Brian Bosworth deserves to be in College Hall of Fame, but is alter ego keeping him out?

By John Rohde Modified: May 28, 2010 at 12:12 am •  Published: May 28, 2010
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photo - With head coach Barry Switzer of the Oklahoma Sooners, right, reacting unhappily in the background, All-American linebacker Brian Bosworth speaks to the press about his being barred from playing in the 53rd Annual Orange Bowl Classic New Years Day, Friday, Dec. 26, 1986, Miami Beach, Fla. Bosworth was barred because steroids were found in his system but he said he deserves a right to give my body the ultimate challenge and be as healthy as I can be. (AP Photo/Judy Sloan)
With head coach Barry Switzer of the Oklahoma Sooners, right, reacting unhappily in the background, All-American linebacker Brian Bosworth speaks to the press about his being barred from playing in the 53rd Annual Orange Bowl Classic New Years Day, Friday, Dec. 26, 1986, Miami Beach, Fla. Bosworth was barred because steroids were found in his system but he said he deserves a right to give my body the ultimate challenge and be as healthy as I can be. (AP Photo/Judy Sloan)
A
black cornerback at Florida State could get the same thing.”

These days, it's much easier to differentiate Bosworth from The Boz. Bosworth proudly reminisces by using the word "we” rather than "I.'”

"What we did statistically as a team, I don't know if any team has ever done what we did,” said Bosworth, who never lost to Texas, Nebraska or Oklahoma State (he redshirted in 1983). "I think about how we physically and mentally dominated offenses. We just frustrated teams to no end. They were drawing stuff in the dirt just to figure out, 'What do we have to do to get a first down?”'

The Boz sported a multi-colored Mohawk and filled opposing bulletin boards, but his hairstyle and mouth haven't kept Bosworth from being inducted. More than likely, it was something he wore.

Suspended after testing positive for anabolic steroids after the 1986 season, Bosworth wore a T-shirt inscribed with "National Communists Against Athletes” on the sideline during the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1, 1987. NCAA officials were livid, as was Switzer.

Had Bosworth not worn that shirt, there's a good chance he'd be a hall-of-famer alongside his coach, who was inducted in 2001. Bosworth said the incident "probably didn't help” his chances of getting into the hall.

"I don't know anybody who doesn't have skeletons in the closet,” Bosworth said. "Hell, I brought my skeletons out for everybody to see. I walked my own walk. I had a great coach who allowed me to walk my own walk. Now, he didn't want me to walk that walk, and in retrospect I wish I had not walked that walk.

"I put me first instead of putting my team first. That was the wrong stage in which to have that protest.”

Someday, and hopefully soon, members of the College Football Hall of Fame screening committee will end this stubbornness. They will forgive Bosworth for his off-field sins and reward his on-field achievements with an induction.

"If I get in, great. If I don't get in, that's cool, too,” Bosworth said. "To me, I'd rather have better memories, a national championship ring and all the Big Eight rings we won.

"Every time I go back to Oklahoma, the fans remind me how much fun college football was in the 1980s because of the way we played, our style, our swagger. That to me means more.”

John Rohde: 475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 6-7 p.m. on The Sports Animal Network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.


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