the football, pre-snap, while it was in the hands of the center," the lineman said. "While it didn't cause any issues -- somehow the center snapped the ball successfully -- it freaked him out for the rest of the game, and the nose tackle definitely got into his head. "The whole spitting thing is now actually a penalty since Bill Romanowski spit in a player's face on 'Monday Night Football.' Football players will do anything for an advantage."
Cast CallOctober 1992 -- Rutgers:
"I played with a player in college who played with a broken hand and wore a cast," the Rutgers lineman said of another former teammate. "It eventually healed, but he would wear the cast on his hand on game days to use it as a club. "It's a flat-out example of cheating. And maybe it has become part of the game, but that's still cheating. Players won't say that they are cheating when they do certain things, and rarely will teammates call them out for it. Players will wear casts and hard objects and tape over them so no one sees it."
If The Cleat FitsJan. 2, 1996 -- Tennessee vs. Ohio State in the Citrus Bowl:
Ohio State coach John Cooper accused Tennessee of using "illegal cleats'' in its 20-14 victory. NCAA rules limited the length of the cleats to a half inch, but Cooper told The Columbus Dispatch the Vols used three-quarter-inch cleats.
Cheap ShotsOct. 11, 2003 -- Ohio State vs. Wisconsin:
Ohio State linebacker Robert Reynolds put a choke hold on Wisconsin QB Jim Sorgi, knocking him from the game in the third quarter of Wisconsin's 17-10 victory.
-- Gannett News Service
I SpyApril 2006:
A West Virginia student was caught spying at a Marshall practice. The student was confronted April 11 after he was spotted sitting in the bleachers at Edwards Stadium, taking detailed notes in a notebook. According to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he claimed he was from Alabama-Birmingham, a Conference USA foe of Marshall. He then changed his story and said he was a student reporter. Police searched him and found office and cell phone numbers for each Mountaineers football coach. "First thing, they'd have to re-introduce themselves to the kid," Marshall athletic director Bob "Kayo" Marcum joked in the Post-Gazette. "They acted like they didn't know him." "I've seen the notes myself. I don't think [Marshall] will design plays such as that," West Virginia athletic director Ed Pastilong told the Post-Gazette. "There wasn't much to them. I don't think he was very experienced at what he was doing." ESPN.com's Pat Forde and Ivan Maisel contributed to this story.
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MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
CHEAT WAVE '07
Over the next two days, ESPN.com examines the recent wave of sports cheating and assesses the damage done to our trust in the games we watch. Cheat Wave
Perspectives• Drehs: Answer to cheating lies within
• Future cheats: Stem cells and gene dopers
• Helyar: When owners cheat owners
• Fish: Jose Canseco's online pharmacy primer
• Merrill: Playing unfair at the fair
• Vote: Are the rules of golf golden?
Introduction• Drehs: Cheating raises serious questions for sports
• Forde: We love 'em and can't leave 'em
• Timeline: Hot Spots Through the Years
Your Voice• Vote: Are you a habitual cheater?
• Vote: What does cheating mean to you?
Baseball• Crasnick: Call it cheating, or call it gamesmanship
• Neyer: Baseball's top 10 cheaters of all time
• Thompson: Shoeless Joe's redemption
• SportsNation: What separates cheating from strategy?
• How do you cork a bat?
• Dale Murphy chat wrap
Football• Chadiha: Players look to gain an edge almost any way they can
• Notorious image sticks with Raiders
• Cheating anecdotes: College football
• SportsNation: Cheating or gamesmanship?
Basketball• Thorpe: It's survival of the fittest in the NBA
• Cheat Wave: Pushing the Envelope
• Cheat Wave: Pushing the Envelope 2
• David Thorpe chat wrap
• Cheating anecdotes: College basketball
• Thompson: Point-shavers, a half-century later
NASCAR• Newton: Cheating might be a dirty word, but so is losing
• Blount: Cheating in NASCAR? You be the judge
• Newton: Evernham forces NASCAR's hand
• McGee: Bill France Sr. vs. the mob
Hockey• Burnside: The NHL's cheat sheet
• Burnside: Competition committee is league's best line of defense
Page 2• Zumsteg: "Cheater's Guide to Baseball"
Tennis• Garber: Players police themselves in tennis
• Inside the ATP Gambling Scandal
Golf• Harig: Golf's honor code limits 'cheating' incidents
• Sobel: Ten famous rules invocations in golf history