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Newswire

December 16, 1987

A report in a Massillon (Ohio) newspaper saying that USC football Coach Larry Smith had agreed to become the coach at Ohio State University drew an angry denial from Smith.

Smith was recruiting in Southern California when he heard the report on his car radio. He stopped at a roadside phone booth, called Tim Tessalone, USC's sports information director and said:

"Listen, I am not interested in the Ohio State job, nor have I talked to anyone from Ohio. I have no intention of taking that job, and I have no intention of leaving USC. Is that clear?

"I'm really upset about this. . . . First the rumors last week, and now to have them continued this week. Those rumors are totally false and totally unfounded."

Citing an unnamed source in Ohio, the Massillon Evening Independent reported: "A job offer has been made and accepted (by Smith)."

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