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Sports Then and Now



William & Mary Reminds Us That College Basketball is Really a Business 0

Posted on March 13, 2019 by Dean Hybl
In 16 seasons as men’s basketball coach at William & Mary, Tony Shaver won more games than were won in the 20 seasons prior to his arrival.

It seems like a day doesn’t go by this time of year without another reminder that college athletics is really a major business that likes to pretend it is something more noble and altruistic.

Full disclosure that today’s example is a bit personal and especially frustrating for me because it involves a former colleague who has spent his entire career representing all the positive attributes that college sports supposedly are about.

After 16 years of success that is unparalleled in the history of William & Mary men’s basketball, the college has decided to part ways with 65-year-old head coach Tony Shaver.

In a statement, Athletic Director Samantha Huge said that “We have high expectations for our men’s basketball program, including participating in the NCAA tournament, and we will not shy away from setting the bar high. Now is the time to begin a new chapter in William & Mary basketball.”

That sounds all well and good, but what Huge seems to not understand is that prior to the arrival of Shaver, “high expectations” for the men’s basketball program basically meant double-digit victories every few years.

Read the rest of this entry →

Waiting for the Weekend: Paying Your Dues 1

Posted on January 15, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Tony Romo has earned star status in the NFL despite being undrafted out of Eastern Illinois.

Tony Romo has earned star status in the NFL despite being undrafted out of Eastern Illinois.

In this era when multi-million dollar contracts are often lavished on players and coaches who have done little to justify such riches, there are still examples out there of people who are enjoying success after paying their dues.

Below are the stories of a player, coach and a broadcaster who are all now enjoying the fruits of success after taking the tough road to glory.

Wearing The Star

There are some that think because Tony Romo is the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys and received lots of recognition long before he won a playoff game that he has been handed success.

In reality, that perception couldn’t be further from the truth.

I would argue that there have been very few superstar quarterbacks in NFL history who have overcome as many obstacles to success as Romo.

Consider that of the eight quarterbacks still in the NFL Playoffs, four were selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, two were selected in the second round and the other two (Warner and Romo) were undrafted free agents.

Warner is the ultimate underdog story and his tale has been told many times over the last decade, but Romo’s rise from obscurity to stardom also deserves to be recognized.

A three-time Division I-AA All-American at Eastern Illinois (not generally recognized as an NFL hotbed), Romo went undrafted during the 2003 NFL Draft. Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Earl Morrall: The Perfect Backup
      November 16, 2019 | 10:46 am
      Earl Morrall

      In a career that started in 1956 and ended in 1976, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was never really a leading man, but he seemed to be part of the supporting cast for many huge moments in NFL history.

      The second overall pick in the 1956 NFL Draft out of Michigan State, Earl Morrall joined a San Francisco 49ers team that already included the famous “Million Dollar Backfield” of Y.A. Tittle, Hugh McElhenny, Joe Perry and John Henry Johnson.

      Morrall started four games during his rookie season, but just before the start of the 1957 season was traded along with guard Mike Sandusky to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for linebacker Marv Matuszak and two first-round draft picks.

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