GRIFFITH CLEARS BADGERS TAMPERING WITH PROS
JANUARY 22 (Chicago) - Maj. John L. Griffith, athletic commissioner of the Western conference, said Saturday that the evidence presented to substantiate charged that Big Ten teams were bidding against professional clubs for the services of pro football players did not bear out the accusations. Griffith, in a lengthy statement answering George Strickland, spokesman for the NFL, said he found that neither the University of Wisconsin nor the University of Iowa had "offered some of our pro players the same salary they were getting in our league to play for them," as Strickler reportedly stated. Although Strickler did not accuse Wisconsin of directly offering Ted Fritsch, Green Bay Packers' fullback, "a monetary inducement to enroll at the school," he said someone "on the outside" had done so, Griffith said. In the other case, involving Dick Aschom, former Oregon State tackle who was drafted by the Detroit Lions, Griffith said Aschom had asked Slip Madigan, Iowa coach, about the University of Iowa medical school, and was referred to school authorities at Iowa City. Aschom, who was not under contract to Detroit, did confer with medical school officials at Iowa City, Griffith aid, "but not the slightest evidence has been produced to indicate that anyone had bid against the Detroit football team in an effort to subsidize Aschom."
PRO LEAGUE TO OPERATE WITH 11 TEAMS IN '44
JANUARY 14 (Chicago) - The NFL's first round of shadow boxing for the 1944 season came to a peaceful conclusion yesterday afternoon at the Blackstone hotel. As matters stood when the delegates made a rush for home-bound trains, the league will operate next fall as an 11-team unit, in contrast to the eight which took the field in 1943. In 1930 there were 11 teams in the league and back in 1926, 21 clubs participated. The lineup of teams puts six in the east and five in the west, as follows: East - Washington, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Brooklyn; West - Bears, Cardinals, Green Bay, Detroit, Cleveland. Last season there were four teams in each group - New York, Washington, Phil-Pitt, Brooklyn in the east and the Bears, Cards, Green Bay and Detroit in the west. Three franchise applications - Buffalo, Los Angeles and San Francisco - were tabled. Representatives of the two coast cities were given back their checks of $25,000, which must accompany franchise requests. However, the $25,000 guarantee plunked down by Sam Cordovano, spokesman for the Buffalo syndicate, remained in the league treasury. At the next league meeting April 19 in Philadelphia, the Buffalo matter likely again will be considered, contingent on the war situation at the time. The league officials and club owners agreed that professional football for the coast is somewhat in the future because of war conditions. It was pointed out that even if the European war shortly ends, the concentration of men and material in Californian for the big push against Japan would be so terrific that football in that sector would be out of the question. Cordovano said that Buffalo, if granted a franchise in April, would be willing to operate, but only the finish of the war in Europe would make this possible. Significantly, the league set only a starting date for its next huddle - April 19. At this meeting the schedule for 11 teams will be drawn and experience has convinced Commissioner Elmer Layden that labors on it cannot be measured in hours or days. An 11th team further complicates the schedule. At the April meeting each team will draft 30 plays, a total of 330, if the 1943 pattern is followed. Last year's selection of 300 graduating collegians netted only 23 recruits, many of whom were in military service before the season closed. It was the consensus of the delegates that any player whose class graduates before Labor Day will be eligible for the draft and to compete in 1944. Official action will be taken on this at the Philadelphia conference. Under the league's rules, Boston will select last, or 11th, in the draft, although there is a possibility the club owners will make a concession to the new member. The Chicago Cardinals, who failed to win a single game, will pick first, Their choice will likely be Pat Harder of Wisconsin and the Marines. Boston would like to put a finger on Angelo Bertelli, a Massachusetts boy, would would be a big drawing card. Bertell also is in the Marines. A slight revision was made in the not-so-odd rule which prevents a team trading its top two drafted players until they have been with that team one year. It was changed to read that the players must participate with the team selecting them for one season. Thus football draftees who will not play until the war's end must return to the club which drafted them and play one season.
MICHALSKE NAMED TO FULL-TIME COACHING JOB
FEBRUARY 10 (Green Bay) - A.M. (Mike) Michalske, former Packer star, has been named head football coach at Iowa State college on a full time basis. He took the coaching job there in the middle of the 1942 season, succeeding Ray Donels. In 1943 Iowa State tied for second place in the Little Six conference with Missouri. Michalske played fullback at Penn State college where he received a bachelor of arts degree in 1928. As a guard for the Green Bay Packers he won All-America professional honors six times. He was an assistant football coach at St. Norbert 1940 and 1941.
DON HUTSON WON PRO TITLE FOR 4TH YEAR
FEBRUARY 23 (Chicago) - Don Hutson, who will serve as coach for the Green Bay Packers next season instead of regular end, is due to make news in 1944 because he won't be the NFL's scoring champion. Under the "man bites dog" definition of news, it was nothing unusual today when official league statistics showed that Hutson once again had copped the scoring crown for the fourth consecutive year with 117 points in 10 games. Hutson is the only professional gridder ever to score more than 100 points in a season and the only lineman to win the honor. His 36 conversions and three field goals gave him a 45-point margin over Bill Paschal, the New York Giants' rookie fullback who won ground gaining honors. Both Hutson and Paschal had 12 touchdowns. Harry Clark, Chicago Bear halfback, finished third with 60 points, while fourth place ended in a three-way tie between Andy Farkas and Wilbur Moore of Washington and Harry Hopp of Detroit with 54 points each. Hutson, as usual also led in touchdown passes, while Paschal paced the league in touchdowns by rushing with 10. Bob Snyder of the Chicago Bears finished ninth in scoring without making one touchdown. Snyder set a new season record by kicking 39 conversions and marked up a new game record by booting eight extra points against New York November 14.
NEW YORK POST FOR RED SMITH
FEBRUARY 29 (New York) - Richard (Red) Smith, former New York Giant quarterback and line coach of the Green Bay Packers for the last nine years, Tuesday signed as assistant to Steve Owen, New York Giant coach. Smith, who resigned his Green Bay duties last December, will coach the Giant linemen, with Tuffy Leemans in charge of the backs. The new Giant coach started play in the NFL as a guard for the Packers in 1927 after a two year collegiate career with Notre Dame. Although he has been connected with the circuit in some capacity virtually all the time since, he also found time to coach the Seton Hall and Georgetown University basketball teams, spend three seasons with the New York baseball Giants and Boston Braves as a catcher, manage the Green Bay entry in the Wisconsin State league and serve as coach for the Milwaukee Brewers.
URAM, PACKER BACK, TO ENTER NAVY
MARCH 16 (Minneapolis) - Andy Uram, 29, former All-America halfback at the University of Minnesota and star of the Green Bay Packers, will report for duty with the Navy before the end of the month, Fort Snelling induction officials reported today. Uram, who is married and the father of a daughter, played with the College All-Stars before joining Green Bay.
LAMBEAU TO ASK PRO LEAGUE FOR DRASTIC PENALTY
MARCH 29 (Chicago) - A change in NFL rules assessing drastic penalties for out of bounds kickoffs will be advocated at the league's rules committee meeting next month by Curly Lambeau of the Green Bay Packers. Lambeau said Wednesday that booting the ball over the sidelines - intentionally or accidentally - slows up the game and deprives fans of one of the game's greatest thrills - the kickoff return. He will propose to the committee that the receiving team not be permitted to put the ball in play but the defensive team must kick several times if necessary, until it kicks within bounds. For each out of bounds boot a penalty would be imposed.
NEW PRO CIRCUIT IS PLANNED, NOT BEFORE '45
APRIL 1 (Pittsburgh) - Representatives of professional football interests in ten cities are expected here tomorrow to lay the foundation for a post-war transcontinental grid circuit to go into operation as soon as manpower and transportation facilities permit. Roland D. Payne, Pittsburgh sportsman, who arranged the meeting, said planners from New York, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Washington, San Francisco, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Seattle would attend. He said the league did not expect to operate before the 1945 season, and added that it might be a year later before the interested parties could assemble teams, depending on progress of the way.
NEW PRO LOOP IS ORGANIZED
APRIL 3 (Pittsburgh) - Organization of a postwar transcontinental airborne professional football league was virtually completed Sunday when representatives from eight cities elected temporary officers to handle operations until a permanent setup is perfected, possibly at a December meeting. Certificates of participation in the league, as yet unnamed, were issued to representatives from New York, Seattle, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Washington. The Baltimore and Washington representatives did not attend the meeting but confirmed by telephone their desire to be included in the league. Roland D. Payne of Pittsburgh, named temporary chairman, said it would operate in competition with but not in opposition to the NFL. Payne said it was not planned to start play until manpower conditions permitted organization of teams of such character "that the class of football will be major league." This would mean after the war or not earlier than 1945, he added. Payne said the league hoped to draw upon former football stars now in the armed services for many of its players.
CONSIDER HONOLULU FOR NEW PRO GRID LOOP
APRIL 8 (Pittsburgh) - Roland D. Payne, Pittsburgh businessman and chairman of a tentatively organized new professional football league, announced that he has received a telegram from A.J. Brickner of Honolulu asking that a team from Honolulu be considered for membership. Payne said the inquiry will be considered when the league members meet later this year for the purpose of forming a permanent organization. At a meeting here last week, "certificates of operation" were granted to representatives from Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Baltimore, Washington, Seattle, New York, Cincinnati and Philadelphia. The league would begin operations after the way.