PACKERS LAND HUNTER, SWITZER, FLECK IN NFL DRAFT
JAN 28 (Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Strengthening themselves where they were weakest in 1953, the Green Bay Packers today grabbed off last season’s two most prized college tackles and a swift halfback in the first two round of the NFL’s annual draft meeting in the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel here. After the talent-laden Cleveland Browns had won the bonus choice and snapped up quarterback Bob Garrett of Stanford, the Packers selected Art Hunter, Notre Dame giant rated as the No. 1 collegian tackle in the nation, as their first pick. Then, collecting a fat dividend on a trade with the New York Giants last fall, they acquired the Giants’ first choice, halfback Veryl Switzer of Kansas State. New York earlier had dealt defensive halfback Val Joe Walker to the Packers under terms of the Galiffa deal. In the second round, head coach Lisle (Liz) Blackbourn made off with an unexpected prize, Bob Fleck, huge Syracuse tackle. He and Hunter were rated the finest in the country at their positions and Blackbourn hadn’t expected Fleck to last out the first round. Continuing their search for talent to bolster the line, the Packers picked George Timberlake, University of South California guard, in the third round. Green Bay’s fourth selection was fullback Tom Allman of West Virginia’s 1954 Sugar Bowl eleven and the fifth was Max McGee, Tulane’s halfback. Allman, 6 feet and 210 pounds, reportedly is an excellent blocker and good pass receiver. McGee, a rangy 6-3, 200-pounder, is considered an outstanding pass receiver and Blackbourn says he will be converted to offensive end to fill the hole left by the departure of Clive Rush, who today signed as an assistant coach at Dayton university. The Packers acquired Allman for the Baltimore Colts in payment for quarterback Dick Flowers, traded to the Colts last fall. The Packers’ own fourth pick went to Washington for halfback Johnny Papit. They also will lose their sixth choice to the Detroit Lions in exchange for tackle Gus Cifelli, who came to Green Bay during the 1953 season…Hunter, only the third player in Notre Dame history to play three positions in three years, and the mountainous Fleck are figured to give the Packers help where they need it most – at offensive tackle. Another prime requisite, in Blackbourn’s estimation, was a speedy halfback and he feels that he had him in Switzer, tabbed a 190-pound “Buddy Young”. The 5-11 Kansas State Negro was far and away the outstanding running back in the East-West Shrine game at San Francisco New Year’s Day. Timberlake, a 6-1, 220-pound specimen, starred for Southern California against Wisconsin in the 1953 Rose Bowl game. He is a veteran of three seasons on the Trojan varsity. In Hunter and Fleck, Blackbourn acquired 500 pounds of tackle. Hunter, who was once employed at end by Notre Dame coach Frank Leahy because of his speed, stands 6-2 and scales 240 pounds. Fleck, who plays middle guard on defense and will be the biggest the Packers have had at that position since Ed Neal, also is 6-2 but carries 260 pounds. Explaining why he had passed over Kentucky’s highly regarded Steve Meilinger, Blackbourn said, “I feel that Switzer will do us more good. Judging by the films of last year’s games, the Packers were hurt because they lacked a really fast back, Meilinger is a fine football player, but he couldn’t help us in that respect.” The Packers were able to land both Hunter and Fleck because only one other tackle was chosen in the first two rounds. He was Dick Chapman of Rice Institute, drafted by the World Champion Detroit Lions. The Packers bypassed Chapman after they learned he is independently wealthy and an atomic physicist – and thus probably would not be interested in playing pro football…Cleveland’s success in the bonus draw came as no surprise here. It merely followed the pattern of previous years in which the “halves” invariably have come up with the plum, much to the dismay of the “have nots”. A year ago, the San Francisco Forty Niners hit the jackpot and took Harry Babcock, Georgia end. In 1952, the then champion Los Angeles Rams came up with Bill Wade. The year before, the New York Giants, at that time battling the Browns for the Eastern Conference championship annually, landed Kyle Rote, and in 1950, the Lions picked Leon Hart. The already-quarterback rich Cleveland team took Garrett apparently either as insurance for the aging Otto Graham or as trade bait to strengthen other positions. Speculation already is ripe here that Coach Paul Brown will deal away either Graham’s understudy, George Ratterman, or Garrett before the start of the 1954 season. Oddly enough, three of the other four teams (Pittsburgh, Chicago Cardinals and Baltimore) engaging in the bonus grab needed quarterbacks to strengthen their clubs. All were on record as seeking a passer and all were far below Cleveland in the standings last season…Working with Blackbourn at the Packer tackle were Scout Jack Vainisi, Assistant Coaches Tom Hearden and Ray McLean, General Manager Verne Lewellen and President Russ Bogda. Press, radio and TV representatives also sat in on the session for the first time in NFL history.
PACK DEALT BLOW BY SIGNING OF RUSH AS DAYTON U. AIDE
JAN 28 (Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) – Packer Coach Lisle Blackbourn received an unexpected blow last night when the news broke that end Clive Rush had been signed as an assistant coach under Hugh Devore at Dayton University. “We had planned on him to play plenty of end next fall, and maybe some defensive halfbacking,” Liz said, adding “looks like we’ll have to go for an end now fairly early in the draft – that’s one position we weren’t worrying about.” As if the news from Dayton wasn’t bad enough, Blackbourn had just heard a talk by Bob Snyder, the National league’s Man-Against-Canada, at Wednesday night’s meeting. Snyder told the delegates that Canadian clubs had contacted and made offers to just about every top football player in the country. This pointed up to Blackbourn that the Packers might possibly have to bid against Canadian teams for the players they want, which reminds of the war against the All-American conference. This Canadian thing is on a minor scale, of course, but there’s no question but what the northerners could possibly hurt the Packers. In the last four years of Canadian war, the Packers have lost only one top-drawer draft choice – Bob Gain, the Kentucky tackle who was the Bays’ No. 1 pick in 1950. Gain never should have been allowed to get away. Reportedly, the difference between Green Bay and the Canadian club was only $500. Blackbourn, in giving considerable thought to the problem of signing these players, “Once we draft ‘em.”…The winner of the bonus choice is another story but it is interesting to note how the Browns felt about Bobby Garrett, the great Stanford quarterback, last night – 12 hours before the draft started. Coach Paul Brown had arranged specific meetings with the other four bonus-eligible clubs (Green Bay, Baltimore, Chicago Cardinals and Pittsburgh) for the purpose of talking trade. That would indicate what Mr. Brown thinks of Mr. Garrett…The Packers have seven representatives at the 1954 parley. Besides Packer Coach Blackbourn, there are President Russ Bogda, General Manager Verne Lewellen, Assistant Coaches Tom Hearden and Ray McLean, Scout Jack Vainisi and Attorney F.N. Trowbridge. Gene Ronzani, former Packer head coach, is here, presumably looking for a job. Commissioner Bert Bell gave out some lovable attendance figures last night. In 72 league games last fall, the league drew a record 2,164,585 fans – an increase of 112,489 over 1952. The increase boiled down to 5.2 percent or 1,500 per game. The ’53 mark represents an increase of 45 percent since 1945. Pro football is here to stay!
RYMKUS, MCLEAN NAMED PACK AIDES
JAN 29 (Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Green Bay Packers’ coaching staff today was complete with the announcement by Head Coach Lisle Blackbourn that Lou Rymkus, former Notre Dame and Cleveland Brown tackle, has been named line coach and Ray (Scooter) McLean as his third aide. Tom Hearden, former St. Norbert college strategist, had been appointed backfield coach Jan. 9. Indicating his pleasure over securing the services of Rymkus and McLean, Blackbourn said, “This arrangement will give us a more flexible staff since McLean will be able to perform more duties than an end coach.” He originally had planned to complete the staff with line and end coaches. Like Hearden, Rymkus and McLean will be employed the year-around in Green Bay and Rymkus will take up permanent residence in the home of the Packers. McLean has been a Green Bay resident since joining the Packer staff. Rymkus, who comes to the Packers with glowing recommendations, played seven years of professional football, six with Cleveland and one with the Washington Redskins, and enjoys the distinction of having played in the championship game each of those seven seasons. A graduate of Chicago’s Tilden Tech High School, where he was a member of the varsity for three seasons, Rymkus later starred at Notre Dame for three years, 1940-41-42, and was named the team’s most valuable player as a senior. After spending the 1943 season with Washington and playing against the Chicago Bears in that year’s title game, Rymkus entered the Navy in 1944 and played for Bainbridge, Md. In 1945, he was transferred to Pearl Harbor and in the fall of that tear was stationed at Notre Dame, where he was tackle coach under Hugh Devore, a Packer aide in 1953. Rymkus joined the Browns in 1946 and played six seasons in Cleveland, retiring after the 1951 season. In the spring of 1952, he was an assistant to Bernie Crimmins at Indiana University, but remained out of football in the fall of that year. Last season, he served as line coach under Bob Snyder with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian league. Born Nov. 6, 1919, Rymkus presently makes his home in Cleveland, but he said he will sell his home there and move to Green Bay. He is married and the father of nine-year-old sons, Pat and Mike. McLean, who came to Green Bay in 1951, will be returning for his fourth season. Backfield coach the last three years, it is expected he will be assigned other duties for 1954. Scooter, who scouted the North-South, Orange and Senior Bowl games for the Packers, played college football at St. Anselm’s in Manchester, N.H., where he was a standout. He also competed in track, hockey and baseball there. One of football’s fastest halfbacks, he later played eight years with the Chicago Bears, during which time he was a member of four championship teams. Upon retiring from the gridiron, McLean became head coach at Lewis College in Lockport, Ill., serving from 1948 to 1950, before joining the Packer staff in ’51. McLean, born in Lowell, Mass., on December 6, 1915, is married and the father of a year-old son.
DRAFT GIVES 'STRONG LINE'
JAN 29 ((Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) – The Packers had the makings of powerful line today – one that Coach Lisle Blackbourn hopes will restore Green Bay as a passing power in the NFL. “We came here looking for a strong line and we believe we have made a step toward that end,” Blackbourn commented early this morning after the league completed its 19th annual college player draft in the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel. Out of a possible 29, the Packers selected 19 linemen – or two-thirds of the entire list – in an effort to give Babe Parilli, Tobin Rote and company the protection they need to make the club’s passing and running game click. Actually, the bulk of the protection is concentrated from tackle to tackles – the men who keep the inner sanctum clear. The Bays landed eight tackles, four guards and one center – 13 men who average better than 230 pounds…The tackle crop is headed by Art Hunter, the club’s No. 1 choice from Notre dame. Hunter, a 240-pounder with speed, specializes in offense and he can go at center or guard. In the No. 3 slot, Bob Fleck, the 260-pound offenser from Syracuse and also an experienced middle guard. Those two add up to 500 pounds alone. The seventh and eighth choices contained 460 pounds of tackle – Sam Marshall, the Negro All-American from Florida A. and M. and 220-pound Jim Williams, also a kickoff man, from Texas Tech. The country’s other Negro All-America tackle, 235-pound Bill Buford of Morgan State, was nailed on the 22nd round. To round out the tackle picnic, Blackbourn grabbed Jack Smalley, 225 pounds, of Alabama; Ralph Baierl, a 220-pound junior from Maryland; and darkhorse Jerry Dufek, the highly recommended 215-pounder from St. Norbert College. The Packers went high for their first guard – the No. 3 pick – to get George Timberlake, 220, from Southern California, who likely will replace Army-bound Dick Logan. On the No. 13 round, Mike Takacs of Ohio State, the best pro line prospect there, came to Green Bay…The Packers gambled on their third guard, highly publicized J.D. Roberts of Oklahoma, on the 17th round. Roberts obviously at 210 pounds is too light for the pros, but Blackbourn is hoping he’ll regain the extra weight that made him a 220-pounder as a junior. The fourth guard was Lowell Herbert, at 215, who impressed Blackbourn when his Marquetters played College of Pacific last fall. The 13th man in the tackle-to-tackle corps was the second Ken Hall the Packers drafted, a center from Springfield, Mass., College, who packs 220 pounds on a six-foot frame. He was the only center selected – in the 19th round. The other Ken Hall, by the way, is an end from North Texas State, who packs 200. The Bays picked up six ends – not counting halfback Max McGee of Tulane, who will be switched to offensive end. McGee is a long distance receiver and has a quick takeoff. Three of the ends specialize in defense – Hosea Sims, Blackbourn’s former grid pupil at MU, who was chosen in the 27th round; 24th choice Marv Tenefoss, a 210-pounder from Stanford; and big Gene Knutson, the 225-pounder from Michigan who hails from Beloit. To help fill the shoes of departed-to-coach Clive Rush and give Bob Mann and Bill Howton a run, besides McGee, are Dave Davis, a 210-pounder from Georgia Teach; Oregon’s Henry Barnes, who soars 6-5 and packs 215 pounds; and the Texas Hall…Besides a line, Blackbourn said before the draft, “We’ll go for that one top back and a fullback with some weight.” He was able to accomplish the backfield phase of that mission – to some extent at least – in the first four picks. The top back turned out to be Veryl Switzer, the 190-pound Negro flash from Kansas State. Like most of the other picks, Switzer is a strong two-way player. He was an All-American as a defensive back as a sophomore and junior and last year, because of the one-platoon system, developed easily into an all-Big Seven offensive back, too. He scored two TDs in the East-West game and outplayed all of the more publicized stars. The Giants picked Switzer – at the Packers’ request – in the first round to complete payment for Arnie Galiffa. For a fullback with some weight, the Packers latched onto Tom Allman of West Virginia, a 210-pounder highly recommended by Dave Stephenson. Allman is a powerful blocker for the passer, a strong runner and good pass receiver. For FB-weight variety, Michigan State’s barrel-legged Evan Slonac was chosen in the 28th round. He packs 175 pounds on a 5-8 frame and carries powerful legs. The Bays grabbed two good-sized halfbacks in Bill Oliver, 190, of Alabama on the 12th round, and Desmond Koch, the nation’s leading punter from Southern California. Koch, who packs 205 pounds, averaged 44.7 on 22 punts. The other halfback named was Art Liebscher of College of the Pacific, who carries 180 pounds on a lightning-fast pair of legs…The Packers came up with a good darkhorse in a quarterback – one Clint Sathrum of St. Olaf’s national small-college phenoms. Clint is a cross between at 6-1, 195. He’s a good passer and quick with the handoff. He led St. Olaf to an unbeaten season, most yards and most points in the nation. Sathrum, selected on the 23rd round, was recommended by Bernie Heselton, Lawrence college coach whose team played against St. Olaf’s. To round out the QB competition, the Packer pickers – Blackbourn, Jack Vainisi, Ray McLean and Tom Hearden – grabbed Terry Campbell of Washington State on the 30th round. Campbell is a lanky sort at 6-2, 172. The consensus around the draft room was that Green Bay had made an excellent draft for the simple reason that the Packers had been able to fill the positions where they needed strength – especially by doing so in the first eight rounds when the really top-notch boys were still available. Blackbourn said that each boy selected will be officially informed by telegram today. Contacting the athletes already has started in some cases. No time will be lost in going after Hunter, who is being haunted by Canadian representatives.
OTHER CLUBS THOUGHT LIZ HAD SLIP WITH 'X' ON BONUS PICK
JAN 29 (Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - For one fleeting fraction of a second, the delegations from the 12 precincts in the NFL thought Green Bay had won the bonus choice here Thursday. And the gentlemen from Packerland suffered a missed heartbeat. After picking numbers for drawing positions, Pittsburgh and Baltimore drew blank slips (the slip marked with an X is the winner) out of a hat suspended by Dennis Shea, league treasurer. Coach Liz Blackbourn, drawing ion the No. 3 slot for the Packers, was confronted with three slips in the hat, the others being for Cleveland and the Chicago Cardinals. Blackbourn pulled out a slip, turned to face Commissioner Bert Bell as he opened it, looked down at the slip and then hesitated for a fleeting moment. You got the impression that Blackbourn couldn’t believe his eyes at the sight of an X. He handed the slip to Bell, who coldly called forth Cleveland to draw. All of which meant that the Packers didn’t win. Harold Sauerbrei, new publicity director for the Browns, did the picking for the Browns. As expected and predicted in your favorite newspaper two weeks ago, the rich Browns got richer. Tim Mara, owner of the New York Giants, quipped a moment later, “That’s one time the Browns didn’t need Groza to win something.” The Packers’ draft room luck didn’t stay bad however because the Giants won the flipoff with Baltimore, which meant the Packers got two consecutive first round picks, second and third; otherwise they would have drawn second and fourth. Before the draft opened, Bell recited the draft rules, and then urged the clubs to cooperate with each other on eligibility. “Everybody will benefit if you speak up when a club picks an ineligible player,” he said. Five of the players drafted a year ago were ineligible, and thus thrown into this year’s draft. One was Baylor’s Bill Lucky, who was picked by Green Bay. Lucky was picked in the fifth round yesterday by the Browns. The press, admitted to the draft for the first time in history, sweated along with their respective clubs – in a separate section of the room. The early rounds “drug” on something fierce. Finally about 3:15 in the afternoon, after only eight rounds had been completed, Bell said, “Look, boys, we’ll be here until 4 or 5 o’clock Friday morning; let’s speed it up.” In the earlier rounds, some of the clubs deliberated as long as 20 minutes on a single pick…Packer Capt. Bob Forte watched the draft with the Miller Brewing Company delegation and said he was pleased with the Bay picks. Bob may play after all next fall. He had told friends earlier that he “might retire.”…Weeb Ewbank, new head coach of the Baltimore Colts, found himself in an unusual position during the draft – at the Cleveland Browns’ table. When Coach Paul Brown “permitted” the Colts to hire Ewbank, one of the contract stipulations was that Ewbank work with the Browns on the draft. Brown was afraid Ewbank would take some of his secrets to Baltimore. The Colts’ draft was handled by former Coach Keith Molesworth, who, of course, got his instructions from Ewbank…The first University of Wisconsin player chosen was halfback Roger Dornburg – in the 13th round by Washington. Badger Coach Ivy Williamson said in Green Bay last fall that “the pro crop was extremely thin last fall.” Several of the nation’s top All-America players went way down the line. Pittsburgh drafted Paul Cameron, the great UCLA runner-passer, in the eighth round. Paul Geil, the Minnesota whiz who told everybody he plans to play baseball, was nailed by the Bears in the ninth round. Washington got Menominee’s Billy Wells in the 15th round. The Packers drew a few “ohs” when they selected J.D. Roberts, the Oklahoma lad who made just about every All-America, in the 17th round. The Packers took him in hopes that he might gain some weight. J.D. played at 220 and 225 as a junior…There is plenty of trade talk here. The Browns, with Bobby Garrett, may barter George Ratterman – possibly to the Cardinals. Detroit wants Tank Younger in a bad way from Los Angeles. Washington owner George Marshall has been handing around the Detroit table, with trade in his eye. The Redskins have fullbacks to burn and the Lions could use any one of them…Writers here are assuming that Ray McLean will remain as a member of the Packer coaching staff. That’s a good assumption. Ray and Scout Jack Vainisi worked closely with Coach Blackbourn during the draft. The others, Blackbourn, Verne Lewellen, Russ Bogda and Tom Hearden, were in on their first draft. You can rest assured that the four “newcomers” became “veterans” in a hurry and conducted themselves in excellent fashion.
SELECTION BY PACKERS CHEERS DUFEK, UNDERGOING OPERATION
JAN 29 (Green Bay) - Dufek’s selection comes at a time when the 23-year old Milwaukee native would be facing an otherwise bleak day. He was admitted to St. Vincent Hospital at 7:45 last night and was to undergo an operation today. The 6 foot 2 1/2-inch tackle was sidelined with a knee injury in the 1953 Great Lakes-St. Norbert game. The minor operation is to correct a defect in the knee cartilage. Dufek’s prowess became known early to his past and future coach, Tom Hearden. Coming to St. Norbert from Milwaukee Boys’ Tech, he starred on two undefeated Knight teams, 1950 and ’52. He left college at the completion of the 1950 season for a hitch with the Marines, serving one year in Korea. The 220 pounds lineman at one time had participated in 16 consecutive winning games with the Knights.
NFL REWARDS BELL WITH 12-YEAR PACT
JAN 29 (Philadelphia) - The NFL rewarded commissioner Bert Bell with a new 12-year contract Friday. But Bell turned down a raise in pay. The commissioner receives the comfortable salary of $30,000 a year, plus a $10,000 annual payment into a pension fund for him. And he pointed to the unusual costs to the league in the last few years as the reason for turning down the increase. Bell said the league had spent $200,000 in the past two years to settle its affairs in connection with defunct Dallas club, payments on a lease on Yankee Stadium by the equally defunct New York Yankees, settling the Baltimore tangle, where one club was moved out and a new franchise later was issued, and on the costs so far of defending the government's anti-trust television suit. All that was done without an assessment against the clubs. With more still to be paid in connection with the TV suit, Bell figured that even the television-inspired prosperity of the clubs might not stand a further drain on the league's treasury. Eventually, the club owners voted down by a 7-5 margin a proposal designed to prevent piling up on a downed ball carrier and let a couple of other suggested changes die. The reading of the league's financial report showed attendance increased 45 percent from 1945 to 1953 and 35 percent between 1949 and 1953. In a night session, the club owners narrowly rejected a proposal to increase the player limit to 35 men for each club, instead of the present 33, and to abolish the "injured reserve" list.
PACKERS LAUNCH 'SIGNING DRIVE'
JAN 30 (Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - The Packers have been moving right along since the new regime stepped in. We got that impression last night in reviewing the Packer meat of the 1954 NFL convention at the Bellevue Stratford Hotel. Actually, Coach Lisle Blackbourn has been behind the Packer wheel only since Monday, Jan. 11 - the day he fought snow and wind in a drive up from Milwaukee to officially take over in place of Gene Ronzani. He was appointed head coach Jan. 7. Only 18 days have passed since he took active command, but in that short space he has (1) evaluated the needs of the Packers through a thorough study of the 1953 Packer films, (2) decided that the club's No. 1 need is a big, strong line, (3) drafted 29 players to help correct that deficiency, (4) rounded out his coaching staff with the appointment of Lou Rymkus as line coach and Ray McLean as assistant, and (5) already launched the huge task of contacting the draftees and free agents. Blackbourn, Backfield Coach Tom Hearden and Scout Jack Vainisi left here early today for Green Bay and a short breather Sunday before plunging into their player-signing hunt. McLean went east to contact a number of prospects. The 29 players the Packers drafted were officially informed by telegram today. The wire, sent to each player, follows: "Welcome to the Green Bay Packers and the NFL. Everyone is happy you are to be with us. We have been world champions six times. Having you with us is a step toward another championship era. Will contact you soon."...ARRANGE FOR TALKS: The No. 1 task is signing the No. 1 draft pick - tackle Art Hunter of Notre Dame - one of 19 linemen whose main job is to bolster the Packers' front wall. Arrangements for contract talks with Hunter were started yesterday afternoon. Blackbourn and his aides went into a huddle yesterday noon and spent the entire afternoon and part of the evening in his room, calling players they had drafted as well as free agents. Meanwhile, President Russ Bogda and General Manager Verne Lewellen sat in on the league seasons. This procedure points up the Packers' new program - the coaches handling the coaching and player details and Lewellen and Packer officials working into the various business phases of the club. Thus, Liz can put all of his thoughts into the coaching and player phase without getting tangled into such things as television, radio, etc. Blackbourn wasn't revealing the progress made with talks with players yesterday but it can be reported that he was in a happy frame of mind, along with Hearden, Vainisi and McLean, last night. Blackbourn kept receiving glowing reports about Max McGee, the six-foot-three-inch, 203-pound halfback from Tulane, drafted No. 5. The Packers' coach said during the draft that he intended to make an offensive end out of McGee and "from what I've been hearing about him, he might be just the kind of big, offensive end we're looking for." The Bay coach talked with, among others, his No. 3 draft choice - guard George Timberlake, the 220-pounder from Southern California. Timberlake was told that he was needed at a certain position and "he told me, 'I can take care of that situation for you'," Blackbourn said...Plenty of work is being done on the Packer non-conference schedule by Lewellen and Bogda. Dates, opponents and places aren't ready to be announced yet, but it was indicated that the Packers will play six non-loop games next fall. All games will be played against Eastern Conference teams. Bell swears the league schedule won't come up for discussion in closing sessions today. Club representatives are quite happy to let their commissioner handle the entire card. The schedule setup won't change. Each club will play home and home with each club in its own division to furnish 10 contests. The other two games will be against two different opponents in the opposite division...Football is threatening to replace tennis as the sport of gentlemen. The NFL Friday joined its amateur brethren, the NCAA, in appealing to the better nature of its mayhem-minded behemoths. The appeal was in conjunction with players faking injuries in the late minutes of the first or second half in order to stop the clock and save valuable time for possible scoring maneuvers. Commissioner Bert Bell introduced a measure aimed at regulating such histrionics. Portly Mr. Bell would have his officials run off 15 seconds on the clock in the last two minutes of a half or of the game whenever a player injury or disqualification crops up. The officials would act only when the game is tied or the offensive team is behind. But despite their vote of confidence in the commissioner - a new 12 year contract - the owners disagreed with Bell. They voted to "remind coaches to remind their players of the gentlemen's agreement pertaining to no faking of injuries in the last two minutes of the half or of the game." The NCAA, in convention at Cincinnati recently, did the same thing. The NFL executives in the third day of their annual meeting also agreed to retain one of the pro league's bread and butter rules despite its contribution to the injury list. A few owners would eliminate the rule under which pro ball carriers can get up and run even after they are tackled. The reason, of course, is to limit piling on and resulting injury to highly paid chattels. The suggested revision would have made the ball dead after the defense makes contact with the runner and any part of the latter's body, except his hands or feet touch the ground. The crowd loves to see a man hit and then have him get up and run again, the owners agreed, adding that it's one of the features that distinguishes the pro game from the college game. Other rule changes which failed to see the light of day included elimination of the extra point and a sudden death period in the event of a tie.
RYMKUS, NEW PACK ASSISTANT, CARRIES NICKNAME OF 'BATTLER'
JAN 30 (Philadelphia-Green Bay Press-Gazette) - Lou Rymkus, the Packers' new line coach, carries the nickname, "Battler". Notre Dame Coach Frank Leahy pinned it on him when Rymkus came out of a game back in '42. Lou had played 58 minutes and when Leahy grabbed his hand on the sidelines he said: "Lou, you're a battler." That's the way he was with the Browns, too, Cleveland newspapermen and club representatives said here yesterday. "Both of his knees were patched up; they looked like mummies, but he went full speed in every game and during practice," the Brownies said. This may sound like a recommendation for a player, but it represents the sort of spirit Coach Liz Blackbourn hopes Rymkus will instill in the Packer line. As a player, Rymkus has experienced just about the limit in success. He was a two-way regular as a rookie with Washington in 1943, and fought in the playoff against the Bears that year. In six seasons with the Browns, he never missed getting into the playoff. He averaged 50 minutes in his first three Brownie campaigns, 1946-47-48, and served as offensive captain in 1950-51. His experience at Calgary under Bob Snyder was tough. "We had Frankie Albert (former Frisco quarterback) early in the season, but he was hurt and we had nothing left," Rymkus said yesterday. But his experience in the Canadian League makes Rymkus sort of an official Packer campaigner against the Canadian setup. He can give the Packers prospects the exact picture of playing in Canada and, judging by the way Lou talked, we can't see how a United Stater can prefer playing up there over a team in our land. Rymkus was sought by former Packer aide Hugh Devore at Dayton University and there was considerable speculation that Weeb Ewbank wanted him in Baltimore. Weeb was Rymkus' coach at Cleveland. Lou coached the tackles under Devore when the Bay line coach was stationed in the Navy at Notre Dame in 1945. Lou had called Cleveland his home, but "I'm going to sell my home and move up to Green Bay; it's a year-round job, you know." He's married and has twin 9-year old sons, Pat and Mike...Commissioner Bert Bell drew some laughs from the pressmen when he said, "The extra point was humiliated for no second and my sudden death period was humiliated for no motion." Bell, for years, has been trying to sell the clubs doing away with the extra point and installing a sudden death system of deciding tie games. "It might take ten years, but I'll keep bringing up that extra point and sudden death."...Two of the former head coaches, who resigned since the 1953 season, are in the market for work. Steve Owen, who left the New York post early in December, has cut himself loose from the NY front office. Gene Ronzani, the former Packer, could possibly get a backfield job with Pittsburgh or Chicago Cardinals. Baltimore is also looking for assistants. Keith Molesworth, former Colt head coach, now has a white collar job with the same club. Also here in a hunt for jobs are Paul Bixler, former backfield coach at Penn; Otis Douglas, the combination trainer-line coach from Baltimore; and Bob Snyder, one time head coach of the Los Angeles Rams and assistant with the Packers. Snyder, who had been on the payroll of the league as an anti-Canada agent, says he expects to "land something with a league team."
PLAYING THE GAME (WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL)
FEB 1 (Madison) - One of the mysteries of the NFL draft remains the case of Oklahoma's J.D. Roberts. Here was a guard who was practically a unanimous All-American choice, was named as "Lineman of the Year" by both Associated Press and United Press, was the outstanding lineman in the Orange Bowl game. The Green Bay Packers got him as their 17th choice. A total of 194 players had been drafted by league clubs before Green Bay picked up the 5-10, 210-pound Oklahoma star. The only explanation that makes sense is that Roberts let it be known that he might play professional football.