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Morning Briefing

Strikeouts Turned Givins to Football

October 21, 1986

Take me out of the ballgame, Ernest Givins said when he gave up baseball. Givins, a rookie receiver for the Houston Oilers, lost his love for baseball when he struck out twice in one high school game. "I thought I was that bad," Givens said. "I didn't realize until later he (the pitcher) was that good." Givins' two strikeouts came against a youngster named Dwight Gooden.

Trivia time: Arizona State beat USC, 29-20, at the Coliseum last Saturday after beating UCLA, 16-9, at the Rose Bowl three weeks ago. When was the last time the same team beat both USC and UCLA in the same season on their home fields?

Fame is fleeting: Frank Kush, former coach of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts and the USFL Arizona Outlaws, hasn't held a pro coaching job since the USFL folded.

But recently, Kush, who is still paid by Outlaw owner Bill Tatham Jr., was helping some beginning football players in a Pop Warner program.

Kush reports: "At one point, this one little guy looks at me and says, 'Hey, that's not a bad idea. Have you ever coached football before?' . . .

"I told the kid, 'You had better listen to me. I'm the highest-paid Pop Warner coach in the country.' "

A Trojan said it: Pat Haden and Verne Lundquist were the CBS team on the telecast of the Rams' game to Detroit Sunday. During a commercial break, Lundquist noted that the 49ers and Atlanta were in overtime and wondered, off the air, about the NFC West standings.

"OK, now," Lundquist said, "if the Rams and 49ers both win, there's a three-way tie for first place, right?"

"Right," Haden replied.

"What happens if the 49ers and Atlanta wind up in a tie?"

"UCLA goes to the Rose Bowl," Haden said.

The Austin Red Sox? University of Texas baseball Coach Cliff Gustafson is glorying in the recent performances of his former players. And he's drooling at the way it should boost recruiting.

Red Sox pitchers Roger Clemens and Calvin Schiraldi led the 1983 Texas Longhorns to the national championship, and shortstop Spike Owen was a two-time All-American who signed a professional contract after the 1982 season.

Gustafson said: "I thought at the time Clemens was here, and I said this back then, that (Burt) Hooton was the best college pitcher that I had had or seen, but I thought Clemens was the best major league prospect we had had."

Hooton, a former Dodger, now works three days a week helping Gustafson with Longhorn pitchers.

(Funny, but Gustafson didn't say much about Red Sox designated hitter Don Baylor, a graduate of Austin's Stephen F. Austin High School, where he hit .500 as a senior but was passed over by Texas recruiters.)

Trivia answer: It has never happened before.


UCLA forward Reggie Miller, whose wisecracks and flamboyant antics on the court brought him some trouble last season, says it will be different this season: "Now I want to play like a Russian--coldblooded, stone-faced, an executioner."

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