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Johnson Apologizes for Behavior of Miami's Players at Fiesta Bowl

January 14, 1987|Associated Press

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Miami Coach Jimmy Johnson apologized Tuesday for his football team's behavior leading up to the Fiesta Bowl and promised to take steps to prevent such attention-grabbing incidents.

Johnson said he will request stricter off-field supervision of the players and will implement a dress code.

"It's something that I've given a lot of thought to primarily because we had an 11-1 football team, we went through an undefeated regular season and yet it was one of the most trying and frustrating years of my coaching background," he said.

Johnson, just back from the Japan Bowl, said he discussed the situation with Athletic Director Sam Jankovich and university President Tad Foote on Monday. He said he had decided to implement the new standards before the meeting, and Jankovich and Foote supported him.

Included in the incidents to which Johnson referred were:

--Many of the players arriving in Phoenix a week before the game wearing battle fatigues;

--The entire team walking out of a dinner held for the Hurricanes and the Penn State players after defensive tackle Jerome Brown took the stage in what was supposed to be a skit and asked, "Did the Japanese sit down and eat dinner with Pearl Harbor before they bombed it?"

--Several players appearing at a Fiesta Bowl luncheon wearing warmup outfits.

--Players exchanging insults with Penn State fans at Sun Devil Stadium immediately preceding the Jan. 2 game, which the Hurricanes lost, 14-10.

"I did hear (in Japan) that there was some negative publicity and I was embarrassed about it," Johnson said. "(The players) are good people. They just used poor judgment at times."

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