Morning Briefing

USC Coach Pines for Lonesome Highways

September 06, 1987

USC football Coach Larry Smith, on the difference between living in Los Angeles and Tucson, where he coached at the University of Arizona:

"The biggest adjustment is, when you get into work at 6:30 or 7 in the morning, sometimes you're already full of stress and anxiety from being on the freeway.

"You've got to be able to come in the door, sit down at your projector in the morning at 7 o'clock and think football. And if you've been dodging cars, bullets and everything else, who knows where your mind might be? You might have to have four or five cups of coffee to settle things down and get the shakes out of your fingers."

Sounds like a great recruiting pitch, doesn't it?

Apparently, there's no room for sentiment in big-time college sports. After years of faithful service, the Nebraska football team's mascots, Harry and Herbie Husker, won't be lumbering along the sidelines this season.

Harry Husker, whose huge, fiberglass cowboy head has been worn at games since 1974 by members of the Corn Cobs, the student spirit organization, has been retired. And Herbie Husker, Harry's fuzzy, bug-eyed sidekick in bib overalls, is being redesigned.

The new look for Herbie, now the official university mascot, has him looking more like the burly, blond plowboy that appears on everything from souvenir Nebraska drinking mugs to Cornhusker toilet seats.

According to an athletic department spokesman, Harry was retired because he was the the subject of many complaints.

"He was ugly, among other things," the spokesman said.

Hypocrites-of-the-week Award: From Cedar Falls, Iowa, comes word that a poster showing members of the University of Northern Iowa women's volleyball team, outfitted in ties, tails, shorts and nylons, has raised a few eyebrows. Some say that the poster, titled "Dressed to Kill" and showing eight players around a white luxury convertible, should have been done differently because it was "showing women as sex objects."

But senior Mary Bernhardt said she and her teammates were the ones who suggested the idea because they wanted a classy poster that reflected the quality of the team, which qualified for the NCAA tournament last year.

Besides, she said, the women are wearing more clothing in the photo than they do during matches.

Can't argue with that logic.

New York Yankee owner George Steinbrenner continues to be upset at Boston Manager John McNamara for not giving Dave Winfield a rest in the All-Star Game.

Winfield's performance has dropped off since, and Steinbrenner has deemed that every mention of Winfield's slump in the Yankees' pregame press notes include the phrase, "Since playing all 13 innings in the All-Star game . . . "

Don't expect Steinbrenner to give it a rest.


Former major leaguer Bob Uecker: "I could tell the difference between a fastball and a curve in total darkness. Lots of people laugh, but a good fastball would raise a welt about eight inches. A curve, only two."

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