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USD's Day Cleans Up This Season : Torero Free Safety Tackling Tough Stains, Opponents

October 09, 1987|CHRIS ELLO

SAN DIEGO — It's the end of football practice, and Brian Day, the University of San Diego's starting free safety, is peeling off his sweat-soaked, grass-stained uniform.

Other players shower, change clothes and file out of the locker room into the cool evening. They are off to study or grab some dinner.

However, Day stays. Now he really has to clean up.

Meet Brian Day, not only USD's free safety, but also resident laundry man.

Day gathers a pile of dirty practice uniforms and puts them in the washer. This matter of cleaning everyone's uniforms will take about four hours.

Which brings up a few questions.

Is this any way to treat a guy who was a two-time all-state linebacker as a high school player in Nevada?

Is this any way to treat a guy who is a junior and is one of the cornerstones of a USD defense that has shut out three straight opponents?

Is this any way to treat a guy who is second on the team in tackles and first on the team with three interceptions in four games?

"Usually, we have a freshman do the laundry, and then after a while, he'll get tired of it and we have to find someone else," USD Coach Brian Fogarty said. "But Brian actually wanted to do this job."

The job, which pays $4 an hour, is a necessity for Day, because USD, a NCAA Division III school, does not give football scholarships.

"I took the laundry job because I can study while I work," he said. "My dorm is only a couple of minutes away from the laundry room. So I can study for a while and then go over and throw some more clothes into the washer. It's like a study break."

This summer, like the previous two summers, Day had a more glamorous job in his hometown of Las Vegas. His mother, Carol, works at the Flamingo Hilton there, and she helped him land a job as a lifeguard at the hotel's swimming pool.

"The pool's only four feet deep all the way around, so there's not much to do but sit there," Day said. "I can't complain with that."

Most of the time, though, Day doesn't do much sitting.

He has this dream about becoming a rich stockbroker some day.

"I'd definitely like to see how it feels to have a lot of money," he said.

While he was growing up, with his three older brothers and one older sister in Las Vegas, his family never had much money.

He played football for fun and concentrated on his studies, getting good grades and scoring near 1,100 on his Scholastic Aptitude Test. He played football well enough to draw the interest of Stanford and Notre Dame, but because he was 5-feet 11-inches tall and weighed 175 pounds, Division I schools didn't think he would be big enough to play linebacker.

Harvey Hyde, the Nevada Las Vegas coach who had been Fogarty's coach at Pasadena City College, suggested that Day try USD or Occidental College in Los Angeles.

Day had never been to San Diego. He did not visit the campus until he arrived in town the morning of his first practice in 1985.

"From the first day he got here, I could tell he was just a real hard worker," Fogarty said. "He didn't say much but just let his effort do the talking. He's the same way today."

As a freshman, Day filled in for USD at both safety spots, cornerback and some outside linebacker.

This season he got a starting role, and so far, he has cleaned up, contributing 29 tackles and three interceptions.

"Nobody wants to be the one who breaks down and ends our scoreless streak," Day said.

The Toreros have not given up a point in 12 quarters, and the streak will be tested again Saturday night when USD plays at home against Azusa Pacific.

"It has to end sometime, and I know it won't be the end of the world," Day said.

There are more important things. As a business/economics major, Day is more concerned with maintaining his grade-point average, which is 3.8.

"After I get out of school, I'm looking forward to going out and making money," Day said.

And at a better rate than $4 an hour.

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