The late Tom McEwen, sports editor of The Tampa Times from 1958-62 before being named sports editor of The Tampa Tribune in 1962, graced the Tribune sports section with his award-winning column, The Morning After, and his Breakfast Bonus notes columns were a signature offering from the 19-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year. McEwen died in June, 2011 at the age of 88. His wife, Linda, occasionally contributes past columns and exerpts to this blog.
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It’s Official: Bulls Got Raw Deal
Posted Oct 19, 2007 by Tom McEwen
Updated Oct 19, 2007 at 08:23 PM
Easy to shout: ‘‘DADGUM OFFICIALS!’‘
All Thursday night and all day Friday.
Bulls coach Jim Leavitt did, in private and to his bride.
I did. After the worst thing that can happen, happened to Leavitt and his University of South Florida Bulls at Rutgers.
They have a shouting point in Bullville these days.
That official who in the tense, terrific Bulls-Rutgers game Rutgers was assigned Thursday night after an official’s decision, very late in the game - which surely could have gone either way - favored the home team and can be questioned by us all, made the ruling that decided the game. It was an awful scenario. But it was a call and it is on the books, and it was final. Leavitt, who demonstrated justified anger during the game, didn’t beef then about the officiating.
But you and I can, will, and be justified.
Leavitt said the Bulls should have won. Agree.
But Leavitt was right. Rutgers did what it had to do, USF did, and did not.
Game in Tampa instead of New Jersey? Different finish. Perhaps, but it wasn’t.
USF remains a Top Ten team. One of the best, the best in USF history. Win out. That’ll do it. A big bowl reward and justification for the support this sensational team has received and deserved.
But, should they have won and been 7-0 and 2-0 in the Big East?
Yes. Yes. Yes.
Even the first president, Jack Brown, would have loved this.
This is only the llth team and season, at USF, you know. Had they won — they did not — this would have been the sports story of the year. May still be. Have to win out, you know. Win out. I think they will. But, big games ahead.
A hoot, isn’t it?
Remember when Coach Leavitt was pursued by Alabama? Offered the Bear Bryant job there?
He said thanks but no thanks. When he came here as the only Bulls coach ever, he said he wanted to stay. And did. I think he’s settled in. Want him. Need him. He’s just right. Needs a raise, and will get it.
He is not a money guy. Like Joe Torre, I guess. Just got married. Happy.
Money and a new contract might make him happier. Beyond that, it is deserved.
Now, when the Bulls were No. 2 and perfect, we did not know they were. Do now. A Top Ten team they are and will be when they win the rest.
Hereabouts, the team and Leavitt and his staff need this groundswell of support to continue, if for no other reason than to thank former president Jack Brown for approving football, and for the support of his successors, Bob Bryan, Betty Castor and Judy Genshaft now. She’s been swell, as were the others.
Heck of a story this, including the star play of quarterback Matt Grothe.
The loss to Rutgers.